27th December 2020

The whole Cockpit journey: from apprentice to master maker with an apprentice of her own.

Paper marbler Lucy McGrath has gone from apprenticing at Cockpit to becoming a leading voice for this heritage craft in the UK. For the past two years, Cockpit Arts has funded Lucy to employ an apprentice, which means she has come full circle from when she first arrived at the studios on a placement herself for textile designer Jen Rowland in 2011, before applying for her own space in 2016.

“I ended up working for her for nearly five years,” she says. “Without that incredible experience I don’t think I would have had the guts to start [her own business] Marmor Paperie.”

Business wasn’t something that came naturally to Lucy, everything from keeping up with the pace of demand to starting to work with manufacturers to balancing creative production with marketing, PR, admin and bookkeeping seemed daunting: “I knew I wanted to make beautiful things and share them with others and didn’t think too far beyond that.”

That’s where Cockpit has helped Lucy with workshops and one-to-one coaching which have enhanced her practical skills and created room for her to grow into a leading voice for marbling in the UK. Lucy says even better than these skills though are “are the intangible benefits – the confidence in myself and what I am doing, and the reassurance that there is a tight-knit community of people in a similar position that I can call on for advice and kinship when faced with difficult moments”. In other words, the Cockpit Community.


Support young makers with amazing talent to join our world class craft community. Cockpit is a charity and in challenging times, all donations make a difference.

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