The Craft Edit

April 2021

Natalie J Wood / Photography by the artist

Natalie J Wood / Photography by the artist

Welcome to The Craft Edit, where we bring you snippets of news from Scotland's thriving craft sector.

Ceramicist Natalie J Wood launches online library of colour samples 

Bringing Colour to Clay is an online library of personal research from ceramicist Natalie J Wood. As an ever-expanding resource, the library currently contains 84 samples of body colouring Parian clay. 

Body colouring involves adding stain or oxides directly to the slip. The colours are then mixed into the clay and sieved through a fine mesh to create a consistent colour. The colour of the clay is determined by the amount of clay to colourant, the colour of the original base clay or slip used, the firing temperature, and the firing atmosphere.  

All of the recipes throughout the website are free to use and develop. Natalie recommends, as small changes can affect the colour, it is best to thoroughly test in your own kiln before selecting colours for production.  

Previously, Natalie was a kiln man and worked for one of the many Kirkcaldy potteries. As a child, she would run up and down the aisles of the tile store her mother worked at for over 20 years. In 2015, Natalie graduated with a degree in Three-Dimensional Design with a specialism in ceramics, before moving to Edinburgh to establish her own practice. 

Share your results online using the hashtag #BringingColourToClay. 


Craft objects on plinths against wallImage: (from left to right) Julie Gurr, Aude Arago, Corrie Williamson, Jodie Metcalfe, Kelsey Rose Dawson / Photography by Suzie Howell 
TOAST announces New Makers for 2021 

Scotland-based jewellery designer Jodie Metcalfe is amongst the five makers selected for TOAST’s New Makers 2021 programme.  

Launched in April 2019, the programme is designed to support and mentor craftspeople at the beginning of their creative journey. Makers from across the globe apply each year, with five chosen finalists receiving business and marketing advice from TOAST, as well as a platform to sell their unique pieces. Edinburgh-based ceramicist Viv Lee was previously selected for the 2020 programme.

Jodie Metcalfe is a Durness-based jewellery designer and maker with 10 years of experience within the jewellery industry and qualifications in 3D design. She creates intricate, sculptural pieces of jewellery from a range of recycled and reclaimed materials. From hoop and stud earrings to hand-forged coin pendants, she explores the endless textures and subtleties metals can hold. 

Alongside Jodie is willow weaver Julie Gurr, ceramicist Kelsey May Dawson, product designer Aude Arago and sculptural artist Corrie Williamson.  

Each New Maker was selected for their demonstration of great appreciation for material and texture in their designs and, while varied in their approaches and disciplines, all showed commonalities in tune with TOAST’s ethos. 

TOAST began in 1997 with loungewear and nightwear, designed in a farmhouse in Wales. With shops throughout the UK, plus concept stores across the US and Europe, they design and develop all collections in-house. Today, led by Suzie de Rohan Willner, TOAST creates and curates simple, functional, beautiful clothing, homeware, and editorial. 


Wasps Shop opens with 600 handcrafted items 

The new online Wasps Shop has launched with over 600 unique and handcrafted items from over 150 designers, makers, and artists. 

Wasps Shop was created to provide Wasps Studios tenants with a collective online marketplace while access to physical markets and exhibitions is not possible due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

There is also an option to spread the cost of objects over 10 months, interest-free, with Own Art

As Scotland’s studio specialists, Wasps Studios has been providing artists, makers, and designers with inspiring spaces and places to work from for over 40 years. They operate and manage 20 character-filled buildings across the country, providing a canvas for creativity for almost 1,000 creative practitioners and businesses. 

Shop the range at: shop.wasps.scot 


Image: Tessa Mackenzie / Photographer unknown 

Cove Park announce 2021 artist residencies 

Cove Park has awarded residencies in 2021 to makers and artists Cecilia StampJenny SteeleMaiko Tsutsumi, and Natalie J WoodTessa Mackenzie has been awarded the emerging designer residency.  

The awardees were selected with support from a panel of artists, designers, and former residents Charlotte Linton and James Thompson

Cove Park is an international artists residency centre located on an outstanding rural site on Scotland's west coast. Their residency programme supports artists at every career stage working in a wide range of specialisms.  

This year’s programme also welcomes those artists whose residencies for 2020 were postponed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis: Darren AppiagyeiPatrick Davison, and Attua Aparicio Torinos, alongside Ruth Kirkby, who is joining Cove Park through their partnership with The Lighthouse, Glasgow. 


Scotland's makers explore innovative business models 

Scotland's makers are increasingly exploring innovative funding models to strengthen their creative and business practice - allowing them to explore giving back to the community, sustainable methods, expanding their teaching practice, or fundraising for all-important equipment.  

Each month, we will bring you news of interesting live projects that are self-initiated by makers and craft organisations. If you are interested to learn more, get in touch with the organisers directly. 

Leith School of Art appeal for £100,000 to help recovery and community growth. Broadcaster Sally Magnusson and printmaker Angie Lewin are backing the recent launch of a £100,000 fundraising appeal for the school. 

The charity-run Leith School of Art is launching its Resilience Fund appeal, to rebuild its resources after the pandemic, to help expand its work in the community, with schools, and to further develop its unique contribution to art education.   

Founded in 1988 and based in the former Norwegian Seamen’s Church in North Junction Street, the school is well known for its foundation course in art and craft that has propelled many young people into high-quality degrees and on to successful careers. 

If successful the campaign will allow the art school to extend its outreach and community projects, enhance its curriculum and expand its scheme to give intensive support to talented university post-graduates – to develop a post-graduate centre.  

Find out more about the campaign: www.leithschoolofart.co.uk
In other fundraising news, Saturday 1 May 2021 marks the first anniversary of Throw for the NHS, where potters come together to raise money for NHS charities. The first event was such a success that it has now become a regular monthly event, with over 100 ceramicists throwing and selling their work. All profits are donated to NHS charities. 

Through the year, the campaign raised over £17,000 for NHS charities, helping NHS workers, volunteers, and patients by providing break rooms for staff, paying for electronic tablets to help staff and patients stay in touch with loved ones, supporting bereaved families, and the mental wellbeing of NHS staff. 

If you are a potter and would like to get involved, all you have to do is throw some work that you are happy to sell on the first day of the month to raise money for NHS charities. Follow and share photos of your work via Instagram, and tag the project using the hashtag #throwforthenhs. 

Learn more at printpottery.com/throw-for-the-nhs


Learn more about craft this month: 


Current Obsessions: Local Heroes and Scottish Goldsmiths Trust 


Get in touch

We’re always on the lookout for the latest in Scottish craft news. If you have any stories you would like to share, send your news to hello@craftscotland.org

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