Side Hustle!

by | Oct 7, 2020 | Blog

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I can’t quite help but have fingers in all the pies! I gave up my part time job with Visual Arts Scotland last year in an attempt to streamline my working life, keep things simple, and make more time. Well you know what you can do with more time don’t you? Take on more projects!! And boy do I have a good one on the horizon!


The Central Scotland School of Craft!

I’m delighted to be teaming up with fellow jeweller and project hoarder Jo Pudelko on this amazing new venture. Jo has been running the Central Scotland School of Jewellery in Dunblane with a huge amount of success for nearly four years now, so when I moved to town and found myself with an empty outbuilding (as you do), it was a no-brainer that we would get together to create a joint craft empire.

In Spring 2021 we are going to launch a programme of high quality artisanal workshops that focus on heritage crafts and hand-making skills. We will cover niche disciplines that you won’t find anywhere else in Scotland, such as Passementerie lace making, and in-demand favourites such as spoon carving and visible mending. There will be something for all abilities, from the craft enthusiast starting out to established makers looking for a new challenge. Our first round of workshops will be available exclusively through our upcoming crowdfunder project, and you’re not going to want to miss these so sign up to my mailing list for full details when the project goes live. Kicking off the show in spring 2021 will be master whittler and local artist Louise Forbes, joining us for a fun day of spoon carving. Then, one of the countries only remaining practitioners of the craft, Elizabeth Ashdown will deliver a fascinating two day Passementerie Lace weaving workshop. And we are beyond delighted to welcome international textile artist extraordinaire Joanna Flanningan, aka The Pale Rook to deliver a doll making workshop focussed on storytelling in summer 2021. Joanna’s sell out workshops have been delighting budding dollmakers across the world, and are in high demand!

Our ambition for the artisan craft school is to address the issue of rural inequality when it comes to creative learning. We aim to bring craft education in line with what is available in the urban centres, where there is no shortage of crafters offering small workshops for all ability levels from their own workshops. We dream of bringing a new, multi-faceted business to the historic town of Dunblane, to improve access to creative activities in the community and diversify the rural economy.

Before our big launch in March next year we want to carry out a full renovation, so that your craft experience will be the very best it possibly can. Imagine a big open, light filled room, with a lovely big Belfast sink for cleaning up your creative messes, a coffee are to chill out and exchange ideas, a library of inspiration in the form of books and materials… The space that will become the school used to be a children’s nursery, so we need your help to ditch the tiny toilets and welly cubbies, and create a top notch space for creative learning. We’re launching the first round of courses through crowdfunder, and also offering a range of brilliant rewards for artists and non-artists alike. There are big rewards for craft enthusiasts, and small gestures if you’d just like to give us a high five(r) for encouragement. Whether you are able to pledge, or just to share and talk about our project, any help would be much appreciated!

Find us on Instagram and Facebook, and follow along as we add more amazing workshops and grow our craft empire!

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