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Craft Expertise Project Podcasts

Dr Karen Patel of Birmingham City University is working with the Crafts Council to help us strengthen our commitment to diversity.

Karen introduces below the Maker Stories podcast in which she interviews inspirational crafts women from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

Karen’s first project with us, Supporting Diversity in Craft Practice, examined the creative drivers and some of the challenges facing black and minority ethnic women makers in the UK. You can find the project report here and related professional development top tips on using social media in the resources section of our professional development support.


I am an AHRC Leadership Fellow based at Birmingham City University. My research interests focus on ideas around expertise in cultural work and inequalities in the sector. My current project, Craft Expertise, is in collaboration with Crafts Council UK and is exploring diversity and expertise development in the contemporary craft sector. I completed my PhD in January 2018, which explored how artists signal expertise on social media.

In the Maker Stories podcast we talk to inspirational crafts women from black and ethnic minority backgrounds who are based in the UK. This podcast series is part of an RCUK/UKRI Innovation Fellowship funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and in collaboration with Crafts Council UK. This project, called ‘Craft Expertise’, aims to explore and raise awareness of the challenges facing women makers of colour as they try to establish a craft career. For more information visit the website www.craftexpertise.com

Episode 1:
In this episode we talk to Jasmine Carey, who is the Designer-maker for Deco22, a craft-based label producing leather and fashion accessories, with a focus on leather bags. Jasmine talks about her career and the challenges she has faced as a Black woman in the craft industry. You can find her work at www.deco22.co.uk.

Episode 2:
In this episode Rose Sinclair of Goldsmiths, University of London, discusses her journey into craft and her research on the textile practices of Black British women. She describes the prevalence of craft in her upbringing and how her mum, when she migrated to the UK from Jamaica, was a professional seamstress but could not get a job because she was told "a white body could not be touched by black hands". Instead her mother worked on sewing machines in factories.


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