Conferences & Maker Training

COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme 2021

Closing date: 18 Nov 2020

Photography by Ellie Morag

Applications are now open for COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme 2021

The COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme focuses on nurturing talent and equipping individual makers with the skills they need to create a successful, sustainable, resilient business and creative practice. 

About the programme

The programme takes a practical approach to nurturing a creative business through the early stages of development. Delivered through a combination of online workshops, an immersive five-day residential, one-to-one sessions, specialist advice, peer learning, work critiques and mentoring the programme draws on the experience and skills of established makers and creative industry experts who share their insights and advice.

Each participant will be matched with a mentor at the end of the programme. You will also be provided with resources to enhance your learning experience. Throughout the programme, participants will be supported by the Craft Scotland team who will steer you through the process and answer any questions you might have.  

See the previous COMPASS: Emerging Makers 2020 and COMPASS: Emerging Makers 2019 makers and programme.

Who can apply​

We are looking for professional, practicing craft makers who have been in business between one and four years and are producing design-led, contemporary one-off pieces or small batch production.  

You may be:  

  • A recent graduate (of any discipline) newly entering the craft sector

  • A self-taught maker or one who has come to the profession via informal education routes (community education, evening classes etc) 

  • A maker moving into a craft profession later in life, or as a second career. 

  • A maker who is now looking for ways to develop a new or relatively new craft business 


In addition to disciplines, makers must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Makers must be living and working in Scotland  

  • Applicants should be a professional practicing maker. This will be evidence-based on maker statement, CV and images provided 

  • Makers should be working in one or more of the accepted disciplines 

  • All work should be the design of the maker and made by the maker (or small-batch production under their direct supervision) 

  • All work must reflect excellence and the unique vision of its maker, be well-conceived and skilfully made 


Makers should demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of materials, excellence in making (process and skill), and an artistic vision. Makers are expected to be categorised within the following materials/disciplines: ceramics, wood, jewellery, glass, textiles, furniture, lighting, leather, basketry, bookbinding, millinery and mosaics. Visit our What is Craft page for craft disciplines we support.

While we encourage makers to consider applying for a profile on the Craft Scotland Maker Directory, please note this is not a criterion of application for this opportunity. 


Dedicated places for under-represented makers

We have dedicated places on COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme 2021 for makers with lived experience of being Black, Asian, Mixed Heritage and/or a Person of Colour, refugee, D/deaf, disabled and/or working class.

These dedicated COMPASS places have been created because we know that specific groups of makers are systematically under-supported in the craft sector. For these dedicated places we can offer a number of fully subsidised places.


>>> Download the Application Pack (Opens PDF)


How to apply

Applicants should apply through our online application form.

Before starting your application, please be aware that you will need to submit: 

  • A maker statement  

  • Your CV 

  • Images of five pieces of work– these should be representative of the type of work you are currently making 

  • An image of yourself. Preferably this would be a photograph of you at work, with your work, in your studio or delivering a workshop 

  • Answers to specific questions about your business 

  • Reasons why you are interested in this opportunity and how you think your business will benefit 


We recommend you prepare your answers on a separate document before beginning your application form, to make sure you have a back-up of your responses.


Successful applicants will be expected to pay a £400 participation fee. 

COMPASS is generously supported by the William Grant Foundation and Creative Scotland. Places on the programme are subsidised by Craft Scotland allowing you to access high-quality, affordable training in Scotland. The participation fee contributes to the cost of administering the programme; including staff costs, accommodation for the residential parts of the programme and speaker/mentor fees.

You may also, by prior agreement, pay the participation fee in three instalments.


Support with your application

If you are interested in this opportunity but feel there are some barriers to participation (caring responsibilities, financial, accessibility, travel, slow internet/devices etc.) please do get in touch. We would be happy to discuss this with you and see what support is available. Please email the Craft Scotland team on hello@craftscotland.org  

If you would like to speak to a member of the Craft Scotland team in advance of applying, then please do get in touch. 


Important Dates

Join Jo Scott, Head of Programmes at Craft Scotland for an Instagram live session Thursday 29 October 2020, 11am. This will be an opportunity to hear more about the programme and to put questions directly to Jo. Follow us on Instagram @craftscotland.

We will be holding COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme Surgeries, a 20-minute Zoom call with Jo Scott during the week commencing Monday 2 November 2020. Register your place, booking is essential as there are limited spots


Deadline for application is Wednesday 18 November 2020, 5pm.

Interviews will be conducted by Zoom in late November 2020, and applicants will be notified in early December. 

Participation fee due for payment on Friday 8 January 2021, 5pm (unless installments have been agreed). 


The programme is due to start in January 2021. 



COMPASS is Craft Scotland’s learning and development programme created specifically for makers. Each strand of the programme is designed to support makers at key stages of their business and creative practice. The COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme is aimed at professional practicing makers in the early stages of their craft, who have been in business between one and four years. We have worked closely with Chartered Occupational Psychologist, Elaine Furnivall, Founder and MD of Aviour, who has over 20 years in personal and organisational behaviour and executive coaching, to design the programme. 


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statement 

We appreciate that the potential longer-term impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are currently unknown and we do not know what the landscape will look like throughout 2021. Applicants should be aware that parts of the programme may be subject to change or postponement. 

Our second COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme, held in 2020, was interrupted by Coronavirus (COVID-19) however, we have re-designed elements of the programme to run effectively online and this has worked well, enabling us to connect more easily with makers from all over Scotland and providing new ways for makers to participate in our programmes. Following very positive feedback from this year’s cohort we plan to continue with this online model and will endeavour to ensure the vital residential element of the programme can go ahead as planned. We will keep makers up to date with any changes to the programme brought about by new restrictions or other external factors. With all decisions our priority is the safety and wellbeing of participants.  

Throughout the application and selection process, and the duration of the programme itself Craft Scotland will continue to monitor and follow the most up to date UK Government guidelines. Should any significant changes arise in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19), we will endeavour to keep makers informed in a timely manner. 


Online and across Scotland

Closing Date & Time:
18 Nov 2020 5:00pm
Key Contact:
Craft Scotland: COMPASS [javascript protected email address]
COMPASS Emerging Makers 2021 - Application Pack Apply now

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