An award to foster creative excellence and diversity in the craft world

The New Craftsmen Award at Cockpit Arts

Applications for The New Craftsmen Award at Cockpit Arts will open again in  Spring 2022.

The New Craftsmen and Cockpit Arts are inviting creative, early-career makers to take up the opportunity of a three-year programme that includes a funded studio space in London, financial and practical support, as well as guidance and mentoring.

The Award will fund three craft makers over the next six years who demonstrate excellence in their work across furniture, lighting, artworks or other objects for interior settings. The selected makers will be provided with a studio space at Cockpit Arts, financial and practical support, as well as guidance and mentoring from the team at The New Craftsmen. The recipients will have the opportunity to develop their business, become part of a thriving community of the country’s most inspiring creative practitioners and build a relationship with one of its leading brands.

Applicants will be assessed on their craft skills, the ambition of their creative work, the potential and viability of their business plan and the extent to which the maker believes that they will benefit from the opportunity.

In 2020, the UK craft industry came under renewed scrutiny for its failure to reflect the diverse makeup of the country as a whole. The sector remains disproportionately white and its heavy reliance on personal relationships means that it can be difficult for those who don’t have connections within the field to break in. With that in mind, this award seeks to break down barriers for makers currently underrepresented in craft, and bridge the gap between talent and opportunity.

Award Details

Each Awardee receives the following:

– Fully funded studio for the first year with further support in years two (£3,000) and three (£2000)*
– Participation in the bespoke professional development programme, Make it Count
– Mentoring and insight sessions with The New Craftsmen
– Access to other workshops, talks and events at Cockpit Arts
– One-to-one support from one of Cockpit’s business coaches
– Access to other specialist advisors and industry experts
– Participation in Open Studios and other selling events
– Profile raising events and campaigns
– Exclusive studio tours with selling opportunities
– Brand association and listing in Cockpit’s online maker directory

*The total sum is linked to the cost of the space and support services. Electricity costs, insurance and office service charges will be payable on top and cannot be paid from the Award. The Award space allocated is at Cockpit Arts discretion. Please note that most studios are shared, and sizes vary but an average studio space per maker is around 100-150sq ft. Contributions of £2000 and £3000 over 12 months are required from the successful Maker in years 2 and 3.

To apply, applicants will need to be able to meet the following criteria:

– Identify as coming from, or belonging to, a group, heritage or background currently underrepresented in the craft sector
– Create furniture, lighting, artworks or other objects for interior settings
– Control all aspects of your production process
– Demonstrate ambition, innovation and excellence within your craft practice
– Are willing to act as an ambassador the Award and an ally in our quest to bring greater diversity to craft
– Be a UK resident currently living in the UK and entitled to remain in the UK for the period of the Award (Cockpit Arts is not able to sponsor or support visa applications in any way)
– Be willing and able to make a commitment to take up the Award for its full three year duration from August 2021
– Attend the Awardee Induction Day in September, date TBC
– Attend the full set of ‘Make It Count’ workshops starting September

How to Apply

Applications are now closed.

Want to view the application questions in advance? Click here.

Award FAQs

Cockpit FAQs

Key Dates

– 10 May – Awards Information Evening – watch it here.
– 28 May – Deadline for applications
– 2 – 10 June – Candidate shortlisting
– 11 June – Invitations to interview will be sent
– 21 June – Interviews

Interview Panel

The selection panel will include Lola Lely, renowned designer-maker and founder of Wax Atelier, Alexandria Dauley, interior designer and founder of United in Design, in addition to Yelena Ford representing The New Craftsmen and David Crump from Cockpit Arts.

L to R: Alexandria Dauley, Yelena Ford, David Crump and Lola Lely

Steering Group

To ensure that the award is being held to account and reviewed at every stage of the process, a Steering Group has been assembled consisting of gallerist Peter Ting; interior designer and educator Simon Hamilton; and jewellery designer-maker Disa Allsopp.

– Simon Hamilton, Founder of Design Career Consulting
– Disa Allsopp, Director of Disa AllsoppLTD
– Peter Ting, Co-founder, Gallery Director


It is important that the existence of the Award is known and heard across a broad spectrum of communities and networks to ensure the message reaches the ears of the very talent we are aiming to support. This means recognising the potential limits of our current reach and partnering with individuals and institutions who are recognised individuals within a sphere or community. By combining our networks and voices, we hope to amplify the visibility of the Award, and establish figures within the craft landscape that talented makers can approach to seek further guidance and encouragement.

Our aim is also to build a community of like-minded individuals to help instigate and sustain change for the long term.

– Mac Collins, Furniture and Object Designer/Maker
– Busola Evans, Associate Editor of Livingetc and Homes & Gardens
– Peter Ting, Co-founder, Gallery Director
– Ameena M. McConnell, Creative Director, Founder of 8PUS DRUM
– Disa Allsopp, Director of Disa AllsoppLTD
– Isatu Hyde, Potter
– Ekta Kaul, Artist
– Simon Hamilton, Founder of Design Career Consulting
– Shiro Muchiri, Creative Director
– Freya Bramble-Carter, Artist, ceramicist and teacher

About The New Craftsmen

The New Craftsmen was established in 2012 as a platform for genuine and meaningful craft, playfully imagined and properly made by artisans of the British Isles. Founded on a belief in the joyful, enduring value of finely crafted wares, our pioneering initiative has grown to become a substantial community of makers with a rich variety of expertise, including textiles, furniture and pottery, lighting and artwork. With our makers we develop collections that reinvent traditional techniques and create contemporary work imbued with the specific cultures and places in which they take shape. Hammered, thrown, woven, gleaned, spun, spliced, bound, knotted, whittled, blown and dyed – every work is alive with the spirit of its making. Working across a generous range of scales – from a humble ceramic bowl to complete interiors – we also enable bespoke commissions and produce wholly unique projects. We make visible the life of things: useful, beautiful objects to enjoy every day.


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