This Tuesday I went to the first session of the Crafts Council's Hothouse programme and had a brilliant day! It was held in Bridewall Hall at St. Bride Foundation just off Fleet Street in central London. All the cohorts were there, the partners and the Crafts Council team, it was a day of introductions, information and networking - as well as ice breaker and creative tasks to help us start thinking about our businesses and plans for the future. In preparation for the day all of us had prepared a one minute presentation on our work and we took it in terms to stand at the front and talk - this was actually incredibly nerve-racking! I looked up and saw the 5+ tables and lots of expectant faces looking at me and promptly babbled through my talk! I don't find public speaking too bad as long as I know what I'm talking about and have prepared, however, I am out of practice talking about my work. There will be plenty of opportunities to improve on this programme!
One of the tasks of the day was to draw how we see ourselves now and how we see ourselves in a years time on two separate pieces of paper. Then we had to write a list of all the things that are missing, or in the gap, between the two. A second task was to look at our values, we were given 6 slips of paper and we had to trade and swap with others to get a set of values that felt right. A simple and very effective tool! Our values determine the decisions we make as we work through the Hothouse programme and build our creative businesses. I chose the following 6 (in no particular order):
Financial gain - I need to be able to earn a living from my jewellery Reputation - I want to have a good reputation with my customers and the galleries I work with Aesthetics - I want my work to be beautiful, to be well made and with a clear EK style Knowledge - knowledge gives me confidence, whether its about materials, techniques, exhibitions or the wider craft field Creativity - I need to keep creating, challenging myself, enjoy the making process, this may mean making just a few pieces of a certain design rather than a production line! And the sixth I've left open to think about over the next couple of weeks! They may be refined as I work through the programme. It was a thought provoking day.
And that's it! Thank you for reading.