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Issue 45 - Made in Scotland

Scotland Magazine Issue 45
June 2009

 

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Made in Scotland

Sally heaps praise on Scotland's craft producers.

Greetings readers! Welcome to another edition of Scotland Magazine. The canny-eyed among you will notice a new page at the back of the magazine, which we’re calling “Scotland Magazine loves…” It’s been the pipeline for quite a long time. On it, we aim to bring you the very best in Scottish products, be they jewellery, clothing, accessories or gifts, and generally promote Scotland’s home-grown talent.

We thought it was about time we showcased Scotland’s incredible art and craft scene.

‘Arts and crafts’ is a fairly loaded phrase. It brings to mind images of scrapbooks and homemade picture frames covered in shells, but it is also representative of a new wave of producers: highly skilled artists working in silver, wood, ceramics, glass and textiles, employing a range of techniques to create a variety of stunning objects which can be functional, decorative or both.

I love handmade objects, and whenever I travel to a different corner of Scotland I simply have to shop. Even in the most remote Scottish village there will be a gallery or craft shop where talented local people sell their wares, and I simply can’t resist coming back with something.

Ceramics are my thing. I’m particularly fond of robust, functional designs. Bowls and mugs made from Scotland’s rough hewn stoneware like those from the Drakelaw Pottery in Lanarkshire, the vibrant designs from South Lissens Pottery in Fife, from Anta in Edinburgh, or the wood fired and saltglazed pots made by Edinbane on Skye (pictured).

I love the idea that part of the personality of the maker will have been imprinted into the piece, making it completely unique.

It will have taken years of training, experimentation and experience for the artist to have arrived at the point of making the piece you’re buying from them. Which I think means that a few pounds for a pot is extremely good value!

Also, when you buy something handmade from Scotland, whether it’s been woven, thrown, crafted or carved, I think something of the land itself is transferred there. Scotland’s landscape, its heritage and its people, inspires so many artists – it follows that the art they produce will be as rich and diverse as the country itself.

Sally Toms