In 2015 Applied Arts Scotland were delighted to work in partnership with Craft Scotland, Emergents and Fife Contemporary Art & Craft to deliver the Crafts Council’s highly regarded Hothouse programme for emerging makers in Scotland.
Hothouse provides support and advice, tailor-made for contemporary craft practices. Hothouse is for makers who are within three years of setting up their craft business, and who are looking to develop a strong foundation and peer-group to help them make the best start.
The Scottish cohort of makers were:
- Ruth Hollywood (jewellery, Glasgow)
- Catherine MacGruer (knitted textiles, Inverness)
- Rhona McCallum (jewellery, Glasgow)
- Kelly Munro (jewellery, Edinburgh)
- Sian Patterson (ceramics, Glasgow)
- Heather Shields (woven textiles, Glasgow).
A full list of the 40 UK makers taking part in Hothouse 5 can be found on the Hothouse blog.
Since its launch in 2011, 122 makers have completed the Hothouse programme. Evaluation of the programme year on year shows that it has a transformative effect on participants. Evaluation of the makers who took part in Hothouse 4 revealed the following:
- 100% said Hothouse enabled them to think differently about their career direction
- 92% understood the sector better
- 87% could identify new skills/abilities learnt during the programme
- 91% could identify next developmental steps
- 96% had benefitted positively from being part of a peer group
- vision for practice/business increased from 39% to 96% (good or excellent)
- knowledge of business planning increased from 7% to 78% (good or excellent)
- business judgement when assessing opportunities increased from 11% to 74% (good or excellent)
- creative analysis skills increased from 29% to 78% (good or excellent)
- ability to be entrepreneurial increased from 25% to 78
‘Hothouse has proven itself an invaluable programme for early career makers and it is only possible by working with knowledgeable and enthusiastic partners. This year is no different and we are looking forward to working with Craft Scotland on the first Scottish cohort.’
Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director, Crafts Council.
Previous Hothouse participants have said:
Heather Woof, Hothouse 4 participant: ‘I felt swamped after graduation, frantically trying to keep up with opportunities and wildly putting energy into anything and everything that came my way. Hothouse has given me the skills and tools in order to take control of my practice. I now have the confidence that I can make my practice work for me and take it forwards in my own way.’
Naomi Mcintosh, Hothouse 3 participant: ‘Hothouse was fantastic in helping me to examine and structure how I wanted to develop my practice as a maker and designer. Increased confidence and planning enabled me to be proactive about making new opportunities. By providing the tools to start exploring new markets, I identified medium and long-term goals which has helped me to grow my business in a sustainable way.’
Jennifer Gray, Hothouse 3 participant: ‘Hothouse helped me to establish my core values as a practitioner. With this knowledge, and the skills gained in the course of business development workshops I am now able to grow my practice consciously with more understanding of my market and where I fit in.’
The Crafts Council is the national development agency for contemporary craft. The Crafts Council wants to make the UK the best place to make, see, collect and learn about contemporary craft. They aim to build a strong economy and infrastructure for contemporary craft; to increase and diversify the audience for contemporary craft; and to champion high quality contemporary craft practice nationally and internationally.
Fiona Logue, Director, Craft Scotland said, ‘We have seen the positive impact on the careers of the few makers in Scotland who have been fortunate enough to have taken part in Hothouse programme in previous years. Therefore we are delighted to host a Scottish cohort for the first time and look forward to learning alongside the makers in their journey of discovery and development.’
emergents is a community interest company that supports the development of creative careers, enterprise and the economy in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. They nurture creative talent and creative businesses through general and specific support including mentoring, training, advice and networking. Currently emergents work with the Craft, Fashion, Textile, Writing and Publishing sectors.
Fife Contemporary Art & Craft is a leader in delivering high-quality programmes across the region with a range of partners. Working with a wide range of audiences and artists on exhibitions, residencies, craft retail and professional development it explores the dialogue between craft and visual art.