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31 October to 03 November 2013 Navy Pier Chicago

Craft Scotland presents: Alison Kinnaird MBE - Glass, Midlothian Amanda Simmons - Glass, Castle Douglas Andrea Walsh - Ceramics/Glass, Edinburgh Craig Mitchell - Ceramics, Edinburgh Craig Stuart - Jewellery, Dunkeld Frances Priest - Ceramics, Edinburgh Grant McCaig - Silver, Edinburgh Jennifer Gray - Jewellery, Edinburgh John Galvin - Furniture, Glasgow Katharina Vones - Jewellery, Edinburgh Lizzie Farey - Basketry/Fibre Art, Kirkcudbright Marion E. Kane - Silver, West Kilbride Mette Fruergaard-Jensen - Wood and Metal, Edinburgh Naomi Mcintosh - Jewellery, Aberdeenshire Patricia Shone - Ceramics, Isle of Skye Susan O’Byrne - Ceramics, Glasgow

Craft Scotland returns to SOFA after a successful show in 2012. We are delighted to return to showcase Scottish craft at the twentieth anniversary of SOFA Chicago. The Craft Scotland 2013 showcase at SOFA Chicago includes work by sixteen celebrated and talented craft makers from Scotland. Scotland is justly proud of its reputation as one of the most skilled and diverse craft nations in the world, and this is reflected in the wealth of craft we are showcasing. Our collection gives audiences in Chicago the opportunity to see and buy some of the finest examples of ceramics, glass, furniture, metal, fibre, silver and jewellery being produced in Scotland today. Some of our makers will be familiar to SOFA visitors, while others are exhibiting at SOFA for the first time. Their exceptional work covers a broad range of techniques and practices, and demonstrates the breadth and quality of Scottish craft. We introduce you to our makers in the following pages and you can discover more about them, their inspiration and processes, in our specially commissioned films which you can find on our website.

Craft Scotland is the national agency for Scottish craft. We work to unite, inspire and champion craft made in Scotland. We create opportunities for Scottish makers to exhibit, sell and promote their work, and for the public to see, purchase and learn about craft. We do this through our varied campaigns, exhibitions, events and website. Our exhibitions and events, often run in collaboration with partner organisations, connect the public with the Scottish craft community. We present collections of Scottish craft to the public in UK and international craft, design and art shows. The Craft Scotland website provides a platform for craft people and places across Scotland to promote their work, and for an international audience to discover Scottish craft. Find out more about us:

Making Connections, Creating Opportunities

Alison Kinnaird MBE - Glass, Midlothian

You are one of the world’s leading engravers, tell us about this process. I work as a copper-wheel engraver, a process which has remained basically unchanged since Roman times. It is done with a small lathe mounted on a bench at which the engraver sits. The lathe turns spindles, at the end of which are copper or diamond wheels of different sizes. Each wheel makes a different cut on the glass which is held underneath the wheel. I move the glass against the wheels, making the cuts and blending them together to create the engraved images. It is a slow and demanding process, and there are not many engravers working with this technique today, but I feel that it has a very special quality. It is possible to use it in a contemporary manner, and I enjoy tackling subjects which are relevant to life today. You recently completed a major commission of a window for the National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh. Tell us what this was like? This was a complicated commission, which was to honour the generosity of the donors who had sponsored the recent major refurbishment of the Gallery. It involved engraving the portraits of twelve donors, as well as HM Queen Elizabeth II. Portraiture is always a difficult and demanding area, and I had sittings with each donor, making the drawings from which I would work. I had to find a new way of engraving, working on both sides of flashed glass, to create both 3-dimensional modelling, and the highlights on the faces, which helps the engraving to stand out. The window was installed last July, and was

