Hothouse 2020

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Last October I successfully interviewed for a place on the Crafts Council Hothouse 2020 creative business programme. It seemed Induction Day at the National Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford would never come. Yet last Wednesday I drove up to Lincolnshire via Bristol – to pick up the lovely Emma Fallon (Kulu Textiles) and we finally started what is going to be a challenging, but I think ultimately a rewarding episode in our creative lives. Twenty seven of us met for a day of introductions, icebreakers, visualisation games, and listened to three of last year’s participants – Andy King, Darren Appiagyei and Marie Jones share their experiences during Hothouse 2019; enthusiastic and encouraging with plenty of useful pointers on how to make the most of the next few months. As we were at the home of Design-Nation, Hayley spoke about how the organisation supports and benefits craft makers. A quick scoot around the fabulous health and well-being show Seen & Unseen in which Janine Partington has some leather pictures (one of our cohort) all added to a day full to overwhelming. We finished up with superb pizza and chat at Watergate Yard; another chance to grow friendships and share life stories. For someone who is living rather isolated culturally and in a rural location it was an invaluable few hours to be cherished. So many talented folk across England. Now there is plenty of homework to do and think about, before we head to Wakefield next week.