Three women with a shared passion for using creativity and art to get people together in a productive, meaningful way are the driving force behind Camborne Contemporary Crafts Hub – one of Camborne Town Deal’s eight projects to regenerate the town.

Architectural designer Angela Hatherell, ceramics artist Jane Smith and glass artist and occupational therapist Helen Eastham have launched Create CIC, a community interest company that has been running courses in the Donald Thomas Centre since February.

With large scale glass equipment donated by Falmouth University and additional equipment purchased with Camborne Town Deal Accelerator Funding, the enterprising trio are already transforming the Grade2 listed and underused former Literary Institute and Community Centre into a state-of-the-art hub for professional artists and those wanting to learn.

Plans include a glass studio containing a kiln room and cold working room, a mezzanine for jeweller’s workspaces, a new ceramics studio, and a gallery and shop. There will also be a specialist community crafts library, where anyone can sit and read with a hot drink.

There are currently three beginners’ courses running over six weeks and a series of one-off classes to make porcelain and fused glass Christmas decorations, wire wrapped jewellery, silver ring making and silver clay jewellery making. With one free place on every course available to a Camborne resident, booking rates have been excellent and an intermediate programme is being scheduled from January.

“Our ethos is all about providing something for everyone because we passionately believe in creativity’s ability to inspire and empower anyone,” said Angela Hatherell, who has extensive arts management experience. “We want to make the equipment and facility we have here available to professionals and learners alike because there is nothing like it anywhere else in Cornwall.

“Camborne has a rich industrial and social history but has sadly been neglected in recent years. The Government’s Town Deal initiative is a real opportunity for the town to get the capital infrastructure it needs to progress and prosper and Jane, Helen and I are delighted to be leading on one of its transformative projects. Something we think can establish Camborne as an arts and crafts hub that draws residents and the Cornish community in. It’s our dream and one that is already making big strides forward.”

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