Craft Uprising conference postponement notice

Due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, we are sorry to announce that we have made the difficult decision to postpone the HCA Conference ‘Craft Uprising’, due to take place on Saturday 4 April in Oxford. The new provisional date for the conference is Sunday 11 October 2020 at the same venue of Oxford Town Hall.

This was not an easy decision to make, but in light of recent developments and the need to avoid unnecessarily risking the health and wellbeing of delegates, we believe it to be the most sensible course of action.

We will be contacting all delegates this week. We hope that delegates will want to join us in October and will agree that their booking should carry over to the new date of Sunday 11 October 2020. We will work hard to ensure the same speakers are in attendance on this date, but this cannot be guaranteed at this stage. For those who can’t make this date, or prefer not to carry their booking over, we will arrange for a refund of their conference ticket. We hope that delegates will understand that we are unable to contribute to other costs delegates might have incurred.

We will also be contacting HCA members about provisions for our Annual General Meeting which was due to take place at the conference.

We very much regret having to postpone the conference at this stage, and for the undoubted inconvenience this will cause to our delegates, speakers, and exhibition contributors, but we hope delegates and members will support us in this decision and we hope very much to see you in the autumn.

If you have any further queries please email


Craft Uprising!
The Heritage Crafts Association Conference 2020


When: Sunday 11 October 2020, 10am registration to 4.30pm
Where: Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1BX

Patrick Grant

At a time when populism has pushed mainstream politics to the extremes and climate change has reached a critical tipping point, craft is occupying an increasingly crucial role – to engage with those we disagree with or to take refuge within our communities of interest, to reflect the counter-cultures happening around us or to become that vital act of rebellion.

The theme of the 2020 Heritage Crafts Association Conference is Craft Uprising. The keynote speakers will be Patrick Grant (Great British Sewing Bee) talking about disrupting the fast-fashion industry with his social enterprise Community Clothing and Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective talking about the role of craft in change-making.

As well as the main programme of speakers you will also have the opportunity to print your own rebellious messages with Nick Hand‘s letterpress bicycle, bring your craft items for a pop-up gallery on the theme of ‘Powerful Objects’, and network with other makers from around the UK.



Please note: We will work hard to ensure the same speakers are in attendance for the postponed (due to coronavirus) date of 11 October, but this cannot be guaranteed at this stage.

  • Sarah CorbettPatrick Grant, Community Clothing and BBC1 The Great British Sewing Bee – Living Localism: how bringing fashion and clothing back to the local community level is key to a sustainable and happy future
  • Sarah Corbett, The Craftivist CollectiveHow to be a craftivist in the art of gentle protest
  • Q&A session – featuring Patrick Grant, Sarah Corbett, Carry Somers (Fashion Revolution) and Dr Rachel Dickinson (Ruskin’s Guild of St George)
  • Exclusive screening of three short films featuring endangered crafts practitioners
  • Celebration of Excellence – National Honours and Heritage Crafts Awards
  • Heritage Crafts Association Annual General Meeting
  • Supporting Endangered Crafts

Tickets cost £28 for HCA members and £38 for non-members, with discounts if you become a member at the time of purchase, bring a friend or are a student. In addition, 20 bursary places have been made available to those who would otherwise struggle to attend – for availability please email


Pop-up exhibition – Powerful Objects

In a gentle way you can shake the worldWe will be holding a pop-up exhibition of members and attendees work entitled ‘Powerful Objects’. This theme can be interpreted in many ways, from craft objects that have an overtly powerful message to those whose meaning resonates on a much more personal level (not forgetting that the personal is invariably political in its own way). They can be powerful purely as a result of the journey you have been on to learn the skills and put them into practice. Meanings can be made explicit or remain the maker’s own, open to interpretation.

If you wish to submit an object that you have made, please email with a title and 200 word description, and, if selected, we’ll get back to you with the practicalities of how the exhibition will be run.



We have a sign language interpreter at this year’s conference. There is also step-free access from street level (click here for more details). If you have any other access needs please let us know.