14 unmissable craft events during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016

In August, Edinburgh becomes a hive of cultural activity with comedy shows and theatre acts popping up on every street corner. Amongst the acapella groups and circus acts you can also discover some seriously interesting craft exhibitions and events, including the Craft Scotland Summer Show. Here's our round-up list of fourteen unmissable opportunities to see quality craft from local and international makers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and beyond... 

Beached at E.D.S. Gallery, 13a Great King Street, Edinburgh EH3 6QW (Fringe Venue 324)

Following an ‘outstanding’ five-star review from Edinburgh49.org last year, Liz Watts returns with Beached at the E.D.S. Gallery. This exhibition explores the sea’s edge through legend, environment and flotsam’s intrigues. Liz works in bronze, ceramic and papier-mâché. Once again, Liz has invited Dawn Gorman to be the exhibition's poet-in-residence and you will also be able to meet storyteller Francis Maxey. Inspired by the exhibition's themes, Francis will perform The Ship of Dreams, a tale of loss and redemption. Come ashore and meet with Liz, Dawn and Francis in the installation. 

Beached runs from Saturday 6 to Saturday 27 August 2016 and will be open from 11am to 6pm, Tuesday to Sunday.  

Celts at National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF (Fringe Venue 179)

The idea of a shared Celtic heritage across ancient Europe retains a powerful hold over the popular imagination. But many ideas about the people known as Celts are more recent reimaginings, reinvented over the centuries. This exhibition, organised with the British Museum, unravels the story of the groups who have used or been given the name Celts through the objects they made and used. Discover magnificent Iron Age treasures, learn how art styles changed in response to the expanding Roman world and spread of Christianity, and explore how 19th-century arts were inspired by ideas about Europe’s past.

Celts runs until Sunday 25 September 2016 and will be open daily from 10am to 5pm.  

Tickets available from their website

Clay 2016 at The Adam Pottery, 76 Henderson Row, Edinburgh EH3 5BJ (Fringe Venue 135)

What makes this ceramic exhibition special is that it is held within a collective working pottery. The Adam Pottery welcome visitors to their studios and they are more than happy to chat with you about their working methods and concepts. The gallery is just the tip of the iceberg – you will find so much more going on behind the scenes! Hand building, slip-casting, throwing, glazing and decorating are all part of the exciting methods used. You will find six different ceramicists at The Adam Pottery, so you may be surprised at what you find in there as each of their styles is unique.

Clay 2016 runs from Sunday 7 to Monday 29 August 2016 and will be open from 11am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday, and 12 Noon to 5pm on Sundays.

Contemporary Clay at Dundas Street Gallery, 6a Dundas Street, Edinburgh EH3 6HZ (Fringe Venue 256)

New work from Edinburgh ceramicists Lara Scobie and Craig Mitchell.

Contemporary Clay runs from Friday 19 to Monday 29 August 2016 and will be open 11am - 5pm, Monday to Sunday. 

 Craft Scotland Summer Show at 2nd Floor White Stuff, 89 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 3ES (Fringe Venue 205) 

Back by popular demand! Returning for its fourth year, the Craft Scotland Summer Show sets up shop in the centre of town. We will be on the second floor of White Stuff on George Street to showcase some of the best contemporary Scottish craft. Explore the work of selected makers and treat yourself from the affordable selection of handmade jewellery, textiles, homeware and more. Get even more involved in the handmade with our free, drop-in Meet Your Maker workshops with the Summer Show makers.

Summer Show runs from Friday 5 to Sunday 28 August 2016 and will be open 11am - 5pm, Monday to Wednesday and Friday to Saturday, 11pm - 7pm Thursday and 12 Noon - 5pm Sunday. 

Dazzle at Dovecot Studios, 10 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LT (Fringe Venue 118)

Returning for the 33rd time to the Fringe and for the fifth year to the beautiful Dovecot Studios, this jewellery, designer scarvesand photography exhibition presents 70 artists. 3,000 contemporary jewellery pieces, Ekta Kauls' delightful handmade scarves plus the intriguing black and white images of Edinburgh by Paul and Lynn Henni. Dazzle is internationally known and was a regular at the National Theatre, London back in 1981. Major jewellers from all over the world have shown in this exhibition.

Dazzle at Dovecot runs from Friday 5 to Monday 29 August 2016 and will be open daily 10am - 6pm. 

Damián Ortega at The Fruitmarket Gallery, 45 Market Street, Edinburgh EH1 1DF (Fringe Venue 359)

Damián Ortega is one of the most prominent artists of the new Mexican generation. In his work, objects are never allowed to rest, but are pulled apart, suspended, rearranged – calling attention to the dynamism of the world around us, and the hidden poetry in the everyday. His work takes many forms – sculpture, installation, film, photography – and is a celebration of the object in performance, art that makes and remakes itself as we look at it. Ortega uses a variety of mediums (plaster, brick and clay) to carve new landscapes creating a revelatory and immersive experience. 

