'Crafting your Career' Symposium


‘crafting your career’ symposium

The Makers & Tools project curator Melody Vaughan introduces the 'Crafting your Career' Symposium on 22nd May 2019 [apologies for the low quality audio]

Are you contemplating a career in contemporary craft? Maybe you are an Art & Design student weighing your options, or a recent graduate/emerging maker embarking on your first steps. Perhaps you are someone secretly thinking about a career re-boot or change of direction. Whatever stage you are at, this symposium is for you.

Join us for a series of presentations celebrating the diversity of approaches within craft careers and the importance of crafting a career that is unique, sustainable and works for the creative life you want to lead.

This Symposium was held on Wednesday 22nd May 2019 and featured presentations by the Makers & Tools project makers:

Christabel Balfour, Angie Packer, Tim Evershed, Rachel Jones-Jones, Harriet Elkerton, Katy Welsh

and 3 guest speakers:

Elaine Bolt, Rachael Colley, Imogen DiSapia

You will can listen to the audio of each presentation below [please be aware the audio quality is not great, our apologies.]


Christabel Balfour

Christabel shares insights into her weaving practice and the decision-making processes she has gone through to create a business model on her own terms. (9 mins)


Angie Packer

Listen as Angie takes us on a heart-felt journey through her creative development since graduating 2 years ago and the lessons she has learnt along the way. (10 mins)


Tim Evershed

Tim has a wealth of experience working with press to publicise his work to a wider audience, including many tips which he shares in this practical talk. (11 mins)


Rachel Jones-Jones

In her presentation Rachel charts the progress of her most recent project - an interdisciplinary collaboration between a jeweller and an architect - and how it is shaping her practice. (8 mins)


Harriet Elkerton

Since graduating 5 years ago, Harriet has been a regular exhibitor at a wide range of shows, trade shows and craft fairs - in her presentation she offers the pros and cons of this way of selling and engaging with your audience. (8 mins)


Katy Welsh

In this animated presentation Katy shares her ideas on how to maintain a practice that is essentially and distinctively yours, even if your medium changes. (5 mins)


Elaine Bolt

In this talk Elaine reflects on her portfolio career including her work as a librarian, teaching from her own studio and pushing her practice forward with large-scale installation work. (24 mins)


Rachael Colley

A humourous insight into artist and academic Rachael’s research-based creative practice and the freedom this method of working allows in her making. (25 mins)


Imogen Di Sapia

An inspiring reflection on a sustainable and responsive making practice that holds environmental and family-friendly working at its heart. (31 mins)


Here’s what our audience said on the day:

Helpful to hear from all the different viewpoints and not feel so alone!
The event far exceeded expectations, such a broad range of speakers.
It was brilliant. I have taken so much from today, every speaker was great and left me with something to inform my own work
I came to the event today to find answers to my own practice queries. It exceeded expectations - a lot of what they said resonated. The discussion and transparency of makers’ struggles was inspiring.
I benefited greatly from hearing the diverse range of makers Melody had arranged to speak. I took 9 pages of notes at the time, recording small creative sparks that jumped into my head in response to people’s stories and work, along with themes that ran across speakers like supporting their craft by teaching. But generally I just came away with more of a fire to be a designer maker in my own right (as opposed to working for a company), and with it a belief that if others could do it, so could I.