An update from Craft Scotland about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 Photography by Susan Castillo

Photography by Susan Castillo

As the country moves into Phase 2 of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) plan, the Craft Scotland team and Board would like to give you an update on our activities. 

The entire craft community - from makers, craft organisations, curators to audiences - have shown such creativity and resilience in the face of this international crisis. We are committed to making Scotland a place where craft is valued as culturally significant, essential to our economy and meaningful to our communities. 

Along with almost every other organisation, work at Craft Scotland has changed over the last three months. We started this year looking forward to our biannual Conference and planning for our annual Summer Show, sadly both events had to be cancelled as we responded to the emerging challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.  

(Makers above: Viv Lee, Vicky Higginson, alm Ceramics)

March to June 

During the initial period of lockdown, our team and Board spoke to many of you on the phone and by email. Additionally, thank you to everyone who responded to our Coronavirus (COVID-19) surveys and contacted us through social media.  

Your honest feedback about the positives and challenges of this period were and continue to be fed back directly to funders, key decision makers and Scotland/UK government representatives.  

At the outset of the pandemic, and subsequent lockdown, our Director, Irene Kernan, and the team undertook this responsive activity on behalf of the craft sector, it is by no means exhaustive.


  • Our Director joined weekly calls and briefings with Creative Scotland, the Scottish Government and other sector organisations, feeding in makers’ perspectives and highlighting the Scottish craft sector's needs.

  • Lobbied the Scottish government on behalf of makers in Scotland using data and insights gathered from our surveys, particularly around the gaps in financial support.

  • Wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture to highlight the precarious nature of the craft infrastructure and highlight the value of craft to Scotland’s social and economic wellbeing.

  • Holding monthly Board meetings to ensure a responsive approach to the changing landscape.

  • Regularly updated A Maker’s Guide to Coronavirus (first published on Friday 13 March 2020) providing an overview of helpful links, resources and support for makers and craft organisations during the initial lockdown.

  • In response to the complicated financial support/funding landscape available, we hosted a webinar on financial support, offered 1:1 maker sessions with Hollis Accounting Ltd, and created a comprehensive Financial Support Toolkit showing all types of funding and eligibility.

  • Sent several flash opportunity newsletters highlighting newly launched financial support/funding availaible.

  • Issued two Coronavirus Impact Surveys to makers and curators/organisations. Results to be published soon.

  • Hosted regular Craft Development Network meetings to keep curators, producers and craft organisations connected.

  • Pivoted our COMPASS: Brand Storytelling Sessions to be delivered online ensuring all ticket holders and the current COMPASS: Emerging Maker cohort can still attend.

  • Held an Open Forum in May with weaver Cally Booker, bringing together makers, craft organisations and curators in an online space to connect and share experiences.

  • Started information-gathering into mental health and resilience within the creative community.

  • Created a three-part Craft Journal series Making in Lockdown featuring nine makers sharing their lockdown stories during this pandemic.

  • Continued to promote and highlight makers across social media.


We will continue to champion the craft sector in Scotland and advocate on your behalf. We welcome any feedback you may have, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support of Craft Scotland.    

Please continue to email Irene and the team if there are specific challenges you are facing or types of support that would help you during this time: hello@craftscotland.org

Next steps 

The Craft Scotland team are now starting to think longer-term, as we move out of the ‘immediate need’ stage, and are evaluating how we can continue to support our communities in this changing landscape.  

Our new learnings and your feedback will be incorporated into our new programme for 2020/21 and looking to the future additionally into our new business plan for 2021-24. We will share our updated programme for this year in July.  

We will continue to keep you updated through our website, newsletters and social media. Keep up to date with all craft-related maker opportunities and funding support from across Scotland, the UK and internationally on the Maker Community section.

You can discover both online and offline craft events and exhibitions on our What’s On section. Sign-up to our email newsletters for engaging stories and news, as we move back to our monthly schedule.   

Craft Scotland team and office 
Whilst three team members were furloughed, we are delighted that the full team will be back up and running in July. The team continue to work from home, and we thank you for your continued patience as we adjust to a different way of working.  

You can find out more about the team and contact information on our website. 

Stories from the sector 
We still want to hear from you! Veronique, Amy Lou and Mayanne, in the Communications & Digital team, continue to share inspiring and exciting stories from the sector. If you have some news you would be interested in sharing, please get in touch hello@craftscotland.org

We have been adding videos to Craft.TV -  a collection of insightful films from Scottish-based makers and organisations all about making and processes. If you have a video you would like to add, please email the team.

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Veronique  AA Lapeyre
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Veronique AA Lapeyre