Online career insight events

Focus on Craft (on demand)

Focus on Craft

Craft generates £3.4 billion for the UK economy each year and there are nearly 150,000 people employed in the craft economy, which exists in all industries from aerospace, film, TV, marketing, architecture and more. There are also over 11,500 craft businesses which vary in size, from independent makers selling their own work to small-medium companies. 

But how do craftspeople discover their craft and go about pursuing it as a career? Delivered in collaboration with Cockpit, this online event featured three makers based in their studios, who shared insight into their career journeys, their disciplines and showed some of their work and processes. 

Lesson plan:  Introduce your students to Cockpit and careers in the craft sector via our lesson plan, with resources filmed in 2021 - find out  more. 

The live event took place in November 2023.


Tessa Eastman, an award-winning artist with over twenty years’ of experience working with clay and glaze

Jacky Oliver, a metal worker who creates for exhibitions, commissions and residencies

Dalia James, an artist and designer working in textiles as a handweaver

About the panellists

Dalia James is a central London based artist and designer. She graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Woven Textiles (BA Hons) in 2012. As a handweaver, the connection between her and the cloth she creates is essential. Dalia’s work focuses on colour and geometry and explores the relationship between the two. Her artistic philosophy has been shaped by the writing’s of William Morris and Josef Albers and her work often references early 20th Century design and artistic movements. Find out more about Dalia..

Jacky Oliver creates work for exhibitions, commissions and residencies. Each project is completely unique, drawing from a range of metalwork techniques and processes. The scale of her pieces ranges from small hand held objects to installations and large scale architectural pieces. Bringing together narratives from a range of sources, contemporary and historic. Working with others has enriched Jacky’s practice, and allowed her to share her working processes with people from all walks of life. Find out more about Jacky.

Tessa Eastman is an award-winning artist with over twenty years’ of experience working with clay and glaze. Her dynamic sculpture sits at the vanguard of the contemporary ceramic art scene, offering originality, skill and a daring approach to the art form. Eastman’s meticulously hand-built Cloud Bundles and complex Crystalline. Find out more about Tessa.  

Image credits: Dalia James, photographer: Nishant-Shukla; Jacky Oliver, photographer: Jim Wileman; Tessa Eastman, photographer: 

Additional resources

Lesson plan: Focus on Craft Designed for secondary school students in years 7-11, this 45 minute lesson plan introduces careers in the craft industry with various activities based around a tour of Cockpit, filmed in 2021. Find out more and download the various lesson plan resources.  

You may also be interested in the Focus on fashion and textiles lesson plan, created by Textile Skills Centre. Find out more. 

Explore our suite of film resources featuring individuals and workplaces within craft, fashion and textiles here.


Cockpit is a centre for excellence in craft, bridging the gap between talent and opportunity. They are an award-winning social enterprise, home to 160 independent creative businesses in London. Find out more about Cockpit at

You can also find out more about careers in craft and explore job profiles on the Crafts Council website.