Artichoke and Furniture Makers partner on third New Makers Conference

Sustainability and gender dynamics are two of the key topics being discussed at the third New Makers’ Conference, organised by luxury design and joinery brand, Artichoke and The Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery company and charity for the furnishing industry.

The New Makers’ Conference – sponsored by Artichoke, Axminster Tools and Halstock – is taking place on Friday 10 May 2024, from 9:30am to 4:30pm at Wells Museum in Somerset.

The New Makers’ Conference offers a unique platform for emerging talent to network with peers, learn from industry experts and discuss key themes affecting the sector. With a lineup of esteemed industry figures and thought leaders, attendees can expect engaging discussions on various topics crucial for shaping a successful career in the furniture industry.

Key themes include:

Building a Sustainable and Viable Business and Brand: Learn essential strategies and best practices for establishing and sustaining a thriving business in the competitive furniture market.

Navigating Gender Issues and Achieving Balance: Explore the challenges and opportunities surrounding gender dynamics in the industry and discover ways to foster inclusivity and balance.

Embracing Sustainability: Gain insights into sustainable practices and innovative approaches to eco-friendly design, contributing to a greener and more conscientious future. The conference boasts an impressive lineup of speakers, including:

• Donna Bellingham, CEO of Shackletons

• Daisy Brunsdon, designer-maker, and TV tutor

• Simon Burvill, founder of Gaze Burvill

• Simon Elliott, managing director of Halstock

• Matt Estlea, designer-maker and YouTuber

• Ben Lihou, managing director of Artichoke

• Dids MacDonald, CEO of Anti Copying in Design

• Sarah Myerscough, gallery owner

• Edward Tadros, former chairman of Ercol

David Dewing, chairman of The Furniture Makers’ Company’s South West Region, said: “We are very excited to once again be partnering with Artichoke on the third New Makers’ Conference. Join us for a day filled with ideas, advice and encouragement for new makers, featuring insights from leading industry figures. This event is perfect for any emerging maker, young or old, looking to advance their career in furniture. It’s an opportunity to listen to experts, network with peers and connect with industry leaders. On behalf of The Furniture Makers’ Company, I would like to thank Artichoke, along with Axminster Tools and Halstock, for sponsoring this inspirational day. We look forward to seeing you there.”

Bruce Hodgson, founder of Artichoke, comments: “As heritage makers, we are committed to nurturing talent and preserving traditional handcrafting techniques for the future. Artistry and technical skill at our level can take decades in the making which is why it’s so important to encourage young people into the craft. Our initiatives in partnership with The Furniture Makers’ Company and particularly the New Makers’ Conference, help to encourage, train and sustain the dedicated masters of the future. Certainly, this years’ event will be another success and inspiring for all.”

Tickets are £15.00 which includes refreshments and lunch. Early registration is encouraged as space is limited. To secure your spot and learn more about the conference, visit

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