opened by the Queen as part of her Jubilee celebrations. It is an honour to have a major piece of work that will always be part of the fabric of a historic building. Your work is in a number of prestigious collections, including the V&A in London. Which other collections would you like your work to be a part of? I never aim to make a piece of work for a particular collection, but I am always pleased when they choose something which will represent me in their collections. As well as a successful glass artist you are also a harpist, do they relate and are they harmonious? No pun intended... I have thought about this a lot, and realise that both glass and harp music are intrinsically very beautiful media in which to work. But they both easily become very ‘pretty’ and purely decorative. The challenge is always to create work in both which is strong. How did you feel when you were presented with an MBE in 1997 as recognition to your contribution to art and music? It was an unexpected honour, but it is always nice to realise that some people think that your work is interesting and valuable. Who or what is your biggest influence? My husband, Robin Morton, a musician, historian, producer and very creative person. What has your craft has taught you? Discipline, patience and the joy of creating beauty. Tell us about your studio. We converted a Victorian Gothic church (which dates from 1832) to a home and studio space for myself and Robin. I work on the landing at the top of the stairs, in front of a beautiful Gothic window which gives wonderful light for engraving. The landing is about six feet square. Robin has the rest of the house! You have been working in glass for over 30 years, what has been your career highlight to date? Although there have been many great times in these 30 years, I think the best thing is that I still find the work constantly exciting, and can’t wait to get up in the morning to start engraving! What do you do to relax? Between the glass and the harp music, I am lucky that my most enjoyable activities have always been my work. But in between these, I love to spend time with my three grandchildren, aged three, one and one. They are so delightful and funny – though hard work as well! Robin and I also look forward to spending time in New York, which we manage to visit quite often, and appreciate the contrast between our very quiet, rural setting in a tiny Scottish village, and the urban buzz of a big city. I find it really stimulating for my work. Watch Alison talk about her work in our Meet the Maker film series:

Amanda Simmons - Glass, Castle Douglas

You started your career studying biomedical sciences, has this informed your practice in anyway? I come from an engineering and science background; much of the skills I picked up in previous careers inform my work now. Chemistry and physics are especially helpful in understanding gravity and the variables affecting the glass forms I create. Inspiration from the understanding of pharmacology, toxicology and physiology has helped in the transition from scientist to artist. You initially trained in London, what brought you to Scotland? I’ve long loved the Scottish landscape, people and heritage, but it wasn’t until I became a full-time artist that we moved to Scotland. My previous career was based in London and was non-stop for eight years in a stressful environment of operating theatres. I needed space and peace to learn my craft and create a business and found both in Dumfries and Galloway, a rural area that is lush, vibrant, has plenty going on and is also close to the cities when I need an urban distraction. The scale of your work has increased over the years, what is the reason for this? It’s not just a case of bigger is better, more so the years of practice necessary to perfect a technique and appreciate the fine line between success and failure when working at a larger

scale. Facilities also are a factor, I’m about as large as I can go in my own studio but have built a working relationship with North Lands Creative Glass in Caithness and the National Glass Centre in Sunderland where I can hire larger kilns and coldworking facilities. I need to constantly challenge my work as each piece that comes out of the kiln sets new questions to be answered and working larger is just one of the many research subjects I’m working on. Tell us about your processes/techniques of working in glass. I’ve been concentrating on vessel forms created by gravity in the kiln for the last six years. It’s a technique which is constantly challenging and has much scope for further development. The forms are made from a flat ‘blank’ created by layers of opaque glass powders which are manipulated, fired and engraved several times to build depth of colour and design on both sides of the glass. They then go back into the kiln suspended on a hand-cut mould that has an opening in the middle; at slumping temperature, around 630 degrees centigrade, the glass starts to fall through the space creating a vessel form. All carefully monitored until I like the form created, then the heating process is stopped and the glass pieces are allowed to cool slowly. The vessel forms then need cold working, which involves a variety of techniques including diamond lathe and hand held burr engraving, grinding and sandblasting. Who are you inspired by? I appreciate skill and perseverance at all levels. Witnessing achievement is very inspiring whether it’s Andy Murray winning Wimbledon or someone trying something for the first time, taking a risk; all these things keep me motivated. What has your craft taught you? Patience. If money and facilities were no object, what would you make? I would very much like to work with NASA and theoretical cosmologists to make the very first piece of kiln formed glass in space. What does America mean for your work? America has always been an enticing nation for me through music and movies and when I finally found glass as my medium I learnt a lot by studying the glass artists in America, especially those using kiln forming techniques. It is the home of the glass I use, Bullseye Glass, and a market of enthusiasts and collectors who understand kiln formed work. I have travelled a lot around America and now understand more about the scale the country works on; I’m using these ideas of magnitude in the work I make for SOFA. What do you do to relax? Bake – since moving to Scotland where very many activities involve tea and cake, I have been teaching myself to make sponges, bread and biscuits and find this very relaxing. A working meditation as I’m always thinking about my next bit of glass. Watch Amanda talk about her work in our Meet the Maker film series:

