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Contemporary Crafts Hub

Meet the Team
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Jane Smith
Founding Director

artist working in ceramics and glass - educator - curator - facilitator

Jane is an award winning glass and ceramics artist who has a passion for the materials she uses. She began working with clay when she learnt to throw, aged 10, at the Midlands Arts Centre. She has been invited to exhibit at the Penwith Gallery, Galeri Caernarfon and Breeze, and has produced many public and private commissions. Her work draws on the human form and the land and seascapes of Cornwall. She has taught for over 30 years with social services, in schools, colleges and adult education and has established glass and ceramics facilities for a number of further and continuing education institutions as well as privately.

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Helen Eastham
Director

glass artist - occupational therapist

Helen is a successful artist working in glass and a qualified and experienced occupational therapist. Her glass work is an expression of her emotions and connections to people and places. As an occupational therapist she is acutely aware of the intrinsic value of participation in creative practices to aid good mental and physical health and wellbeing. She is keen to combine her artist practice and occupational therapy values to enable individuals and communities the opportunity to engage in the arts.

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Angela Hatherell
Founding Director

project manager - architectural designer - arts manager - researcher

Angela trained as an architect and has worked in practice, research and education. She has worked on built environment projects from feasibility and brief development to post occupancy evaluation, specialising in client relations, project management and advocacy. She also has extensive arts management experience, having worked in the film industry and run a number of events including the Oxford Human Rights Festival and Celebrating Syria: a festival of arts and culture.

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Megan Roberts
Design and Marketing Manager

designer - documentary film maker - social media specialist

Megan is a documentary film maker and designer, with a background in language teaching. She is a recent graduate from Falmouth Universities BA in Film, where her academic and practical research explored on screen representation and its impacts on individual identity and cultural perception. Her work creating participatory documentaries has informed her approach to community driven creative marketing. 

 

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Lois Jones
Director

ceramicist - teacher

Lois jones is an artist/educator working predominantly in clay; having studied Contemporary craft at Falmouth university and then at Cornwall college for a BSC in Social Science. She later completed her teacher training with QTS and has worked in formal education in Cornish schools for over 20 years. As well as selling her sculptures in local galleries. Her ethos draws from her early-years specialism and from attending research trips to Reggio Emilia, Tromso and Denmark, she endorses a facilitative teaching and learning style; with student, peers and teachers as co-creators.

She is passionate about driving forward a cultural shift for the younger generations so that the creative subjects are front and centre.

She believes everyone has the ability to be creative and places equal value on art as a viable career option; art for enjoyment and well-being and art for self-expression and activism and hopes to support and inspire everyone that attends to ‘have a go’, to develop an artistic practice as a discipline for transformative lifelong habits of creativity.

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Advisory Panel

expert representatives from culture, education and community

We have just appointed a panel of experts to guide and advise us on our exciting journey. More details will appear here soon.

 

The Create CIC Story

Create CIC is a collaboration between five professionals, Jane Smith, Angela Hatherell, Helen Eastham, Lois Jones and Megan Roberts. The team share a passion for community engagement and accessibility for all through the diverse disciplines of glass, ceramics and jewellery.

In the beginning

 

In 2020 Jane was approached by Falmouth University to bring life back into some large scale glass equipment following the closure of their Contemporary Crafts courses. Jane had set up the Pottery at The Poly in Falmouth, which also utilised equipment from the university, but The Poly didn't have the space to expand into glass, so Jane teamed up with Angela to set up Create CIC to make the equipment available for creatives across Cornwall. Jane and Angela are both are experienced educators, and this, combined with the diversity of their other skills; Jane's in creating stunning works in glass and ceramics, as well as curating and being an entrepreneur, and Angela's in architecture and project management, meant they make a great team. This was enhanced by the arrival of Helen, a glass artist and occupational therapist, to embed creativity for health and wellbeing into the organisation, and Lois, a ceramicist and teacher, expanding their work with children and young people.

Angela, Jane, Helen and Lois share the ethos that creativity should be accessible to anyone, and this principle is behind everything that Create CIC does. They believe that exposure to creativity at all levels can inspire and empower anyone.

 

In summer 2020 Create CIC was invited by Tonia Lu, Creativity Chair of the Camborne Town Deal, to bring the equipment, and the Create CIC ethos, to Camborne. This beautiful town with a rich industrial and social history has been neglected in recent years. The injection of funding from Central Government through the Town Deal aims to reverse the effects of this neglect and bring a vibrancy to the town, and a bright and positive future for its inhabitants.

A bright future

    

In June 2021 it was announced that Camborne had been awarded £23.7million to fund eight projects which will revitalise the town, one of which is the Camborne Contemporary Crafts Hub. The Donald Thomas Centre, an iconic, but underused, Greek Revival building in the town centre, was identified as a home for the hub and over the next year Create CIC will be transforming it into a state of the art community facility and centre of excellence.

In 2021 we undertook a feasibility study, funded by the Architectural Heritage Foundation, into the transformation. You can read the full report here. This transformation will be phased so the hub can remain operational throughout, with phase one, funded by CLLD, was completed in June 2023. Phase one saw the creation of a new creative co-working space, accessible toilets, and exhibition area, including the amazing Lifeblood community mosaic by local artist Alec Rice. Phase two is now underway, with the demolition of the old toilets in summer 2023 and the construction of a new pottery about to begin, and phase three will see the renovation of the rest of the building, with all the works scheduled to be complete by December 2024.

The Donald Thomas Centre
The Donald Thomas Centre is a Grade 2* listed building in the centre of Camborne.

The oldest part of it was built in 1839 as a Methodist chapel but after only a decade this was moved to larger premises and the building was expanded into a literary institute by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.

In the 1970s it was taken over by the Camborne Community Centre Trust and Prince Charles opened it as a day centre for older people.

 
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Future plans

We have been working with recent graduates from Falmouth University to develop design proposals for the transformation of the building into a state of the art contemporary crafts hub

Get in touch

We'd love to hear your memories of the building and to build a more detailed picture of its history.

We have produced a viability study funded by the Architectural Heritage Fund.

If you're interested, please download and read.

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Courses & Workshops

Learn a new skill, build on existing skills, take up a new hobby, develop your practice.

CONTACT

Visit us at the Donald Thomas Centre in Camborne, or get in touch by phone or email.

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