CASE: 'Hothousing' UK crafts businesses


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Hothouse 2019

(Above: Hothouse 2019 participant Darren Appiagyei, inthegrain. Image source: Crafts Council)


Hothouse is a six-month programme, started by the Crafts Council, which is designed to stimulate both creativity and commercial skill in makers and crafts businesspeople.

Participating makers complete workshops on topics such as finance, self-presentation, marketing, business growth and creative thinking. They also receive mentorship and 1:1 support.

Since 2010, Hothouse has helped hundreds of makers to identify what they want from their career and how to achieve it.  

Amongst other achievements, Hothouse makers have created installations for Selfridges, Burberry Makers House, exhibitedat Design Miami Basel, Milan Design Week, London Fashion Week, won awards and commissions at the Eden Project, Aspex Plymouth and Nottingham Castle, and fulfiled artistic residencies at the British Library`. 

One maker helped through the programme has said: “It was the best thing I could have done at the time and I don't think I would have managed to keep my business going for the last five years without everything I was taught back then.”

Sally Burnett, a member of the North Cohort from the 2016 Hothouse Programme, is quoted on the Crafts Council website saying “Hothouse has given me much more than I could ever have hoped for. Confidence, encouragement and opportunities. The possibility of a sustainable portfolio career.”

The Crafts Council has a very broad definition of craft. It is open to a range of disciplines, materials and ideas. If you are a talented maker able to demonstrate the potential to commit to and succeed in your making practice – Hothouse could be for you.

The programme's administrators aim to bring together diverse talented makers from all over the UK.

They particularly welcomes applications from currently under-represented groups in craft. Applicants who identify as Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and/or as disabled are guaranteed an interview if they meet the essential criteria for the Hothouse programme.

The makers featured in the 2019 Hothouse programme come from a range of classic and more unusual disciplines.

They include a leather worker, a 3D technologist, a toys and automata specialist, a metal worker, three wood workers, three jewellers, five textile makers, five furniture makers and seven ceramicists.

The Hothouse 2019 has 50 per cent representation by ethnic minorities and and/or disabled people than the 2017 programme.

The 2019 Hothouse makers are:

 Andy King, King and Webbon Ltd (see

Angelina Mouyiaris, Angelina Jane (see

Anthony Dain, Anthony Dain Furniture (see

Bonnie Kirkwood, Bonnie Kirkwood (see

Caroline Draper, Caroline Draper Jewellery (see

Charlotte Kidger (see

Dalia James, Dalia James Studio (see

Darren Appiagyei, inthegrain (see picture above or here)

Darren Ball, Darren Ball Textile Artist (see

David Winter and Natasha Kurth, Winter and Kurth (see

Eusebio Sanchez (see

Iris De La Torre (see

James Bowyer (see

James Ross-Harris, Richard Warner and Jon Warshawsky, Blenheim Forge


Jan Lennon, Jan Lennon Furniture (see

Jenny Chan, Jenny Chan (see

Kat Evans, Kat Evans Ceramics (see

Laura Mathews, Laura Mathews Art (see

Louise Bell, Louise Bell Ceramics (see

Lucy MacDonald, Arra Textiles (see

Marie Jones, Kochi Kochi (see

Mitch Pilkington, Mitch Pilkington (see

Momoka Gomi, Momoka53 (see

Rayvenn Shaleigha D'Clark (see

Ruby Creagh (see

Thamasin Marsh, Taz Marsh  (


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