Patrons & Partners

Patrons of SIT


Mary La Trobe-Bateman OBE

Mary La Trobe- Bateman is a freelance applied arts curator, consultant and lecturer with a passionate commitment to the creative arts.
Following graduation from the Royal College of Art, she practised interior design and ran her own gallery. In 1994 she was appointed Director of Contemporary Applied Arts in London, one of the UK's leading galleries for the Applied Arts and crafts. Here Mary established a vibrant gallery and expanded the exhibition and education programmes. Mary has served on many committees and selection panels including Crafts Council and Collect at the V & A. In 2001 Mary received the OBE for services to contemporary craft.
She lives in Somerset with her husband, furniture and bridge designer, Richard La Trobe- Bateman.


Jilly Edwards

Jilly Edwards is one of the UK's leading tapestry weavers, studying at the West of England College of Art in the 60’s & then at Edinburgh College of Art during the 1980's. She is renowned for her use of colour and the painterly nature of her work - each piece is a meticulously crafted response to place and light. Edwards has work in collections, both private & corporate in the UK, USA, Europe & Japan. Having taught part time in colleges for twenty years, she has spent the last twenty years working on commissions & exhibitions and lecturing in various countries. 
Having exhibited nationally & internationally in both solo & selected exhibitions including Stroud International Textile Festival in 2007, she has recently exhibited at Ruthin Craft Centre with a retrospective. Reflections and Investigations traces her long standing interest in journeys, journeying and the process of weaving and features seminal works developed during four decades of practice, alongside new pieces made specifically for the gallery at Ruthin.


Lulu Guinness OBE

Lulu Guinness OBE famous for her unique and quintessentially British handbags and accessories, launched her company in 1989. Instant praise in the fashion media paved the way for Lulu Guinness shops in London, New York and Tokyo. Her unique creations are also sold in department and specialty stores worldwide, including Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason in the UK, Brown Thomas in Ireland and Lane Crawford in Hong Kong. Lulu's Collectable bags described as 'tomorrow's treasures', have become permanent fixtures in many museums. The Florist Basket is in the permanent fashion collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The Collectables have also been the subjects of two exhibitions in Sotheby’s London and New York. Meanwhile her bags are seen on the arms of an ever-expanding array of celebrity supporters, amongst them Dita von Teese, Helena Bonham Carter, Katy Perry, Florence Welch, Christina Aguilera, Rachel Weisz, Agyness Deyn, and Alexa Chung.


Linda Brassington

Linda Brassington has developed a long career in higher education, principally as Senior Lecturer in Printed Textiles at UCA Farnham, where she continues to contribute as a visiting tutor. Her work has been acknowledged with Fellowships to the Royal Society of Arts and the Higher Education Academy.

Linda lectures extensively and exhibits worldwide. Her research spans historical and contemporary practice, including international consultancy and publications for the Crafts Council and the Crafts Study Centre. She has been recognised with significant awards from the British Council, the Churchill Trust and the Textile Society.

Linda develops her textile practice from her studio in Hampshire. Her work can be viewed on Axis: the resource for contemporary art at http://www.axisweb.org/p/lindabrassington/


Professor Simon Olding

Simon Olding is a writer and curator. He was appointed Director of the Crafts Study Centre in 2002 and Professor of Modern Crafts at the  University for the Creative Arts in 2004. He has worked in the museum and arts field for 30 years with a strong interest in modern and contemporary crafts throughout. Previous senior posts include Director of the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Head of Arts and Museums for Bournemouth Council and Director of Policy and Research for the Heritage Lottery Fund. He is a past member of the Regional Council of both Southern Arts and Arts Council England, South West and Chair of the Ann Sutton Foundation (ASF Weave). He is presently a Trustee of The Leach Pottery and Unravelled Arts, and President of Walford Mill Craft Centre, Dorset. His publications are often focused on artists living and working in the South West (reflecting his own West Country roots) and include Peter Thursby and Martyn Brewster: Prints 1975-2007 (with Vivienne Light); Reg Lloyd: artist and The etchings of Bernard Leach. His next ambition is to write a history of the craft guilds of South West England.


Margaret Benton

Margaret Benton is a highly experienced arts manager with a career ranging from contemporary craft to national museums and broadcasting. Margaret created and managed for ten years the innovative craft education charity, The Making, based in Hampshire. She was previously the Director of the V&A’s Theatre Museum where she produced many exhibitions and initiated the National Video Archive of Performance, pioneering the regular video recording of major theatrical performances for future generations. She has also worked as Deputy Director of the National Media Museum in Bradford and, for ten years, as a BBC Television producer/director. A trustee of the New Ashgate Gallery, Margaret currently works as a freelance arts consultant advising artists and organisations on strategy and development.

Felicity Aylieff

Felicity Aylieff

Felicity Aylieff is acting head of Ceramics & Glass and an artist of international standing, recognised for her research into large-scale ceramics. Working from her studio in Bath for more than three decades, she has more recently developed a collaborative relationship with factories in Jingdezhen, China, where she makes monumental pots.
She has work in numerous international private and public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and she is represented by Adrian Sassoon, London.

SIT select partners include:

Art Couture Painswick

Shetland Arts 


Studio Seven Textile Artists

New Brewery Arts

Cheltenham Museum and Art Gallery

The Weave Shed

Textile Futures Research Centre

Falmouth University  autonomatic

Stroud College in Gloucestershire

Museum in the Park Stroud

Somerset Art Works

Devon Guild Crafts

Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen

Star Anise Arts Café

Lab Craft

Spear Southwest web design

If you are interested in partnership or sponsorship of SIT, we'd be very happy to hear from you. Call 01453 751 056 or email info@stroudsit.org for more information about the ways we could work together.

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