The Craft Edit

June 2024

Joseph Whales / Photography by Morven Macrae

Joseph Whales / Photography by Morven Macrae

This month the Scottish Sculpture Workshop celebrates its 45th anniversary, schools get creative with jewellery design competition winners announced, and a special textile collection is launched.

Read on with June's edition of The Craft Edit.


Image: Scottish Sculpture Workshop / Photography by Felicity Crawshaw 


Building on 45 Years of the Scottish Sculpture Workshop 

The Scottish Sculpture Workshop (SSW) in Lumsden, Aberdeenshire, celebrates its 45th anniversary year by ushering in significant changes including expanding its leadership team and developing existing facilities. 

Earlier this year Director Sam Trotman was joined by Sara Gallie to help lead SSW, focusing on community, makers, and the creative process. A future Technical Director will also join the SSW leadership team. 

SSW has secured funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and the Rural Communities Challenge Fund to enhance its facilities. Key developments include transforming the bothy store into accessible accommodation, renovating the shared kitchen, landscaping the courtyard to improve accessibility, and extending the biomass boiler to reduce carbon emissions.  

SSW’s 2024 program aims to expand the scope of sculpture by emphasising process and community engagement. The year includes subsidized group, partnership, and various artist residencies. The Community Making Space program offers talks, Sunday Making Sessions, Kids Holiday Clubs, and a new monthly ceramic social. New courses in ceramics will be offered and continuing the Building the Clay Commons initiative, SSW will host online reading and peer learning groups. 


Image: Entry sketches from school pupils / Courtesy of City of Glasgow College


Young Talent Sparkles: Winners of Schools Jewellery Design Competition Revealed

City of Glasgow College has unveiled the winners of its Fifth National Secondary Schools Jewellery Design Competition. Themed around 'Climate Change: Endangered Species' the competition attracted over 700 entries from pupils across Scotland.  

The competition was judged by a panel of experts including Sandra Gunn (Chair of Craft Scotland), jeweller Maeve Gillies, and Peter Crump (Chairman of the Goldsmiths' Craft and Design Council). 

  • 1st Place: Scott Bannister (Eastwood High School)
  • 2nd Place: Josca Sear Watkins (Bertha Park High School) and Connie Fanning (Hillpark Secondary School)
  • 3rd Place: Alizah Nadeem (Bellahouston High School) 
  • Highly Commended: Morven Morrison (Ullapool High School)  
  • Commended: Ella Morton (Hillpark Secondary School), Austin Tennent (Duncanrig Secondary) and Hamish Nelson (Shawlands Academy)  

The winning design by Scott Bannister will now be fabricated through 3D printing and casting in silver utilising reclaimed material from discarded NHS X-ray film, courtesy of Vipa Designs. 


Image: Alice Biolo / Photography by Ryan Gibson 


Scotland Excels in Prestigious Jewellery Training Programme

The Goldsmiths’ Centre has selected three Scotland-based jewellers; Alice Biolo, Sarah Wilmott and Niamh Wright to join the fourth year of the Spotlighting Getting Started training programme this summer. 

The bi-annual programme helps UK-based early career makers put business fundamentals into action by mastering photography, storytelling, live presentations, and preparing pieces for The Goldsmiths’ Centre’s annual exhibition. 

Alice Biolo started her journey in jewellery design at the Liceo Pietro Selvatico in Padova then studied Silversmithing and Jewellery Design at The Glasgow School of Art (GSA), graduating in 2023. Alice’s jewellery is characterised by intricate designs hidden on the back and seeks to raise awareness about mental health and promote open conversations about human emotions. 

Sarah Wilmott, a Glasgow-based silversmith and jeweller, graduated from The Glasgow School of Art and is currently a resident at Bishopsland Educational Trust. Formerly working at the National Library of Scotland, her past experience repairing archival collections influences her current practice, emphasising hand skills, attention to detail, and modern designs blending traditional techniques with precious and industrial materials. 

Niamh Wright, who also graduated last year from Silversmithing and Jewellery Design at The Glasgow School of Art, is currently serving as an Artist in Residence at GSA. She finds inspiration in needlework and handweaving. She employs laser-cut acrylics and mother of pearl, along with neon threads, silver details, and handwoven wire to craft intricate and emotionally resonant structures. 


Woven textile on the loom

Image: Joseph Whales / Photography by Morven Macrae


Garvald Maker Joseph Whales Launches New Collection 

A new collection of textile works titled 'The Marchmont Collection' has been released by maker Joseph Whales, supported by the Hugo Burge Foundation. Joseph is a Garvald Edinburgh member, which has provided creative support for adults with learning disabilities in the Lothian area for over 50 years.

The design process for the collection began in 2023 when Joseph visited Marchmont Estate in the Borders for a series of exploratory research days and created pastel artworks reflecting seasonal changes. 

Drawing on his expertise as a skilled handloom weaver, Joseph developed a textile collection inspired by the colour palettes in his artworks. The result is a unique collection of one-off textile pieces imbued with the essence of the estate's changing seasons.  

The Joseph Whales Marchmont Collection is currently on show and for sale at the Garvald Makers shop in Morningside, Edinburgh


Image courtesy of Homo Faber 2024 


Venice to Spotlight Talented Makers from Scotland

Furniture maker Kevin Gauld and contemporary glass artist, Choi Keeryong have both been selected to exhibit their work at this year's Homo Faber event ‘The Journey of Life’ taking place in Venice this September. 

Kevin Gauld in Kirkwall, Orkney, works as The Orkney Furniture Maker, blending traditional techniques with modern innovation to create bespoke furniture and unique designs.  

Influenced by Orkney's heritage, Kevin's furniture has garnered international acclaim and reflects his passion for design, quality, and his island roots. 

Choi Keeryong is originally from South Korea and now works from Edinburgh, creating glass objects that delve into the intersections of cultural similarities and differences.

A finalist for the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize 2023, Choi's artistic motivation lies in exploring how cultural ambiguity can evoke a sense of ‘uncanniness’ in viewers. 

Homo Faber 2024: The Journey of Life, takes place 1 – 30 Sep 2024, in Venice, Italy.



Send in your craft news!

We want to hear from you! Share your contemporary craft news for inclusion in next month's The Craft Edit. 

Contact the Craft Scotland team with more information, links, images and/or a press release via email hello@craftscotland.org.   


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Elaine Findlay
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Elaine Findlay

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