Book Launch – Craft as a Creative Industry

Date & Time:

12th June, 16:00


P131, Parkside Building

You are invited to the launch of Craft as a Creative Industry by Karen Patel, published by Routledge in April 2024. In this launch Karen will be joined by Dr Saskia Warren from University of Manchester and Dr Rose Sinclair MBE from Goldsmiths, University of London, to discuss the key themes of the book, and future directions in craft and creative industries research.   


Book synopsis: 

Craft is resurgent. More people are buying craft; more money is being spent on craft products than ever before. This book centres craft as a creative industry, illuminating the experiences of those working in and around craft, particularly people from marginalised groups. 

Shining a light on inequalities around craft work, the author examines the lived experiences of women makers of colour in the professional craft sector. Experiences of racism and microaggressions at all stages of their craft career are analysed. The author draws on innovative empirical research carried out in the UK and Australia, two countries where the resurgence in craft is apparent, yet professional craft practice is dominated by the white and relatively privileged. In interrogating hierarchies of expertise and cultural value in craft, the author employs case studies from community crafts and social enterprises. 

The result is a book of interest to scholars at the intersections of the creative and cultural industries, the creative economy and inequalities at work. 


Speaker bios:

Dr Saskia Warren – Dr Saskia Warren is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Manchester. She recently held a Parliamentary Research Fellowship (POST), UK Parliament, working on equality, diversity and inclusion in the Heritage Collections (2021-23). From 2017-2021 she held an Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellowship, Geographies of Muslim Women and the UK Cultural and Creative Economy. From this research, she co-curated the contemporary art and textile exhibition Beyond Faith: Muslim Women Artists Today, The Whitworth, Manchester (2019-20). Her international research and consultancy has been published in 36 research outputs, including books, articles and reports. Her inter-disciplinary work is featured in leading international peer reviewed journals including Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Political Geography, Social and Cultural Geography, Cultural Geographies, Mobilities, and the European Journal of Cultural Studies. Her recent monograph British Muslim Women in the Cultural and Creative Industries, was published with Edinburgh University Press in May 2022. Her research and consultancy has been funded by UKRI (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; Economic and Social Research Council; Arts and Humanities Research Council) and Heritage Lottery Fund, Collections Trust, Arts Connect.

Rose Sinclair – Rose Sinclair MBE is a Lecturer (Textiles) in Design Education, Goldsmiths, University of London
Her PhD doctoral research is distinctive with its focus on Black British women their crafting practices, discussed through textiles networks such as Dorcas Clubs.
Rose’s works utilises public engagement and participatory immersive workshops, in spaces such as the V&A London, The Garden Museum and the British Library, House for an Art Lover, and Timespan in Helmsdale, Scotland. Her work on Dorcas Clubs has featured on national TV in ‘Craftivism: Making a Difference’ BBC4 Feb 2021, alongside interviews on BBC Woman’s Hour, and BBC Witness History.
She co-curated the first retrospective of Caribbean textile designer Althea McNish, in 2022 at the William Morris Gallery ‘Althea McNish: Colour is Mine’ and The Whitworth in Manchester. Rose ‘s latest research, is focused on the first monograph about Althea McNish. Her latest co-curated work with Craftspace, ‘Dorcas Stories from the Front Room, Textiles Narratives, Now and Then’ (23rd Sept – 29th Oct 2024) discussed the legacy of the Windrush generation through craft.
Rose has authored several textile books and chapters, her most recent works being ‘Tracing back to trace forwards, What it means/takes to be a Black Designer’ in (2021), Igoe (Ed) Textile Design Theory in the Making; Does Design do Race (Dec 2022) in Hardy (Ed) Debates in Design & Technology Education’. She is on the International Advisory board for Textile: Journal of Cloth and Culture and is Co-Editor of the Journal of Textile Research and Practice. Previously Chair of the Equity Advisory Council at the Crafts Council, Rose is now a Trustee at the Crafts Council, a Trustee of the Textile Society UK and an Heritage Crafts Ambassador Heritage Crafts UK, and an Associate member of the APPG Group for Craft, and a founding member of the UBAE (United Black Art Educators) which is part of the NSEAD. Rose was awarded an MBE in 2024 for Services to the Arts.