Odette Steele residency in Chengdu. Photograph by Jiali Luo.
In 2019, British Council launched Crafting Futures in China, aiming to foster international opportunities for UK and Chinese women artisans, explore sustainability and innovation across the craft sector and drive change among younger generations.
Partnering with cultural enterprise Fangsuo Commune, British Council invited emerging UK designers, Odette Steele and Abbie Adams to Chengdu in Sichuan Province and Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province for a 6-week residency. The programme offered a unique opportunity to engage with traditional embroidery and ceramics artisans, collaborate with local craft students and engage audiences through workshops, exhibitions, sharing events and digital content. Following the residencies, participants will continue to research, develop and design sustainable and innovative craft projects, working with UK and Chinese craft practitioners.