COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme 2023

1 Jan - 31 Dec 2023

Helena Robson / Photography by Phil Wilkinson

Our flagship learning and development programme returned in 2023 to support makers to realise their ambitions.


All Across Scotland

Nurturing craft talent and equipping makers with the skills they needed to create a sustainable business and creative practice, Craft Scotland’s flagship learning and development programme was in its fifth year.

In 2023, our COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme brought together a cohort of makers at a crucial point in their craft careers to explore new audiences and business models, whilst building personal skills to achieve their ambitions.

From ceramicists to glass artists, furniture makers to jewellers, meet the seven makers who took part in the 2023 programme below.

The 2023 online workshops covered business fundamentals and pricing, marketing, branding and brand storytelling, and include Maker Journeys in Focus, in which established makers share their professional stories. Delivered by knowledgeable workshop leaders who understand the day-to-day of being a maker, participants were guided through the fundamentals of running a craft business.

The programme also included a five-day immersive residential held at the renowned arts centre Hospitalfield in Arbroath. Participants worked through case studies, engaged in peer-to-peer critiques, and explored their personal, professional and creative values. This element of the programme was an opportunity to address each participant’s unique needs and requirements.    

Following the residential, participants were then paired with a mentor for a series of six one-to-one online sessions. To deliver this aspect of the programme, Craft Scotland partnered with Cockpit, a London-based organisation supporting contemporary makers. These one-to-one mentoring sessions were run by Cockpit’s experienced and knowledgeable Business Incubation team. 




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, 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.  



COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme 2023 is supported by the William Grant Foundation and Creative Scotland. 

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