Chair: Alison Britton, OBE
Alison Britton is an acclaimed potter, writer and commentator on modern and contemporary crafts. She studied at Leeds College of Art, the Central School of Art and Design and then, together with a celebrated group of fellow potters (the 'gang of four' also included Jacqueline Poncelet, Jill Crowley and Carol McNicholl) in the 1970's, at the Royal College of Art. Alison held a major one person exhibition at the Crafts Council in 1979. She is one of the leading international exponents of contemporary ceramics, with work held in prestigious museum as well as private collections. Alison Britton is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Royal College of Art, and she was awarded the OBE in 1990. More recently, she was awarded an honorary degree by the University for the Creative Arts to acknowledge her key position and influence as a potter, writer and curator.
Vice Chair: Pat Carter
Pat is an informed and expert champion of many contemporary craft artists particularly in the fields of ceramics and jewellery. She was very closely involved in leading the negotiations for the Board with the University to enable the safe and purposeful transfer of the centre's collections from Bath to Farnham in 1999-2000. She has represented the Crafts Study Centre on the international stage, most recently in visits to Japan.Pat Carter joined the Board of the Crafts Study Centre in 1997 and was appointed to her current position of Vice Chair in 2002. Her book A Dictionary of British Studio Potters (Scolar Press 1990) reflects her particular interests as a collector of contemporary craft.
Dr Cherry Knott FSA
Cherry Ann Knott trained in architecture and in sociology (Bartlett, University College London and Edinburgh University), and later in architectural history as a doctoral research student at the Courtauld Institute. Working initially in architects offices and then in town planning, she was closely involved in the early days of the designation and protection of historic conservation areas. She was head of both the conservation section and also regional services at the Crafts Council for more than four years until 1979. As curator and property manager of Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire, and its Museum of Childhood she developed her interest in museums and the widening of their accessibility; in that capacity she was responsible for the research and co-ordination of display design throughout the setting up stages of the Museum in the Park in Stroud, Gloucestershire. She has carried out two major surveys for the Crafts Council: on Adult Education in the Crafts (the resulting report I can't wait for Wednesday published in 1985) and the Socio-economic Study of Craftspeople in England, Scotland and Wales (1993-4), and during the late 1980's was Director of the Gulbenkian Craft Initiative for the first half of its programme. Other free-lance roles have included being an inspector in further education and an Arts Council Lottery assessor. She became a member of the Crafts Study Centre's Acquisitions Committee in 1985 and a trustee in 1988, and so was fortunate to have known several of the founding trustees.
Deirdre Figueiredo MBE
Deirdre Figueiredo is currently the Director of Craftspace, a crafts development organisation working to increase opportunities for makers, as well as access to and participation in contemporary crafts for all audiences. Since 1986 Craftspace has been working in partnership with makers and artists, audiences, venues and a diverse range of organisations to push boundaries and perceptions around contemporary crafts practice, touring exhibitions and audience development. Craftspace aims to initiate programmes of work which stimulate artistic excellence, critical thinking and understanding of contemporary crafts in t he widest social and cultural contexts.
Deirdre has worked in the fields of Visual Arts, Cultural Diversity and Museums since 1988, initially at Cartwright Hall in Bradford and then Nottingham Castle Museum. She was Cultural Development Office for Leicestershire Museums Service curating the South Asian collections and developing innovative outreach programmes, community projects and exhibitions to promote diverse cultures.
She is a member of the Creative and Cultural Skills Crafts Advisory Panel and is currently involved in steering and formation and running of a Crafts network as part of the national Cultural Leadership Programme.
Andrew Renton joined the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff in July 1999, having previously worked at National Museums Liverpool as a curator of decorative art. His curatorial interests are wide-ranging, but since at Cardiff he has sought above all to develop the National Museum's potential in the field of 20th century and contemporary craft.
As Head of Applied Art, Andrew is particularly enthusiastic about trying to create a craft collection of ambition and distinctive character; using contemporary work to enliven historic collections; and helping the Museum to engage as a dynamic member of the craft community within and beyond Wales
Professor Victoria Kelley
Professor Victoria Kelley is the Director of Research and Education at the University for the Creative Arts.
Professor Lesley Millar
Lesley Millar is Professor of Textile Culture, Director of the International Textile Research Centre at the University for the Creative Arts and an exhibition curator specialising in textiles. These have included 11 major international touring exhibitions. She writes regularly about textile practice in Britain and Japan including co-editing, with Alice Kettle, the book Erotic Cloth for Bloomsbury Publishing (2018). In 2008 she received the Japan Society Award for significant contribution to Anglo-Japanese relationships and in 2011 was appointed MBE for her contribution to Higher Education
Dr. Paul Harper
Paul lectures on critical and contextual studies at Middlesex University, School of Art and Design, and London Metropolitan University, The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design. His research interest is primarily concerned with the nature of craft practice. He combines his academic work with writing on art and craft. He originally trained and worked as a furniture maker, and has an abiding interest in making and makers, but has subsequently worked in a variety of roles in arts management. He was a founding director of Alias Arts CIC, which provided advice and support to artist-led organizations. He left this role in 2013 and continue to advise arts organisations as a freelance consultant. Paul is a member of CraftNet, an independent network that promotes leadership and strategic development for contemporary craft, and was a long-standing Trustee of the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail.
Tim Parry Williams
Tim Parry-Williams is a studio weaver and Senior Subject Lecturer at Bath Spa School of Art and Design, Bath Spa University. He works across designer-making and collaborative projects in the field of woven textiles, specialising in materials and development. His research is concerned with the tension ground between studio craft and industrial practice and he is an associate designer in the fashion fabrics industry in Japan, where he also has strong links in the craft, museums and education sectors.
Tim's work has been exhibited internationally, and he continues to work on numerous projects, exhibitions and conferences worldwide.
Sarah Griffin is an independent curator specialising in the applied arts, and a collector of contemporary ceramics.
Secretary to Trustees: Professor Simon Olding, Director of the Crafts Study Centre
Hon. Treasurer: Peter Walshaw