The first ever MA Contemporary Crafts Degree Course has been completed at Hereford College of Arts (HCA), with fantastic results for the graduating students, and a glowing report from the partner institution that validates the course – University of Wales Trinity St David (UWTSD).
As one of the only colleges in the country dedicated to the Arts, HCA has long been a destination for BA (Hons) degree students; seven of the 2015 cohort studied their undergraduate degrees at the College. Wilna Venter and Maureen Davis studied BA (Hons) Textile Design and William Rolls, Will Hughes and Holland Otik are all BA (Hons) Contemporary Design Crafts alumni. James Osborne and Alex Barrett are graduates of BA (Hons) Artist Blacksmithing. They were joined by Rebecca Davis, a ‘Mid-Career Maker’ who returned to education to study her MA.
All of the students have passed their Masters course with flying colours, with Dr Paul Jeff, Partnership Team Leader from UWTSD remarking that “The student experience is of the highest order, and I can report that the work of each of the students was distinctive and of a high academic standard as well as producing excellence in practice.”
Despite the huge variety in the students’ artistic practices, Dr Jeff noted that “Each student was also allowed to follow their own subjective path and discipline; a fine balancing act that reflects very well on both staff and students.”
Each of the students had their own studio space, allowing them to take ownership of their course and the work they were producing. With open access workshops being one of the major selling points at HCA, the MA students were able to explore and develop their work freely. “I can honestly say that I have never seen a cohort of students so happy with their course and how it has worked out for them,” said Dr Jeff. “All of the students fully appreciate the excellent education they have received and the opportunities the programme has opened up for them.” One such opportunity has landed with Alex Barrett; as well as receiving funding for a PhD, retail giant John Lewis has expressed an interest in the lamps he produced as part of his MA work.
“We are incredibly proud of the MA Contemporary Crafts class of 2015,” said Del Done, Course Leader. “Their hard work and dedication has resulted in great success, and we are delighted with the feedback from UWTSD, which has recognised fantastic student achievements as well as the standard of teaching and facilities here at the College.”
“The management and delivery of the course has been absolutely excellent throughout the first cohort experience,” said Dr Jeff. “The programme is a niche but first class educational product that I expect to benefit many students of craft design in the future.”
For more information about the MA Contemporary Crafts at Hereford College of Arts, visit hca.ac.uk.