Andrea Walsh - Ceramics/Glass, Edinburgh

You work in two very different disciplines, how do you make them work together? Ceramics and glass, to me, are very similar materials. I work with a range of bone china and porcelain clays, which share many qualities with glass, such as clarity, purity and translucency. I am interested to explore this within my practice, for example many of the glass colours that I have used in recent work are inspired by traditional porcelain glazes such as celadon and Chinese yellow. You spent time at Wedgwood, one of the most influential and significant English companies in the field of pottery. Tell us about your experience there. I was awarded a residency titled ‘Artist Into Industry’ by the inaugural British Ceramics Biennial in 2009. This was a privileged opportunity to spend six months based at the Wedgwood factory in Stoke-on-Trent, learning from a fantastic skill base whilst developing my own work there. I spent time with the ‘Minton’ brand archives which went on to influence my most recent body of work, exploring box forms. You have exhibited widely, nationally and internationally, are there any that particularly stand out? In 2012 I received a commission from The Conran Shop in London to create specific works for their 25th anniversary exhibition titled ‘RED’. I felt incredibly proud to see my work in their window display alongside pieces by designers such as Thomas Heatherwick, Philippe

Starck and Manolo Blahnik. Where in the world would you most like to see your work exhibited? I would love to exhibit in Japan, I hope to visit one day. What is your biggest influence? I am fascinated by materials, their associations and their symbolism. I studied sculpture originally so I think that that has been the greatest influence on my creative thinking. Tell us about the greatest piece you’ve ever made/are most proud of? I am most proud of my current work as it has been a very gradual process to achieve the aesthetic that I was aiming for. They are very precise pieces, therefore have taken a considerable time to realise. What brought you to Scotland? I moved to Edinburgh to study a Masters Degree at Edinburgh College of Art over ten years ago… and I’m still here. What is your studio like? My studio is a quiet, contemplative space. Apart from when I am making a mess! What do you do on your days off? I think I always tend to be in creative mode – looking at lovely buildings, visiting exhibitions, watching films. Your pieces were on the Elle Decoration wish list in 2011. What’s on your wish list? I adore the work of Lina Peterson – fabulous jewellery that’s a wonderful combination of colour, materials and textures.

Watch Andrea talk about her work in our Meet the Maker film series:

Craig Mitchell - Ceramics, Edinburgh

You achieved a first class honours in Glass and Ceramics from the University of Sunderland and then went on to do an MA in Ceramics at the prestigious Royal College of Art. What was the most valuable thing you learnt? The most valuable things I learnt whilst at the Royal College of Art were a very hard work ethic, to push quality and finish as far as you possibly can, and to keep trying to innovate even if that is in a small way in your chosen area of the discipline. You have exhibited at SOFA eight times, what does America mean for your work? In my experience American audiences are enthusiastic and positive, very interested in the ideas and the processes and the artist themselves. Your work is already in a number of international public collections. Are there others that you aspire to be part of? I don’t really aspire to be in any public collections, although it’s very nice when it happens. I like my work to be bought by members of the public who love it enough to want to part with money for it and who will hopefully get enjoyment out of it every day. Where does your inspiration come from? I find inspiration everyday from snippets of conversations, or words and phrases that I

hear on the radio or in conversations that somehow spark an image in my imagination. Cartoonists and illustrators from different eras, such as the 50s, 60s and present day inspire my style. At the moment it’s Eric Ravilious. You make figurative pieces, do you use yourself as a model in your work? I don’t use myself as a model, it’s a made up (maybe more idealised) version if the narrative concerns me, otherwise I do sometimes use friends or characters I’ve spotted in the street and committed to memory. There are loads of characters in the East End of London, hipsters etc. Talk us through the process of making one of your characters. My work is made up from rolled out flat sheets of clay that I cut to patterns I have developed over the years, rather like a tailor. When these are leather-hard I shape and build each component (feet, legs, torso). When they are all made and fairly hard I can join them all together. However, I generally fire them in sections or lying down and assemble them after with steel pins and epoxy when they are strong enough. If money and facilities were no object, what would you make? I would love to try bronze. I think it would free me up to create whatever precarious, dynamic pose I wanted, the inherent strength of the material makes it possible. If you were not in your current profession, what would you be? I love being outside and being active, so something that would allow those things. I am slowly discovering the gardener in me. My great grandfather was a head gardener on the west coast so I have a romantic idea about working in an amazing setting. Where did you grow up and has this influenced your career? I grew up initially on the west coast of Scotland and then my parents moved to Lancashire. I am not sure this had an influence on my career; I think it was more when I started art school and lived in different parts of the UK, the Northeast, London and Edinburgh. What do you do to relax? I love spending time with my small family, we have a boy and a girl, and so we generally have adventures at the beach or camping. I also like riding my bike, I am bagging Scottish Munros at a very leisurely pace.

