I'm disabled, I work six days a week running my own craft business, and I employ 11 people. I also have a successful media career. I'm only able to do all of this because I get support under the government's Access to Work scheme - but I'm totally stressed out at the moment because it's under review and I've been told that it might be taken away.
At the Crafts Council we believe that it's absolutely vital that we not only have a strong relationship with the craft organisations of other nations but that we also make sure we're exporting the products, skills and ideas of the best of the UK's makers to new places, opening up new opportunities and showing the world quite how good we are at making things.
After a super successful inaugural year in 2012, MADE LONDON - The Design and Craft Fair, returns to One Marylebone, London, to once again present the very best in contemporary craft and design until this Sunday the 27th.
One idea that I believe to be crucial is the sense of craft as a dynamic, contemporary area of practice. I believe that it can still too often be perceived as something that remains rooted in the 19th century, whereas making is constantly in flux, moving with the times while retaining skill and acute knowledge of materials at its heart.
On the surface, a high-end art fair held in Dubai and a digital conference in Bristol might not seem to have very much in common. But both act as important indicators of the Craft Council's direction, suggesting where contemporary making could go in the future, as well as where objects created in the UK might be sold.