In October this year I started my PhD at King’s College London in the department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, supported by a Professor Sir Richard Trainor Scholarship. Over the next three years I will be working in partnership with the Crafts Council to research how people studying craft in Higher Education (HE) learn the professional and entrepreneurial skills they need to continue their creative practice once out of education.
I myself studied Glass and Ceramics at undergraduate level at the University of Sunderland. While I decided at the end of my degree that the creative practice route was not for me, my experience of studying craft at University was hugely valuable. Having found my way into the world of academia and research, I have focused on contemporary craft practice as an area that has not received much academic attention from those working outside of the field. In particular, my research has focused on the role of HE institutions in the craft sector and through my PhD I will be exploring how crafts makers develop professional capabilities, both in terms of learning practical business skills and developing an awareness of entrepreneurial, creative careers.
The Crafts Council’s Studying Craft 2016 report shows that in 2014/15 there were over 17,000 people studying craft subjects at undergraduate level in HE. Although this is lower than previous years and the provision of HE craft courses has declined significantly (50% since 2007), HE still provides an important route into craft professions. By working closely with the Crafts Council and craft practitioners, students and educators, I hope to explore what skills and knowledge aid in developing and sustaining a creative practice and how this can be facilitated in HE through entrepreneurial education.
While a PhD is by nature an academic pursuit, a key aim of this partnership is to produce real-world impact and applications from this research. I will be posting updates throughout my PhD and look forward to sharing the journey and outcomes with you.
If you would like to contact me about my research please get in touch at email@example.com