Skip to content | Accessibility Information

Work by Charlie Birtles

Hothouse 2017 ahead for Charlie Birtles and Verity Howard

25 January 2017

Three Dimensional Design alumni selected for The Craft Councils business and creativity programme

Charlie Birtles and Verity Howard, who both graduated from Manchester School of Art’s Three Dimensional Design course in 2015, have been selected to take part in Hothouse 2017, The Craft Council’s development programme.

Hothouse brings together 35 maker businesses, across a variety of disciplines from jewelry makers, to ceramicists, to furniture makers, for a six-month programme delivered in partnership with institutions across the UK, including The National Centre of Craft and Design, Craft Scotland and Manchester School of Art.

The programme aims to equip the talented makers selected with the business and creative skills needed to run and sustainable craft business. Over the past five years, more than 200 participants have taken part and 90% of makers from 2016 said that the programme had enabled them to think differently about the direction of their career.

‘I’m delighted to have been selected for this year’s Hothouse’ commented Charlie, ‘it is a big step for me in my early career. The Craft’s Councils development programme has a brilliant reputation for supporting and promoting emerging makers at the start of their career, giving them the tools to develop a practice that is both sustainable and has integrity.’

Verity also expressed how pleased she was with her selection. ‘Not only will this programme help my future business, but it will also support my long-term aspirations to exhibit nationally and internationally. I am excited to be assigned a mentor who will help guide my practice, and I look forward to learning from their experience and knowledge that they have accrued over their career.’

Speaking about her hopes for the six months ahead, Verity commented that ‘participating in Hothouse will allow me to build on my network of fellow makers. I welcome the valuable feedback and critiques that I will receive from my Hothouse peers and I am excited to share in their experiences. 

I look forward to further understanding the market for my work and developing my creative thinking in order to stand out in this very competitive industry’.

Charlie also mentioned that she is ‘very much looking forward to meeting the other 34 makers when the programme kicks off in February’ and hopes the programme will enable her to ‘advance my practice and widen my outlook from the confines of my creative practice to do just that’.

The pair have previously featured in a range of exhibitions and schemes following their graduation in 2015. Charlie, who works with deconstructing and interrogating readymade objects, has completed a six-month studio and development scheme with Unit Twelve Gallery and Studios in Stafford, while ceramicist Verity undertook a residency with Guldagergaard (Denmark) in 2015 and showcased her work in a solo show at Manchester Crafts and Design Centre in early 2016.

To find out more about Three Dimensional Design at Manchester School of Art, visit the course page