South west in showcase for Scotland

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More than 20 cutting edge craft makers, including three from the south west, have been selected for a showcase of Scottish excellence at the London Design Fair.

It will be the first time Scotland has had its own pavilion at the prestigious four-day event and aims to raise the international profile of its talent in everything from ceramics, lighting and jewellery to glass, furniture and textiles.

The Scotland: Craft & Design pavilion is an initiative between Craft Scotland (the national agency for craft) and Emergents, a community interest company supporting the development of creative careers, enterprise and the economy in the Highlands and Islands.

Two of the exhibitors are from Dumfries and Galloway and one from Ayrshire.

Fiona Logue, Director of Craft Scotland, comments: “We are very proud to be able to such an outstanding body of finely crafted and beautifully designed work in the Scotland: Craft & Design pavilion.

“Scottish craft is contemporary and cutting-edge.

“There is a real appetite from the industry and design-savvy public for quality pieces that show both a mastery of a craft and design execution.

“Not only are our makers and designers among the very best, but the whole sector is full of vitality and energy – that’s the message we want to get across to design fair visitors from all over the world.

“As this is Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design it is exactly the right moment to be celebrating our achievements and helping generate new business opportunities.”

Pavilion visitors can discover organic sculptural forms in willow by Lizzie Farey from Castle Douglas and high quality woodwork by Thomas Hopkins-Gibson of Cumnock.

There will also be brightly coloured limited-edition fabrics by Morag Macpherson of Kirkcudbright.

Morag states: “Having been to the design fair as a visitor for many years it’s very exciting to be given the opportunity to go there and take part.

“And it’s a real privilege to be chosen to represent Scotland and be part of such a diverse and strong range of makers and designers.”

Lizzie adds: “For this design fair I am showing brand new wall pieces to attract the attention of interior designers and architects from the UK and internationally.

“The pieces have been created especially for the contemporary interior and designed in such a way that they can be easily shipped anywhere in the world.”

Pamela Conacher, Director of Emergents, says: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Craft Scotland to showcase the very best Highlands and Islands makers alongside their contemporaries from the rest of Scotland. Scotland: Craft & Design at London Design Fair will place Scottish craft on an international stage, reflecting the importance of our heritage and cultural identity.”

Located in the creative heart of East London, the fair is part of the wider London Design Festival and brings together 450 exhibitors from 29 countries, including independent designers, brands, international country pavilions and galleries. It attracts over 25,000 influential retailer buyers, architects, interior designers, press and designers.

There will be live demonstrations by some Scottish exhibitors, and makers will also be present to discuss their work with potential clients.

The pavilion has been designed by GRAS, a Scottish design studio and the graphics produced by Graphical House, a design consultancy located in Glasgow.

Helena Ward, Creative Industries Manager at Creative Scotland says: “This UK and international showcase is a great opportunity for our makers to present contemporary craft using design, materials and techniques in fresh and imaginative ways, whilst remaining true to Scotland’s provenance, authenticity, heritage and culture in making.”

Craft Scotland and Emergents are also part of the fair’s Super Talk Programme and will present a debate entitles A New Scottish Craft Vernacular - Scotland: Craft & Design Debate.

This will explore a new vernacular for Scotland’s thriving creative scene. The panel will consider how Scotland, from its rich heritage, cultivates a pioneering spirit, innovative approach and creates cutting-edge designs.

There will also be the opportunity to see a project facilitated by Craft Scotland and presented by the Department of Material Practice at Edinburgh College of Art. This will transform a disused outdoor roof space into an attractive, partially covered seating area using innovative design and materials.