Damián Ortega runs until Sunday 4 September 2016 and is open daily 10am - 7pm (opening times may vary in September). 

Jewellery of the World at Galerie Mirages, 46a Raeburn Place, Edinburgh EH4 1HL (Fringe Venue 149)

This is Galerie Mirages' 30th Festival Fringe Exhibition and the jewellery exhibition is an established festival highlight. They travel worldwide sourcing beautiful handmade jewellery, both modern and traditional, and we produce our own unique designer jewellery. Our autumn/winter collections for 2016 will be showcased at this exhibition. This will include turquoise, lapis lazuli, amber, coral, Tuareg jewellery, modern Polish designer jewellery, 2,000-year-old Roman glass and ancient trade beads.

Jewellery of the World runs Monday 1 to Wednesday 31 August 2016 and is open 9.30pm - 6pm, Monday to Friday and Saturdays, and 11am-5pm Sundays. 

Meet Your Maker: Scottish Potters Association at Pottery Users Group, South Bridge Resource Centre, 6 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LT (Fringe Venue 236)

Following on from last year’s success, the Scottish Potters Association (SPA) is hosting another 'Mad Hatters Potting Tea Party'. During the events professional SPA members will demonstrate and teach workshops based around the 'Alice in Wonderland' theme.

Meet Your Maker SPA runs from Saturday 6 August to Friday 12 August 2016 and is open daily between 11am - 12 Noon and 12.15pm to 1.15pm. 

Sculpting the Spirit at Galerie Mirages, 46a Raeburn Place, Edinburgh EH4 1HL (Fringe Venue 149)

This exciting selling exhibition is housed in Galerie Mirages, a 19th-century former bakehouse. Tucked away at the end of a small passage off Raeburn Place, this treasure trove is one of Edinburgh's hidden gems. For our 30th festival exhibition, we present Sculpting the Spirit, a stunning selling exhibition of metal, wood and clay sculptures, expressing man's eternal desire to capture the spiritual. Superb Thai bronze Buddhas, images in clay and bronze of Ganesh from India, outstanding bronze Dogon sculptures from Mali, and metal work from Bastar in Central India. 

Sculpting the Spirit runs from Monday 1 to Wednesday 31 August 2016 and is open 9.30am - 6pm, Monday to Friday and Saturday, 11am to 5pm Sundays.

Zimbabwe Sculptures at Assembly George Square Theatre, George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LH (Fringe Venue 8)

Zimbabwean artists make some of the best stone sculptures in the world. Vhukutiwa gallery continues to present a range of work from young artists and established names. Inspiration is drawn from natural and spiritual life.

Zimbabwe Sculptures runs from Wednesday 3 to Monday 29 August 2016 and is open daily from 10am - 6pm. 


Elsewhere in Edinburgh...

Local Heroes redefines contemporary Scottish design by bringing together Scotland’s leading designers in an exhibition developed specially for Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. The exhibition features exciting new commissions which explore the notion of the souvenir and the theme of travel. Installed at Edinburgh Airport during the largest cultural festival in the world — The Edinburgh Festival — Local Heroes will be accessible to a predicted 1.2 million passengers spanning 120 international destinations. 

Local Heroes runs from Wednesday 3 to Monday 29 August 2016 and is open daily 10am - 6pm. 

A-i-R 15/16 at Tent Gallery, Evolution House, 78 West Port, Edinburgh EH1 2LE

A-i-R 15/16 are excited to present their interdisciplinary exhibition showcasing their most recent works from fourteen contemporary emerging artists and designers based in Scotland who have been undergoing an artist-in-residence program since September 2015. This exhibition will showcase a diverse range of artistic approaches within this group of artists: bringing their passion of art and design that is expressed through their creative practices together for this one-off end of residence exhibition. Each artist has approached the development of their practice over the last year in many different ways. This can be seen through the wide array of visual research, styles of approach and mediums used to communicate their new ideas within their professional area of work in an experimental way. Each artist defines their practice visually through their own methodology of communication, through textiles, illustration, glass, jewellery, fashion, sculpture and furniture. Throughout this exhibition, the participating artists will also be partaking in a gallery residency, where they will develop and create new works within the exhibition space that will be unveiled every Thursday during August. 

The exhibitions will be on display at Tent Gallery from Thursday 4 August to Friday 12 August 2016, and St Margarets House from Sunday 7 August to Saturday 27 August 2016. 

Masters Degree Show at Edinburgh College of Art Main Building, 74 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9DF

The Edinburgh College of Arts main campus comes alive this August with artwork and installations from our masters students as part of the Masters Degree Show. Students from across the School of Art, the School of Design, ESALA (Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture) and Reid School of Music will participate in this 15-day free exhibition.

Masters Degree Show runs from Saturday 13 to Saturday 27 August and is open daily between 11am - 5pm. 


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