Awards and bursaries

The New Craftsmen Award at Cockpit

Current awardee: Kamilah Ahmed


The New Craftsmen

Awards Information Evening Recording

Learn more about The New Craftsmen Award at Cockpit and how to apply in this recording of an online Zoom session.

Hear information about Cockpit and what we offer makers and the tailored business support we offer. Hear what our studios are like and hear from Makers about their own Cockpit experience.

01:22 – Who are Cockpit?
03:37 – TNC Award Overview
05:05 – Ambassadors, steering group and interview panel
07:18 – Speaker: Kamilah Ahmed
13:22 – Speaker: Yelena Ford
21:37 – Additional Award Info
23:43 – Who can apply?
25:07 – How do I apply?
30:09 – Studios and Buildings overview
34:00 – Business Support – what will I get?
37:00 – Business Support – what won’t I get?
38:42 – Business Support – what will I gain?
43:05 onwards – Q&A

About the New Craftsmen Award at Cockpit

The New Craftsmen and Cockpit 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. This award is now entering its second year and aims to open up opportunity and build greater diversity in the craft sector.

Launched in 2021, the award will fund three craft makers over five years who demonstrate excellence in their work across furniture, lighting, artworks or other objects for interiors. The selected makers are provided with a studio space at Cockpit, 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 countrys most inspiring creative practitioners and build a relationship with one of its leading brands.

The award provides a fully funded space in a shared studio for one year with further support in years two (£3,000) and three (£2000). The total sum is linked to the cost of studio space and the support services each Awardee receives. Please note that most studios are shared and the space that is allocated is at Cockpit’s discretion. Studio sizes vary but an average studio space per maker is around 100-150sq ft. 

Contributions of £2,000 and £3,000 over 12 months are required from the successful Maker in years 2 and 3. Electricity costs, insurance and office service charges will be payable on top and cannot be paid from the Award.

Benefits included in the New Craftsmen Award at Cockpit

  • Fully funded studio for the first year with further support in years two (£3,000) and three (£2,000) 
  • Business incubation / acceleration services including on-site one to one coaching and workshops. Participation in the bespoke Cockpit professional development programme, Make it Count 
  • Additional mentoring and insight sessions with The New Craftsmen; involving experts from their team in interior design, bespoke commissioning, product development and marketing 
  • Access to other workshops, talks and events at Cockpit 
  • One-to-one support from one of Cockpit’s business coaches
  • Access to other specialist advisors and industry experts 
  • Selling and promotional opportunities including Cockpit twice-yearly Open Studios 
  • Brand association and listing in Cockpits online directory of makers 

Eligibility criteria for the New Craftsmen Award at Cockpit

  • 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 interiors
  • Demonstrate ambition, innovation and excellence within your craft practice and control all aspects of your production process
  • Make the most of the insight and support from The New Craftsmen team to develop their practice in a commercial product for the interiors market
  • Are willing to act as an ambassador for the Award and be an ally in our quest to bring greater diversity to craft
  • Engage with the community that is building around the award including steering group and ambassadors
  • Be willing and able to make a commitment to take up the Award for its three year duration from summer 2022 
  • Commit to attending Cockpit’s Awardee Induction Day and set of ‘Make It Count’ workshops starting September 
  • Arrange and pay for their own public liability [minimum £5m] and contents insurance prior to the start date 
  • Must be currently living in the UK and entitled to remain in the UK for the period of the Award. (Cockpit is not able to sponsor or support visa applications in any way.) 

How to apply for the New Craftsmen Award at Cockpit

To apply please complete the application form here

Interview panel

The selection panel includes 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.

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, jeweller Disa Allsopp and Ameena M. McConnell, independent curator and changemaker. 

– Disa Allsopp, Director of Disa Allsopp Ltd
– Ameena M. McConnell, Independent Curator & Changemaker
– Peter Ting, Co-founder, Gallery Director
– Simon Hamilton, Founder of Design Career Consulting

Meet our Ambassadors

To support the award we have partnered with a network of individuals and institutions established within the craft landscape who are recognised within their own sphere or community. 

This helps us to promote the Award across a broad spectrum of communities and networks to ensure the message reaches the talent we aim to support. By doing this we also hope to 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 Living etc and Homes & Gardens 
Peter Ting, Co-founder, Gallery Director 
Ameena M. McConnell, Independent Curator & Changemaker 
Disa Allsopp, Jewellery maker and Director of Disa Allsopp Ltd 
Isatu Hyde, Potter 
Ekta Kaul, Textile Artist 
Simon Hamilton, Founder of Design Career Consulting 
Shiro Muchiri, Creative Director of So.Shiro Gallery 
Freya Bramble-Carter, Artist, ceramicist and teacher

Awards and bursaries at Cockpit

All awards and bursaries at Cockpit include studio space, business support and membership of a vibrant craft community, giving successful makers the space and time to develop their profile, grow their business or practice, and increase profitability. In applications, we are looking for individuals who demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit, creative excellence and highly developed craft skills.

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.

Case Studies