The Cornwall Crafts Association originated from an idea of the weaver Joan Lee. She contacted a small group of professional people including the late Wyndham Goodden, crafts advisor and former Professor of Textiles at the Royal College of Art; John Barnicoat, Principal of the (then) Falmouth School of Art; and the late Janet Leach who played an important role as a founder committee member. They met in Truro in July 1973 and formed a steering committee. The first General Meeting was held in October of that year. The response from craftspeople and lay supporters was tremendous, and the Association was established with an initial membership of just over a hundred people. From that day they have given their strong backing, and it is to this membership that the Association owes its existence and progress over the last 34 years.
The Association is a member-driven self-supporting charity and has, since its inception in 1973, gained a reputation nationally for the quality of craftwork of its past and present members. The galleries it manages are well established and attract a wide-ranging audience from around the country.
Exhibiting with the Association not only provides an outlet for selling work, but also allows the craftworker direct contact with customers who often commission work privately.
The President of the Association, HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Cornwall, says: "Visitors to the Association's galleries cannot fail to be impressed by member's skill and flair by which, through work exhibited, our lives are enriched."
Full Membership is open to makers who have achieved the high standards set by the CCA and who meet all the criteria.
•the prestige of being part of an association that has been promoting the best craft in Cornwall for over 30 years
•opportunity to sell work in CCA’s retail gallery outlets with 130,000 visitors a year •entitled to submit work to CCA’s programme of members and themed exhibitions •opportunity to participate in a member led association of craft people
•professional development through workshops, mentoring, and training programmes •promotion of work through CCA website
•professional opportunities in education programme
•inclusion in the CCA makers index
Criteria Membership is open to makers working in any craft. As a general rule, fine art paintings, reproduction work and scale models, and photography, however well crafted, are not accepted. CCA is committed to encourage and promote craft of the highest quality through its membership, exhibitions and education programme. Technical skill and understanding is a basic requirement for selection but applicants must also demonstrate a willingness to challenge themselves in the use of materials and techniques.
CCA is keen to attract members whose work shows imaginative spark and that engages with contemporary practice and aesthetics. Members are selected by a committee of elected CCA practitioners against the criteria and standards set by the CCA. The selection process takes place three times a year and is a two-stage process.