Crafts Council Hothouse 5 – supporting emerging makers program

Back in 2013, October to be precise, Lakeland Arts in collaboration with Rachael Matthews artist, author and curator presented, Collect Cumbria a vibrant selling exhibition exploring the skill and innovation of craft in the Cumbrian region. Held in the unique setting of Blackwell, the exhibition gave makers the opportunity to showcase the best of their skills and artistic vision. Tom Philipson was one of the makers, showing in Collect Cumbria. Tom is a contemporary furniture maker whose aim is to produce high-quality hand-crafted pieces using skills and techniques perfected in the ‘golden age’ of English furniture by Georgian cabinet makers .

Tom was one of three craftspeople chosen to receive an Acorn Bursary. The bursaries were to support emerging craftsmen and women and set up by the Lakeland Arts and the former High Sheriff of Cumbria, Diana Matthews. Tom acknowledges that this was a fantastic boost for him and he used the money to have a website designed and produced.

Since then Tom’s career path continues and he has just started Hothouse 5 – we asked him to give us a brief ‘blog’ on his first session – over to Tom…

“Great start to the Crafts councils Hothouse 5 supporting emerging makers program. I arrived at Bridewell Hall, just of Fleet Street, for the start of the induction day feeling nervous and worried about whether my work and practice was worthy compared to all the other 38 participants. To kick us of ( ice breaker) we had to stand up with a piece of our work and talk about our practice. I took along a test piece which was an experiment using compressed wood shavings trapped between curved ash, a bit of sculpture in its self really ( iiiustrated ) I was dreading this bit, but it went OK and the rest of the day went swimmingly from thereon in.
I met lots of very interesting people and it was a great start to the program.
All the pieces that my fellow makers and I had taken along were all set out on a table for us all to study and handle. This was fantastic, being able to pick up things that I had previously only seen over the internet. This also helped me to realise that my work was of a similar standard, and worthy of being there because it was there. ( illustrated )
So already confidence has been gained from Hothouse.
It was only at the end of the day during group reflection that I realised  that my initial fears were just what everyone else on the program were experiencing as well.
So thanks Crafts Council. And now very much looking forward to next weeks session at Manchester School of Art.
Where the business really starts.”

We look forward to following Tom’s career and hope he may share more with us as he progresses.



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