Crafts Council Hothouse logo

My adventure on the Crafts Council’s Hothouse 2014 programme has almost finished. Thirty-eight emerging makers, including myself, were selected to take part in an intensive programme of business and craft development. We’ve participated in a series of workshops and events designed to bring on our craft businesses and help us formulate the beginnings of a career in the sector.

It’s been a lot of hard work, including trying to get to grips with tax and finances (there have been a lot of spreadsheets) as well as working on our presentation skills (some drama and roll play did occur!).


Hanne Mannheimer

Alongside the workshops we were each assigned a ‘buddy’ and a ‘mentor’ – professionals already working in our field of practice, to help and guide us along the way. My ‘buddy’ is Hanne Mannheimer who makes beautiful vessels as well as site specific work. My ‘mentor’ is Katharine Morling who creates fascinating objects in porcelain forming ‘three dimensional drawings’. Both have been extremely helpful and supportive.


Katharine Morling



Aspects of the programme have acted as a kind of continuation of university studies in a way – supplying a feeling similar to having that collective experience and group of peers around you.

As a kind of finale to the programme, a selected number of Hothouse participants are now showing their work at the New Ashgate gallery in Farnham. The work on show illustrates just a small amount of the fantastic range of crafts in the programme, but the pieces on show also compliment each other really well. The show is on to the end of July, but I hope to continue existing friendships and supportive networks as well as establishing new ones to help carry on the dialogue.

Here are some images from the New Ashgate Gallery show.

New Ashgate Selects

12 June, 2014

Hothouse 4: New Ashgate Selects

21 June to 2 August 2014

Elaine Bolt ceramic & mixed media object detail

Elaine Bolt mixed media object

The New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham, Surrey, has invited 12 makers from this year’s Crafts Council Hothouse programme to exhibit in this year’s summer show.

The makers selected for the exhibition are: Jenny Ayrton, myself (Elaine Bolt !), Sarah Brown, Sue Brown, Marie Canning, Adam Collins, Katharina Eisenkoeck, Elaine Jenkins, Alex McCarthy, Imogen Noble, Paula Ortega and Stephanie Tudor.

The show runs from the 21 June to 2 August 2014. The private view will be on the 20 June, 6-8pm, I’ll be there and all are welcome.

Gallery Director Dr Outi Remes has said that this event will be a little different to their usual private views as it will also be a ‘soiree’,  celebrating the Gallery’s success over the last two years. The event will be joined by the MP Jeremy Hunt… and by internationally recognised ceramic artist Gareth Mason who will be saying a few words. Gareth Mason usually speaks energetically and from the heart about ceramics, the making process and the challenges of the craft, so he’s certainly always worth hearing from!

New Ashgate Gallery logo

Crafts Council Hothouse logo





I’m currently working away in my studio getting ready to being part of The Contemporary Craft Festival at Bovey Tracey from 6 June to 8 June 2014.

The festival is the largest craft fair in the South West and one of the finest in the UK. The show features over 190 selected makers selling directly to the public.

I’m hoping to be showcasing some new work and new ideas (some of which are still a little bit under wraps!) so it will be exciting to share them with the visiting public. If you’re planning on going, do pop by my stand, it will be great to chat.

I will be taking my work there for the first time, as part of their Crafts Council Hothouse marquee. I will be exhibiting alongside other top emerging makers in a variety of craft disciplines including Alex McCarthy, Anna Brimley, Anna Gravelle, Angie Parker, Brittany Delaney, Cristina Zani, Hilary Mayo, Jenny Ayrton, Julia Jowett, Marie Canning, Radiance Furniture Design, Stephanie Tudor, Theo Wright and Katy Luxton.

Hothouse is a programme of support from the Crafts Council for emerging makers. Click on the logos below to find out more about the programme, the exhibitors and the rest of the festival at Bovey Tracey.

Contemporary Craft Festival logo


Hothouse 2014

25 November, 2013

crafts council hothouse banner

I am delighted to have been selected for the UK Crafts Council’s Hothouse 2014 scheme.

The Crafts Council have selected thirty-eight makers from across the UK to take part in this prestigious scheme. The makers are from a range of craft disciplines, all within the first two years of setting up their business.

The programme, which will start in January 2014, will provide makers with a tailor-made six-month programme of business and creative support. The scheme will provide group sessions on developing business skills, market knowledge and creativity; a series of networking events bringing together all Hothouse 4 cohorts; support from a peer buddy; and 1:1 sessions with a mentor from the sector.

Needless to say, this is exciting stuff and I feel very honoured to have been selected to be part of it all. It’s going to be a very busy six months, by all accounts, with lots of tasks and activities to get stuck into. But I can’t wait to meet all the other participants and make the most of everything this exciting programme has to offer.

I will be part of the South East cohort which the Crafts Council will run in collaboration with its partners Making Space, the Craft Study Centre, and New Ashgate Gallery.

Participants in the South East cohort include: me – Elaine Bolt (ceramics, East Sussex), Charlotte Brown (mixed media, London), Jessica Coleman (textiles, London), Adam Collins (furniture, Herts),Silvia Kamodyova (ceramics, East Sussex), Beatrice Larkin (textiles, London), Imogen Noble (ceramics, Kent), Paula Ortega (jewellery, London), Izzy Parker(jewellery & objects, London), Jelka Quintelier, (jewellery & objects, London).

Images from all the participants can be found on the Hothouse 4 Pinterest board.

Hothouse 2014 Pintrest Screen shot 2

You can also follow the selected makers using the Craft Council’s Twitter list. twitter-bird-white-on-blue