Women in Craft


At LINLEY we are keen to support women in the design and craft industry. Our annual LINLEY Summer School has enrolled several female makers from Nottingham, Oxford and Kingston, providing them with an intensive week-long course on modern craftsmanship.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we tell the story of one of LINLEY Summer School 2017 students, Hattie Speed.

Hattie has a strong interest in craft, is drawn to practical activities and materials and is inspired by her great aunt, who was a keen potter and craftswoman. She was a prominent role model for her growing up and influenced Hattie to pursue the world of craft and design.

“The LINLEY Summer School gave me confidence in my abilities and showed me what quality looks like”

During her time at the LINLEY Summer School, Hattie delved into a number of topics around the field of contemporary furniture designing and making; from forestry, through to the fine details of craftsmanship and marquetry.
Surrounded by fellow design students and influential furniture makers, Hattie’s work challenged how traditional craft can be effectively applied to modern markets, something she hopes to transfer to her own business one day.

Hattie hopes to gain further experience in workshops while also developing her blog THIS GIRL MAKES, which focuses on female makers across the industry, using it as a means to engage in all areas of the furniture lifecycle: reporting, educating, designing, manufacturing.

“There definitely are not enough women entering into this rewarding industry, which is a real shame, but hopefully with the development of THIS GIRL MAKES and its related projects, this will soon not be the case.”

Big things are ahead for Hattie, who is currently working on a book on female furniture designer-makers. For any female makers who would like to be involved, please contact Hattie via her blog THIS GIRL MAKES.