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Research Projects

Creative Scotland and Dundee Contemporary Arts £31,458 10.2009 – 09.2010

Craft Festival Scotland - Frances Stevenson
Craft Festival Scotland
Craft Festival Scotland
Craft Festival Scotland

Main project collaborators

Amanda Game, The Dovecot
Andy Rice, Not Just Design
Sally Reaper, SMart
Tina Rose, RIO
Pamela Conacher, HI-Arts
Christina Jansen, The Scottish Gallery, Rose Watban, National Museums Scotland
Emma Walker, Craftscotland
Judith Winters, Dundee Contemporary Arts
Keri McGowan, The McManus, Dundee City Council
Diana Sykes, Fife Contemporary Art and Craft
Mary Morrison, Scottish Borders Council.


Dr Louise Valentine, Director
Prof Georgina Follett, Co-Director
Frances Stevenson, Researcher
Mhari MacDonald, Marketing Officer
Jamie Eason, Web Developer
Malcolm Finnie, Photographer
Designing for the 21st Century

Context and background

Craft Festival Scotland The need to investigate what is effective for future craft and understand why the market is not working as well as it could was identified (2005 – 07). The focus group was one method employed to evaluate craft in order to contribute insight into how the lost economy of craft could be recovered and what measures could enhance the development of growth, specifically in Scotland. Questions raised by the focus group include: How can we make the supply and demand relationship work better? How should we market craft the brand? One key observation made was that the level of innovation in the craft sector must be developed and extended in order to provide stronger economic impact. Innovation is a driver of change. It was posited that if the craft economy is to survive and thrive, innovation is required in the whole range of ways that comprise the economy of craft, for example, how it is promoted by key stakeholders and understood by the public.

Aims and objectives

A large amount of work is going on within and between the various craft stakeholders – agencies, councils, curators, galleries, museums, and practitioners – however there is poor visibility and an insufficient pooling of resources to form a connected strategy. This arguably contributes to an out-dated public understanding of craft in the 21st century. To address this problem, a new national marketing strategy was devised, Craft Festival Scotland (CFS). The aim is to increase visibility by forming a connected strategy for a national focused promotion of craft in Scotland. The eight key objectives are: championing and celebrating the relevance of craft in the 21st century through exhibitions and events throughout Scotland; developing the Scottish craft network by actively engaging and working with all the key stakeholders for the successful delivery of CFS 2010 and its future development; raising awareness and understanding of what craft is, through public lectures, chaired debate, workshops and master classes; challenging perceptions and encouraging debate through an international symposium; exposing the diversity of craft by showcasing it in a range of contemporary and traditional ways; promoting quality craft exhibitions and events happening across Scotland; encouraging new audiences to experience craft and, raising the profile of the City of Dundee as the key city in Scotland for craft research.


Craft Festival Scotland - Chicks on Speed The main output is the festival which brought together private galleries and public venues in one event, offering a coherent, accessible way for the public to engage and learn about craft across every region of Scotland. Collectively it provided a scale of activity not normally available to audiences, promoted via a full-colour designed brochure (with 20,000 copies distributed). Over 100 events were programmed with 17 new exhibitions and 41 events and workshops designed, curated and offered to the public. An international symposium, Prototyping: craft in the future tense was co-convened with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and accompanying this event is an edited book by Dr Louise Valentine with a preface by Dr Glenn Adamson, due for imminent publication.

Craft Festival Scotland - click here to download PDF description