About The Creative Dimension


Enabling young people to develop fine hand skills with leading, international specialists.


The Creative Dimension Trust (TCDT) offers fully funded workshops and work experience placements to young people

who show potential in forging a career pathway where precise hand-eye co-ordination, and the ability to understand and construct 3-dimensional shapes are prerequisite.

TCDT offers a wide range of workshops from stone letter carving to sign writing on skateboards and architectural model making.

The Trust is determined to show our talented young attendees the vast range of potential employment opportunities related to the transferable skills students develops through our diverse programme.

Apply for workshops here.

Our work is entirely dependent on the generosity of others. Everything we do requires collaboration, partnership and goodwill.

If you would like to help us in any way, please contact us.


TCDT workshops cover a wide range of subjects and areas, taught by world-class tutors.

Since launch, there have been workshops in the following skills:

Architectural Gilding, Architectural Model Making, Cabinet Making, Chocolate Working, Commercial Cinematography, Costume Making, Drawing, Etching, Flame Working, Floral Design, Furniture Making, Gilding & Marquetry, Gilding & Verré Églomisé, Glass Casting, Hand Engraving, Hot Glass, Jewellery Making, Leather Working, Locksmithing, Marbling, Marionette Making, Metal Chasing, Mural Painting, Parquetry, Partner a Conservator, Pastiglia,  Printing on Glass, Product Design and Making,  Recrafting Glass, Regency Waistcoat Making, Shadow Puppet Making, Screen Printing on Glass, Sign Writing, Silversmithing, Stained Glass, Stone Letter Carving, Stone Working, Table Top Puppet Making, Upholstery, Wood Carving, Word Turning, Working with Wood, Plaster and Gold Leaf

The workshops are held at various locations throughout the UK – including London, Cambridge, Nottingham, Berkshire, Lincolnshire, and Sunderland.

The teaching venues include

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Buckingham Palace, Building Crafts College, Burghley House, Cambridge University, Camden Costumes, City and Guilds of London Arts School, Dulwich College, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Fortnam & Mason, The Goldsmiths’ Centre, Nottingham Trent University, The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, Ravn School of Arts & Crafts, Sunderland University, Windsor Castle, Zone Creations

See Upcoming Workshops here

See Previous Workshops here

See Online Tutorial here

Work Experience

Following a highly successful work experience pilot in 2018, we have expanded to offer placements in the following areas; architecture, historical costume making, painting conservation, furniture conservation, marbling, and puppet making. Transferable skills obtained during TCDT workshops can be developed further in the new work experience programme. This programme will continue to expand in future years.

New Chief Exec. of Arts Council England
Sir Christopher Frayling
“Craft is a core component of the UK’s thriving creative industries, providing economic value as well as being a vital and popular aspect of the nation’s cultural and social life.” 
 Sir Christopher Frayling, Patron

The Crafts Council has published reports on the crafts sector in the UK. It estimates that in 2018, crafts contributed £3.4bn to the UK economy, with 11,620 UK crafts businesses employing 149,510 people. There are over £5bn of exports from the UK crafts sector.

However, the Crafts Council reports that there is a pipeline problem in the supply of new talent given a disconnect in craft higher education. Additionally, about 40% of those working in craft are over 50 and 80% are male.

Participation in arts subjects is on the decline in both secondary and higher education. Data on national GCSE participation indicates a 25.6% decline in arts entries over the last five years (Ofqual, 2018), with the greatest reduction in Design and Technology (-42%) suggesting a move away from material and equipment intensive teaching, and thus a reduction in the focus on 3D learning. The decline in uptake of arts subjects in schools has been associated with the introduction of educational performance frameworks, perceptions of the value of arts education among pupils and parents, and a political emphasis on STEM.

Research by Norwich University of the Arts has also indicated negative attitudes towards art as ‘a subject worth doing’ as students enter secondary school, alongside a lack of basic drawing and painting skills and a decline in independent thinking (Last, 2017). More broadly, there has been an ontological separation of the head and the hand (Guery and Deleule, 2014) resulting in the devaluing of manual activity in the rise of the knowledge economy (Gibson and Carr, 2018).

Crafts promote precise hand-eye co-ordination, and the ability to understand and construct 3-dimensional shapes – core skills for any young person considering a career in architecture, design, surgery or the engineering and construction industries.

Roger Kneebone, professor of surgical education at Imperial College, says young people have so little experience of craft skills that they struggle with anything practical. He warns that medical students “might have high academic grades but cannot cut or sew.”
In November 2019, the Crafts Council project ‘Supporting Diversity and Expertise Development in the Contemporary Craft Economy’ reported barriers for people in minority groups to become professional makers which are social, cultural, and economic. It concludes that “For those who are not from a relatively privileged background or with the necessary networks and educational level, it is particularly difficult to make a career and be adequately recognised in the sector.”

While extra-curricular courses and networks support and nurture talent in activities such as music or sport, there is no equivalent for crafts.

It is against this backdrop that The Creative Dimension (TCDT) was conceived and launched by Penny Bendall, holder of a Royal Warrant of Appointment for ceramic conservation to HM The Queen.

Read The Creative Dimension Trust 2016 Review

Read The Creative Dimension Trust Saturday Workshops 2017 Review

Read The Creative Dimension Trust Summer Workshops 2017 Review

Read The Creative Dimension Trust 2018 Workshops Review

Read The Creative Dimension Trust 2019 Workshops Review

Read The Creative Dimension Trust 2020 Workshops Review

Penny Bendall

Penny Bendall is a ceramics conservator and holder of a Royal Warrant by appointment to The Queen. She also works with museums and auction houses including The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, the Sir John Soane’s Museum, Christie’s, and Sotheby’s.

Penny is a Fellow of the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

Patrons and Trustees


Sir Christopher Frayling

Dame Rosalind Savill

Philip Treacy OBE

Thomas Demand



Simon Costin

Andrew Edwards

Peter Eisenhardt, Treasurer

Tim Gregson

Ben Moorhead

Fiona Rushton


Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Allies & Morrison

A S Handover

The Ashley Family Foundation

Bonham’s Auction House

Buckingham Palace

Building Crafts College

Burghley House

Camden Costumes

The Carpenters’ Company

City & Guilds of London Art School

The Clore Duffield Foundation

The Clothworkers’ Company

Crafts Council

The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust


The Drapers’ Company

The Dulverton Trust

Dulwich College

The Eranda Rothschild Foundation

Fortnum & Mason

The Fitzwilliam Museum

Garfield Weston Foundation

Gold Leaf Supplies

The Goldsmiths’ Centre

The Goldsmiths’ Company

Grimshaw Architects

The Headley Trust

The Hedley Foundation

Hewitson Moorhead

James White Drinks

Julia Nagle Conservation Ltd

John Lyon’s Charity

Kin Flo

The Leathersellers’ Company

Les Enfants Terribles

The Mercers’ Company

National Glass Centre

Nottingham Trent University

Paul Thomas Flowers

The Peter Cundill Foundation

Philip Treacy Ltd

The Pilgrim Trust

The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation


The Radcliffe Trust

Ravn School of Arts and Crafts

The Royal Warrant Holders Charity Fund

Sarah Hocombe

Sian Kidd

St Pancras Old Church

The Tallow Chandlers’ Company

The Tanner Trust

Windsor Castle

The Worshipful Company of Grocers

Zone Creations Ltd

Charity Information

The Creative Dimension Trust is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (registration no. 1166443).


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