Craft Conversations: Talks Programme

Join us for three full days of cutting-edge conversations and topical talks from industry leaders and some of the finest minds in craft.

Wednesday 15 May

12:00 – 12:45

Creating a Future for British Craft

A future-facing discussion chaired by Jay Blades, in which we’ll hear from the CEO’s of Britain’s biggest craft companies, including Cox London, Timorous Beasties, Soane Britain and more, and discover the biggest challenges and most exciting opportunities for maker-focused businesses today.

Cox London are sponsors of craft show Craftworks

Cox London

Soane Britain Logo, Soane Britain will be taking part in the Craftworks 2024 Talks Programme.

SOANE BRITAIN

Timorous Beasties Craftworks

TIMOROUS BEASTIES

Jay Blades restores a piece of furniture - Jay Blades presents Craftworks - register now for your ticket.

Jay Blades MBE

13:40 – 14:45

Jay Blades presents Fortnum & Makers

Jay Blades MBE hosts a panel of some of Britain’s most accomplished designers and craftspeople who are all part of ‘Fortnum & Makers’. Inspired by Fortnum & Mason’s ongoing commitment to craft in all forms, Fortnum & Makers is an exhibition at their flagship Piccadilly store, featuring a handpicked selection of artisans and creatives across mediums as diverse as pottery, glass painting, ceramics and woodworking – each of whom is keeping a craft tradition alive through their work.

Jay Blades restores a piece of furniture - Jay Blades presents Craftworks - register now for your ticket.

Jay Blades MBE

Fortnum and Mason logo part of the Talks Programme and a sponsor at Craftworks

Fortnum & Mason

15:35 – 16:20

Where Did All The Black Artisans Go?

 Jo Sealy, photographer, explores why the Black Artisans photography project was created.  Hear about its purpose, challenges and opportunities and how this growing network is navigating its way alongside the mainstream. Our panel of artisans will share their personal experiences and insights as part of the project, including Donald Baugh, Designer Maker, Dionne Ible, Mosaic Artist, Judith Annakie-Eriksen, Ceramic Artist, and Godfrey Morris, Master Saddler.

16:25 – 17:10

Craft Endangerment and the Red List of Endangered Crafts

The idea of categorising UK craft skills by the likelihood they will survive is less than ten years old, but has gained widespread attention following the publication of Heritage Crafts’ Red List of Endangered Crafts in 2017. This discussion will focus on the need for awareness raising for craft skills for which there might be a diminishing skills base, the pros and cons of the Red List approach, the role of the media, and the potential of these skills to provide a valuable resource for the next generation of makers along with new commercial opportunities as yet untapped.

Jay Blades restores a piece of furniture - Jay Blades presents Craftworks - register now for your ticket.

Jay Blades MBE

Heritage Crafts

Thursday 16 May

12:00 – 12:45

Craft Disrupters

From metalwork to needlepoint, we’re looking at those makers who are really pushing boundaries in their sectors. Our award-winning panel of craftspeople will discuss the challenges they have faced when disrupting the status quo of craft, plus the advantages of being an ‘outsider’. Chaired by Nicola Cox, CEO and co-founder of Cox London and featuring maille maker Anna Rennie and metalwork artist Bex Simon, this will be a mind-broadening conversation you definitely don’t want to miss.

Picture of Nicola Cox CEO and co-founder of Cox London. Cox London are sponsors of craft show Craftworks

Nicola Cox

Bex Simon, part of the Talks Programme and exhibitor at Craftworks.

Bex Simon

Anna Rennie, part of the Talks Programme and exhibitor at Craftworks.

Anna Rennie

13:40 – 14:25

Ensuring a Future for Craft Skills in the UK

The Red List of Endangered Crafts identifies the viability of crafts across the UK and the issues that they are facing, but that is only the first stage in changing their story to ensure that they have a more viable future. This discussion, chaired by Daniel Carpenter (Executive Director, Heritage Crafts), will focus on practical ways in which we can help craftspeople overcome the obstacles in the way of them running overwise viable businesses, and provide case studies from Heritage Crafts’ Endangered Crafts Fund and other support schemes.

Daniel Carpenter, Executive Director of Heritage Crafts is part of the Talks Programme at Craftworks.

