08 March 2011



Global Service Jam is a global event focused on customer experience and service. In the spirit of experimentation, co-operation and friendly competition, teams from Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Istanbul, Cape Town, Sao Paulo, Valencia, Berlin, London, Toronto, Calgary, New York, San Francisco and Glasgow will have 48 hours to develop brand new services inspired by a shared theme.

On March 11‐13th in The Lighthouse in Glasgow, Global Service Jam Scotland will be a high-energy, collaborative & freeform event, in which some of the brightest minds in Scotland will get together to design new services in parallel with a whole host of jams across the world.

The participants are a made up of a good mix of creatives, service designers and industry, public sector & service experts and we will be using social media channels so that anyone in Scotland can participate; they donʼt have to be physically present.

Global Service Jam originates from Nuremberg. It is a non-profit activity organized by an international network of service designers, who all share a common passion for growing the field of service design and customer experience.

Are we doing something that has never been done before? YES
Log on to http://www.gsjamscotland.org.uk/

Contact: Sarah Drummond

Tel: 0141 5661492
Mob: 07903518475
Email: sarah@wearesnook.com

04 March 2011

Craft in Scotland – a reflection on the first Decade of the 21st Century

by Tina Rose,

NB Long Post

This post is in response to my observation that there is a paucity of annual reflection on craft or record of achievement, for as observed by Paul Greenhalgh (2007) ‘history provides the CV of a discipline......the seriousness with which a discipline is regarded flows heavily from how it’s been dealt with historically’.

As Dr Helen Bennett, Portfolio Manager Creative Industries-Partnerships at Creative Scotland (formally Head of Crafts, Scottish Arts Council 1993-2010) retires, it seems appropriate to look back, and remember what has happened over the first decade of the 21st century.

Although familiar arguments are always raised when you talk about craft in Scotland, there is no doubt we are making progress.

The decade began with the Scottish Arts Council working in partnership with Scottish Enterprise to carry out socio-economic research of the sector in Scotland and from this they developed a five year craft strategy 2002-07. It created a framework for the direction of funding to support individual professional development and exhibitions, which hopefully will be reflected in the business plan of the new Creative Scotland.  As Helen said in her retirement speech, when she started in the new role there were only two people working to support makers, now there is a network of people across the country.

One of the most significant outcomes has been the creation of a national web resource, craftscotland, launched as an independent organisation funded by the Scottish Arts Council at the Challenging Craft conference at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen in 2004. This was one of two international conferences held in Scotland over the decade, an impressive achievement for a small country.  The second international conference – New Craft, Future Voices - took place in 2007 as part of PPFCP.

craftscotland has grown steadily since it was established to promote the best of Scottish craft, reaching its targets to first establish the website with a maker and venue directory and craft news, then hold exhibitions in the UK and internationally with Scottish craft now represented at Collect in London.  In 2008 there was a change of title as it became the first national audience development agency for craft, offering marketing opportunities to makers through special campaigns and collaborations. www.craftscotland.org

There have been many significant anniversaries marked over the past decade which illustrate the strength and vitality of craft organisations in Scotland.  The Scottish Potters Association celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2004, and the Scottish Glass Society also reached 30 years in 2009, with the 400th anniversary of Scottish glass in 2010.  In 1995 North Lands Creative Glass in Lybster celebrated 10 years as an international centre for excellence in glass continuing to run an international series of masterclasses and conference every year. www.northlandsglass.com

Cove Park in Argyll, the international centre for the arts and creative industries, founded in 1999, has grown over the decade and now enables makers to research and develop new projects through craft residencies. www.covepark.org

Another fascinating development has been the growth of open studio events.   From a few sporadic individual events it has become a regional activity; indeed anyone travelling to every event would be likely to find over the year that they would have visited almost every part of Scotland.

Of course, it is not all good news.  There was the sudden and dramatic closure of An Tuireann on Skye, the loss of Applied Arts Scotland, the only national independent voice for makers, and there is still no replacement for Artisan, the national selling event last held in 2002.

And there were sad losses, in particular Dan Klein, who will be remembered not only for the establishment of North Lands Creative Glass but also through the gift of his and Alan Poole’s glass collection to National Museums Scotland.

It is impossible to mention all the exhibitions, or the accomplishments of individual makers over the decade, but some achievements need to be recognised.  

The memorable and wonderfully innovative Big Willow installation in 2007 on the Brahan Estate by American artist Patrick Dougherty working with members of the Scottish Basketmakers Circle, which happened because of the imagination of Valerie Pragnell.

The showcase of Scotland’s indigenous crafts during the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC which was attended by several million US tourists.

And Silver of the Stars, a collection of contemporary Scottish silver made by some of Scotland’s finest silversmiths in collaboration with famous names from film, fashion, theatre, music and literature, which has been touring since 2007.  Organised by the Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh it has travelled over 30,000 miles around the world, been seen by more than half a million visitors in the UK, USA, Canada, Russia, China and Japan, and is now touring Europe. It was also in Silver: Made in Scotland at the National Museum of Scotland in 2008 which celebrated the 550th anniversary of hallmarking in Scotland www.silverofthestars.com

However, as well as taking Scottish craft around the world, there have been imaginative collaborations which have brought European and international craft to Scotland.

In 2005 Maker-Wearer-Viewer curated by Jack Cunningham showed the work of over 70 contemporary narrative jewellers from 20 European countries. In the same year at the Collins Gallery East Weaves West brought together basketry from Japan and Britain showing for the first time over one hundred and ten artworks by forty seven leading makers.

Fife Contemporary Art & Crafts in St Andrews (formed in 2006 after the closure of the Crawford Arts Centre) created an exhibition in 2009 of international contemporary jewellery in collaboration with Galerie Marzee in The Netherlands. At a dinner prominent Fife individuals wore jewellery selected for them and were then filmed talking about their responses to the pieces which were exhibited at place settings www.youtube.com/user/fifecontemporary#p/u/5/jPZNcS31QqY 

Shetland Arts researched the work of artists and designers in northern Europe to explore the concept of portage in terms of transporting and exhibiting artwork in a remote island location which resulted in three exhibitions in 2010; Crossing Points, Textiles, extremes of scale and Finger Symbols with an imaginative film of the work www.shetlandarts.org/portage-finger-symbols-film-exhibition-preview/

Initiated by Past, Present and Future Craft Research at the University of Dundee, galleries and organisations across the country worked together for the first national festival of craft, Craft Festival Scotland 2010, featuring 101 exhibitions and events. www.futurecraft.dundee.ac.uk

The opening of the new Dovecot in Edinburgh’s Infirmary Street in 2008 not only created a stunning focus for textiles but also a new exhibition space.  www.dovecotstudios.com Working with IC:Innovative Craft, which was launched in 2005 to explore different ways of celebrating excellence and imagination in craft in Scotland and internationally, there has been a programme of unforgettable exhibitions, in particular the maker/curator series in 2010.  This important development gives craft its rightful place in the arts scene in Scotland and also strengthens the position of Scottish craft as a serious player in the international craft world.

Looking at what has happened to craft in Scotland over the past decade through the work of talented, enthusiastic and creative individuals and groups, working locally, nationally and internationally, there are some amazing achievements, and looking forward to initiatives such the V&A arriving in Dundee, there are many more to come.


Greenhalgh, P. (2007) In, Valentine, L. and Follett, G. [eds.] (2010). Past, Present and Future Craft Practice. Edinburgh: National Museums Scotland Ltd.