The Craft Edit


Amanda J Simmons / Photography by the artist

Amanda J Simmons / Photography by the artist

Welcome to The Craft Edit, where we bring you an insight into what's going on within the craft sector in Scotland. 

February is shaping up to be a great month for Scotland’s maker community. With the chance to engage with craft in a number of ways, we’ve rounded up some of the exciting news available. 


Uplands annual Spring Fling 2018 participants have been revealed! Uplands provides a first-class opportunity to see the diverse range of excellent makers here in Scotland.

This popular event draws attention to the thriving craft scene that spreads across Dumfries and Galloway. Presenting makers from a host of disciplines, it allows visitors to experience craft to its fullest, as well as de-mystifying the processes of making to encourage new people to participate in craft. 

Makers taking part include Amanda J Simmons, who manipulates the versatile nature of glass resulting in complex, bold works and will be presenting Scotland: Craft & Design at Collect 2018. Other makers include Lizzie Farey, who connects with her local landscape by collecting willow and employs its’ existing beauty to produce her contemporary sculptures.

Head along between Saturday 26 and Sunday 28 May 2018 to see the best of Scottish craft and meet the makers, whilst exploring one of the country’s most beautiful regions.

In other news at Upland, with 2018 being the Year of Young People, it is great to see their new Modern Makers opportunity for those aged 16-25. Offering the chance to grow the next generation of makers repertoire of skills and engage them with craft, with the help of the region’s professional makers.

Maker: Laura Spring / Photography: Caro Weiss

Laura Spring collaboration with Floor Story

Laura Spring’s captivating style caught the eye of FLOOR_STORY, a London-based high-quality rug dealer that collaborates with selected contemporary designers to produce unique rugs.

FLOOR_STORY’s collaborative capsule brings together some of the UK’s most exciting emerging and established designers with incredible sourcing and ethical production. Similarly to Laura Spring, FLOOR_STORY emphasises the value of ensuring high-quality, hand-made goods that are mindful of those making the finished product. Being a certified GoodWeave retailer, these rugs are made with the responsible consumer in mind.

It is great to see talented Scottish makers being recognised for their efforts. Laura’s stunning collection of rugs for Floor Story took inspiration from the designs she presented at Tramway in Glasgow in 2016, which were the result of the India Street Project curated by Katy West. Funded by Creative Scotland and the British Council, India Street worked with designers from Scotland to India to explore the National Gallery of Scotland’s Turkey Red archive, commonly known as the Bombay Sample Book.

The final motifs are informed and inspired by the research collected from Laura’s immersive experience during the designer’s trip to India, learning the art of blockprinting with India’s master craftspeople.

Laura’s work is a great example of contemporary use of pattern and screenprinting. The fascinating development of these rugs, which combine traditional techniques and colours with contemporary design, adds to their allure. 

Visual Art & Craft Makers Awards

Mariam Syed, a graduate of Glasgow School of Art, explores storytelling through her bold woven textiles. Living and working in Glasgow, Mariam’s Visual Art & Craft Makers Award (VACMA) grant was from this region in 2017.

After winning a VACMA award, Mariam put the funding towards the cost of a new loom. A hurdle for many makers is to sustain their practice, particularly with rising fees or limited access to equipment, so it was great to discover how the fund can relieve this pressure.

The deadline for Scotland’s Visual Art & Craft Makers Awards is the Wednesday7 February, this excellent opportunity to acquire funding for professional development is not to be missed. We were excited to hear about how past successful candidates used their awards, which can go towards the cost of research, development and creation of new work.

In addition to the funding support offered, VACMA also runs a mentoring scheme, one in visual art and another in craft. This scheme will open again in October 2018 and will run for one year starting December 2019. This valuable mentorship gives emerging makers the opportunity to gain valuable guidance from skilled professional makers. Past participants of this programme have used the valuable insights to understand how to make a profession from their talent.  

Artist: Birthe Jorgensen / Photography: Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop

It's all happening at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop began the year by presenting a range of courses for those looking to learn new skills or polish up the ones they have. With the selection of workshops on offer, the chance to learn more about woodwork, metalwork, stone carving and ceramic processes from skilled makers is in our grasp.

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop provides studios and workshop facilities for Edinburgh’s thriving community of artists and makers. Keep an eye on their exciting programme which, as well as educational experiences, includes exhibitions and events. You can find details of their workshops in our What’s on section. 

There’s a lot more going on in craft in Scotland during February, take a look at our What’s On pages to browse or submit an event.

Share your news

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

Materials Textiles

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