Daniel Carpenter

15:20 – 16:05

Crafting a Sustainable Future: Exploring Zero Waste Craft

We’ll be hearing from makers that are striving for a truly waste-free crafting practice, and exploring the innovative techniques and processes that make it possible. Our speakers will share their expertise and insights into the beauty and challenges of crafting without waste.

Willow Bloomfield, part of the Talks Programme and exhibitor at Craftworks.

Willow Bloomfield

Charlotte E Padgham, part of the Talks Programme and exhibitor at Craftworks.

Charlotte E. Padgham

Caroline Hyde-Brown, part of the Talks Programme at Craftworks.

Caroline Hyde-Brown

16:10 – 16:55

Harewood Biennial presents: ‘The Origin of Things to Come’

A panel discussion, chaired by Debika Ray, editor of Crafts magazine with designer Kusheda Mensah, designer and maker Jan Hendzel and biennial co-curator Ligaya Salazar, exploring the core themes of the upcoming Harewood Biennial 2024: Create/Elevate, opening 28th June.

Debika Ray, Crafts Magazine Editor is part of the Talks Programme at Craftworks.

Debika Ray

Ligaya Salazar, part of the Talks Programme at Craftworks.

Ligaya Salazar

Kusheda Mensah, part of the Talks Programme at Craftworks.

Kusheda Mensah

Jan Hendzel, part of the Talks Programme at Craftworks.

Jan Hendzel

Friday 17 May

12:00 – 12:45

How do Artists Articulate Ideas by the Act of Making?

Chaired by Caroline Jackman this discussion explores how skilled making can communicate about cultural or environmental issues and ideas. Caroline Jackman is on the advisory panel for Collect Open, The Collect Art Fair and has 20 years experience mentoring makers to develop their creative voices. Making and materials have their own subtle ways of highlighting important contemporary issues: Emily Jo Gibbs celebrates professional Makers by describing in stitch a slow act of admiration. Ikuko Iwamoto’s ‘Ghosts from the Sea’ series addresses environmental concern of overfishing through porcelain. Bridget Bailey investigates bio-diversity through dyeing the colours of an earth worm or using traditional fly-tying to make a midge.

Caroline Jackman, part of the Talks Programme at Craftworks.

Caroline Jackman

Ikuko Iwamoto, part of the Talks Programme at Craftworks.

Ikuko Iwamoto

Emily Jo Gibbs, part of the Talks Programme at Craftworks.

Emily Jo Gibbs

Bridget Bailey, part of the Talks Programme at Craftworks.

Bridget Bailey

14:30 – 15:15

Material Masters

Hear direct from Lulu Harrison, Sofia Karakatsanis and David Morrish – three makers who are carving out their niche in the craft industry. This seminar will be chaired by Deborah Pocock, CEO of QEST – a charity which supports makers on their journeys to excellence by funding craft training and education. They’ll share the hours, the training and the eureka moments that have shaped their practice; where tradition meets innovation in their processes; and how they are working with designers and brands today.

Deborah Pocock, CEO of QEST, a Partner of Craftworks and part of the Talks Programme at Craftworks.

Deborah Pocock

David Moorish part of our Material Masters Talks Programme at Craftworks

David Moorish

Lulu Harrison part of our Material Masters Talks Programme at Craftworks

Lulu Harrison

Sofia Karakatsanis part of our Material Masters Talks Programme at Craftworks

Sofia Karakatsanis

15:20 – 16:00

Why Story Trumps Craft: What Makers Can Do Now the AI Genie is Out of the Bottle

In this debate-sparking event, Jay Blades MBE will be in conversation with Jude Pullen, creative technologist and chartered engineer, to discuss why AI isn’t the enemy of traditional craft skills and artistry, but poor attribution is. Jay and Jude will host a lively conversation drawing on sectors as diverse as engineering to the culinary arts, to show makers how, with proper attribution, we can preserve the essential poetry and storytelling of making alongside AI-assisted design, enhancing the discoverability of artisans and ultimately helping to future-proof the craft sector.

Jude Pullen, part of the Talks Programme at Craftworks.

Jude Pullen

Jay Blades restores a piece of furniture - Jay Blades presents Craftworks - register now for your ticket.

Jay Blades MBE