In Praise of Develop Craft Ayrshire
Sunday 14th of May 2006 13:21
Develop Craft Ayrshire was launched as a vehicle to bring craft to a wider audience whilst promoting craft education and improving opportunities for designer-makers to market and promote their work.

A three year project funded by North, South and East Ayrshire Councils, Argyll and the Islands Enterprise, The Scottish Arts Council and the European Regional Development Fund, it is due to end in its’ present form this summer.

Phillipa Aitken was the first Craft Development Officer for the project and, after Phililpa’s appointment as Arts and Cultural Development Officer for East Ayrshire Council, was succeeded by Hazel Townsend.

Led by Develop Craft Ayrshire, Elements of Change is a three year maker in residence project with the aim of enabling sustainable crafts education in schools. Combining education and studio provision in partnership with local school communities and makers, the resident makers spend one day a week within an Ayrshire primary or secondary school, and the rest of the working week developing new work in the studio space provided. An outstanding success for both resident designer-makers and the schools and pupils involved, the annual exhibition for both resident designer-makers and pupils has acted as a showcase for the project.

The launch of DCA website www.craftayrshire.org was the first Scottish region to link to Craftscotland, a resource developed to meet the demand by makers in Scotland for a national web presence to promote and support Scottish Craft.

Direct support for designer-makers has included professional development workshops, subsidised photo-shoots and marketing grants, opportunities to exhibit at high profile events such as this years British Craft Trade Fair and networking events.

“Craft Town Scotland” Development Officer and designer-makers wish to endorse the project, and hope it’s achievements can be continued into the future.