COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme 2021

24 Jan 2021

Photography by Neil Hanna

Discover the COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme and the talented makers taking part in 2021.


All Across Scotland

The COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme 2021 focuses on nurturing talent and equipping individual makers with the skills they need to create a successful, sustainable, resilient business and creative practice. From jewellery designer/makers to textile and ceramic artists, discover the seven makers taking part in this year’s programme

COMPASS: Emerging Makers Programme 2021 has been designed to provide emerging makers with the building blocks to develop their craft business. The programme started in January 2021 with a series of nine online workshops running until April 2021. Delivered by knowledgeable workshop leaders who understand the day to day of being a maker, participants will be guided through the fundamentals of running a craft business, including finance, marketing, branding, and navigating the craft sector today. Explore this year's programme and meet the speakers taking part. 

The programme will also include a four-day immersive residential held at the renowned arts centre Hospitalfield in Arbroath. Participants will work through case studies, engage in peer-to-peer critiques, and explore their personal, professional and creative values. This element of the programme is an opportunity to address each participant’s unique needs and requirements.  

The programme takes a practical approach to nurturing a creative business through the early stages of development. Following the residential, participants will be paired with a mentor suited to their needs, these sessions may take place in person, by phone or via an online method (Skype, Zoom etc.). There will also be access to one-to-one advice through dedicated individual surgeries.  


COMPASS: Dedicated Places

We know that specific groups of makers are systematically under-supported in the craft sector and for 2021 Craft Scotland created dedicated places for makers on this programme with lived experience of being Black, Asian, Mixed Heritage and/or a Person of Colour, refugee, D/deaf, disabled and/or working class.



COMPASS is Scotland’s route to a flourishing craft sector.  

Craft Scotland’s dynamic learning and development programme, COMPASS, delivers tailored support for the craft sector. We want to support craft talent and equip individuals with the necessary skills to create a thriving creative and business practice. COMPASS approaches learning and development holistically exploring values and self-development topics alongside business subjects such as finance and marketing.  

Originally launched in 2018 to focus on makers, COMPASS has since expanded to also provide support for curators and craft professionals. It is a continuously evolving programme of support responding to the unique needs of the community, informed by industry experts and feedback from the sector.  

Current activity includes our year-long flagship Emerging Maker programme and pilot project Emerging Curatorial programme. 

Previous COMPASS activities have included free webinars, industry networking sessions, bursaries for established makers to develop their practice and for graduates effected by the pandemic, and residencies for Next Generation makers.  

The COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme 2021 was supported by the William Grant Foundation and Creative Scotland. 


I'm excited to take part in a community of makers as well as benefit from some expert guidance on how to pursue a professional craft practice.  

Emily Smit-Dicks, Woolgathering, COMPASS: Emerging Makers Programme Cohort 2021
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