Scottish artisans set to showcase work at major US craft event

Some of Scotland's most talented artists and designers are set to showcase their creations at a prestigious craft show in the United States.

Designer Catherine Aitken is one of 20 Scottish artists and makers set to showcase their work at a prestigious craft show in the US.
Designer Catherine Aitken is one of 20 Scottish artists and makers set to showcase their work at a prestigious craft show in the US.

The move has been dubbed “a significant breakthrough” for the Scottish craft sector, which generates £70 million a year for the economy.

The 20 Scots artisans will travel to Baltimore, in the US state of Maryland, next month to take part in the American Craft Show Baltimore.

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It will be the first time an international presence has featured in the annual show.

The group represent a broad range of contemporary craft from across the country, and includes jewellers, sculptors, textile artists and ceramicists.

Many of the works that will go on display are inspired by the nature, landscapes and folklore of Scotland.

They will be seen by an estimated 20,000 people over the course of the five-day event, which until now has only featured the work of home-grown North American makers.

The trade agreement was forged under a new partnership between the national agency Craft Scotland and the American Craft Council (ACC).

Craft Scotland director Fiona Logue said: “Scotland has a rich heritage in craft and making, and what is particularly exciting is how that influences makers working in Scotland today.

“The makers and designers selected are a mixture of emerging and established talent all of whom challenge perceptions of what Scottish craft might be and it is that vibrancy that has been recognised by the American Craft Council.”

Pamela Diamond, director of marketing and communications at the ACC, said the organisation firmly believes in the value and inspiration that exchanging ideas, cultural influences and methods of making can provide for both featured artists and show attendees alike.

She added: “We look forward to hosting this exciting showcase of 20 artists representing Scotland’s fresh and contemporary take on craft.”

Clive Gillman, creative industries director at government body Creative Scotland, said: “Scotland’s makers do a fantastic job of bringing together the authenticity of their craft and materials and placing them in an adventurous future-facing practice.

“Their ambition and skill places them at the forefront of all that is best about our art and creative industries in Scotland. This is a great opportunity to showcase this work and to introduce it to new audiences across the Atlantic.”