The Craft Edit

May 2024

Image via freepix

Image via freepix

This month, celebrate Scotland’s craft and creativity with well-established links to Ireland and a creative institution celebrates a special milestone. Plus, new research into European makers shares insights into resilience.

Read on with May's The Craft Edit.


Image: Irish-and-Scottish-Tweed-on-display / Photography Courtesy of Donegal Daily

Crafting Connections: Donegal and Scotland Celebrate Shared Heritage

In April Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh hosted over 100 attendees to celebrate the deep-rooted connections between Ireland and Scotland and showcase the collaboration between Donegal Tweed and Scotland's renowned Harris Tweed.

The Irish Consulate Service and Donegal County Council brought to life the rich tapestry of stories linking Donegal and Scotland, whilst guests enjoyed a presentation from master weaver John Heena, who travelled from Donegal with his loom, demonstrating the craftsmanship behind the eponymous Tweed.

At the event, Jerry O'Donovan, the Consul General of Ireland in Scotland, spoke about the long-standing relationship between Ireland and Scotland. He emphasised that the growing economic partnership between the two regions is based on their shared history and heritage, shaped by centuries of migration across the Irish Sea,

In celebrating the intertwined narratives of Donegal and Scotland, the event laid the groundwork for future collaborations that will benefit both regions economically and culturally.


Image via freepix

European Craft Sector Resilience Unveiled

World Crafts Council (Europe) has released the second piece of research in their series on the craft sector in Europe.

Focusing on resilience, UK-based craft specialist consultants Claire Arnott, Carol Sinclair, Katia Stewart, and Helen Voce conducted surveys with 285 participants from 25 European countries. Additionally, the team interviewed craft practitioners and members of the wider craft community, including galleries, retailers, educators and organisations.

Key findings from the study highlight the resilience and determination of craft makers in overcoming challenges. Many have embraced digital technologies, platforms, and innovative business models, integrating sustainability principles to ensure their livelihoods. The study notes that the adaptability of Europe's craftspeople to changing situations demonstrates their resilience and creativity.

No European regions or countries stand out as more resilient compared to others, which indicates consistent challenges faced across Europe and a need for a coordinated approach to supporting the sector.

The study identifies significant opportunities for growth in the craft sector, including increasing customer interest in handmade products, legislative changes for European crafts, like introduction of new EU Geographical Indications (GI), and growing demand for sustainable and locally-made goods.

The study shows that despite economic shifts and global crises like COVID-19 and Brexit, the sector remains strong, adapting to changes and showing growth potential with increased demand for handmade goods and supportive legislation.

Read the full report.


Image: Eliza Kesuma, textile designer based at Out of the Blue Abbeymount Studios / Photography by Daniel Dabrowski

Celebrating 30 Years of Creativity: Out of the Blue's Remarkable Journey

This year Out of the Blue Arts and Education Trust celebrates 30 years in Edinburgh.

From its humble beginnings in a small gallery space in 1994, Out of the Blue has grown into a vibrant hub for creativity, now spanning six buildings across the city, including the iconic Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith.

Since its grassroots inception, Out of the Blue has welcomed over two million visitors through its doors, offering a diverse range of activities from exhibitions and performances to workshops and community initiatives. Its impact on both individuals and communities is immeasurable, contributing to the city's cultural vibrancy and providing invaluable opportunities in the creative industries.

Reflecting on Out of the Blue's remarkable journey, Chief Executive Rob Hoon underscores the pivotal role the community has played in its growth and ensuring its resilience and success. Out of the Blue has remained steadfast in its mission to cultivate spaces for studios, workshops, exhibitions, and performances, empowering a diverse array of artists and makers.

An event is scheduled for Thurs 30 May2024, at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall. The celebration will include performances, music and visual art reflecting the organisation's 30-year history, alongside exhibitions highlighting its diverse endeavours.

Read more about Out of the Blue.



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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