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Meet the Team

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Florence Hoy
 

"It's fabulous being able to work in such a creatively stimulating environment."

As well as being Director of the gallery, Florence is a designer/maker (Florence Makes), following the completion of a BA (Hons) degree in Design Crafts from De Montfort University, Leicester. Florence has worked with a number of creative organisations over the years. She finds managing the gallery incredibly challenging yet rewarding and enjoys mentoring up and coming makers.

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Jane Laverty

"I love working with so many inspiring makers every day; it's a joy to display and promote their work for them."

Jane's big love at The Craft Centre is the print section and she finds real joy to be able to work with such a variety of wonderful printmakers. A BA(Hons) in Textile Design & Surface Pattern from the University of Leeds, coupled with an evening printmaking course at Leeds College of Art, ignited her passion in this section of the gallery.  Jane also manages the press and publicity for the gallery including social media and marketing.

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Samantha Pickard

"Working at the Craft Centre is such a breath of fresh air, it's a relaxing and inspiring environment."

Samantha has worked with a wide variety of galleries and arts organisations but the Craft Centre is where she truly feels at home. With a Fine Art degree and a long held passion for contemporary craft, Samantha's career has always straddled between the two disciplines. Working at the Craft Centre fuels Samantha's love of objects which bar the line between conceptual and materialistic. When not at the Craft Centre, Samantha is the co-ordinator of The Saltaire Maker's Fair.

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Gemma Fozzard

"Working in and amongst so many talented independent creatives is a constant and evolving inspiration impossible to ignore. I truly believe modern craft is for everyone."

 

Gemma was brought to Yorkshire from the North East via Leeds Art and Design College.  Her BA (Hons) Degree in Interdisciplinary Design further fuelled her passion for a wide variety of contemporary craft.  She also has had her own practice as a Designer/Maker for over 10 years working with recycled musical materials.  She now focuses more on silversmithing and sells her own silver jewellery. Having worked in retail art spaces for many years, becoming part of the Craft Centre and Design Gallery team compliments her own practice perfectly.

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Gemma Whitaker

“I love working in such a creative space that so beautifully showcases and supports makers whose work I love and admire.” 

 

Gemma is a designer/maker working in wheel thrown porcelain.  She has a BA (Hons) in Design Crafts from De Montfort University, Leicester, which encouraged her passion for ceramics and all contemporary craft.  Working at the Craft Centre surrounded by such an interesting and diverse range of makers and disciplines really inspires and compliments her own practice. 

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Becky Mann

‘I’m thrilled to be working in an environment that showcases artists' work with such pride and meticulous attention. It’s great collaborating with other creative people and being able to meet others within the industry across all mediums.’ 

 

Becky graduated from the University of Brighton in 2012 having completed a BA Hons in Fine Art Printmaking. Becky continues to practice printmaking in the form of lino, screen and risograph prints and alongside working at the gallery she works as a freelance illustrator. Becky is inspired by what’s around her and creates prints and greeting cards for independent businesses.

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Shania de Souza

“Working in an environment run by strong and encouraging women who are passionate about supporting independent makers is extremely inspiring and motivating.”

 

Shania is an artist with a BA (Hons) Fine Art degree from Leeds Arts University who is constantly stimulated by the world that surrounds her. Along with this, she is also a freelance technician who has helped install many exhibitions across Leeds. Working in a creative space such as the Craft and Design Centre fuels her own practice in many ways.

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Phoebe Walker

‘I’m so excited to be working in such an exciting and collaborative team of women dedicated to supporting and giving a platform to amazing makers from all different disciplines. I’m really looking forward to bringing workshops to people so they can find the creativity bug.’

 

Phoebe works in Leeds Art Gallery, and is thrilled to now be working in an environment that supports artists and crafters from across the country. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA (Hons) in English Literature. Phoebe is a maker of different sorts, as she works in film but loves all forms of art and sees them as ways of exploring the world around her.

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