Images of Craig’s work: Shannon Tofts Photography

Watch Craig talk about his work in our Meet the Maker film series:

Craig Stuart - Jewellery, Dunkeld

You are a rare breed as one of the few goldsmiths using the mokume gane technique. Tell us why you have dedicated your career to this fascinating method that joins different coloured metals into one piece. I make mokume gane because it is a challenge. It keeps my attention; I’m an obsessive and once I had tried it and failed I had to make it work and control it. Every time I make a piece (billet) it is different, tiny changes of temperature or force or mood can change the outcome. Every change of metal combination or scale of billet alters how the piece behaves. There is a huge amount of jeopardy every time you start to make a billet and the fear of losing thousands of pounds worth of materials in a few seconds can be stressful but also hugely exciting. People often ask me to teach them to make mokume gane. I can show them what to do, but only endless practice makes it possible to achieve a predictable outcome. I don’t know how you teach someone to deal with it going wrong – and it does go wrong. This can only come from experience, accepting that mistakes happen, and having the confidence to right them without panicking. Your studio is situated in the idyllic area of Perthshire, how does this influence your work? I can’t help being influenced by my surroundings. I spend a lot of time outside walking

the dogs, gardening and building endless walls! I formulate ideas while I’m walking, weeding, building. I construct forms in my head to try out once I get back to the workshop. I’m surrounded by the effects of man, ancient and modern, on the landscape. Highland Perthshire is covered with ancient hill forts, the solums of old buildings, old dykes, strainer posts, river piers and more modern features like road junctions and wind turbines. All of which are absorbed to a greater or lesser degree by nature. It grows round and over everything, gradually re-establishing balance. It is nature’s relationship and reaction to these junctions, structures and boundaries that informs my work. What stage of the making process do you enjoy the most? My favourite part of the process is the ‘Reveal’; the moment when the pattern is fully developed and exposed for the first time and it has turned out the way I planned. It is like discovering a secret, but one you suspected was there. Whilst it is fabricated, at its best it looks natural – like you have selected the best bit on the grain of a piece of wood. When it is done well it draws the viewer in, making them focus on the detail. What has your craft has taught you? It has taught me discipline, focus and patience. Who do you most admire, and why? It is hard to narrow it down but bronze casting is a thing that really excites and impresses me. It is another discipline with a high level of jeopardy. I love the work of Koji Hatakeyama and Hannya Tamotsu. I saw Koji’s work at Collect in London and at SOFA in Chicago last year – I would love to have one of his pieces and discuss his process with him. What tool could you not work without? Most of my work is done with the most basic tools: nice sharp files, hammers and a piercing saw but I do love my old fly presses – they can be used for so much. About eighteen years ago I drove to Peebles to get my first one and there has hardly been a day since when it hasn’t been used. Describe your ideal client/customer. My ideal client is one who has some clear ideas of what they would like, to give me a starting point, but is happy to give me the freedom to take that where I want. What do you do when you are not in your studio? Walk the dogs, garden, build walls, chop logs and cook. If you were not in your current profession what would you be? When I was a child I wanted to be a chef and I still love to cook. Or a landscape gardener – I need to be outside a lot. I have to be busy and I need to work with my hands, to make, to create. Whatever material is to hand I’ll start fiddling about with it. What do you want to be remembered for? Remembered for? Making metal do things that other people couldn’t get it to do. Watch Craig talk about his work in our Meet the Maker film series:

Frances Priest - Ceramics, Edinburgh

You have worked on lots of interesting commissions throughout your career, tell us about the most rewarding. I really enjoyed being part of the team that worked on the Pandora’s Light Box project for Artlink Edinburgh [The project combined poetry, sound and objects to create and present an audio description of the gallery spaces at the Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh]. It was a truly collaborative process where the end result was the sum of so many parts. I feel very proud of being part of the process involved in its making and gain great pleasure from seeing the work being used every time I visit the Talbot Rice Gallery. You have work in a number of amazing collections, are there others that you aspire to be part of? It is fantastic to be a part of any collection, whether it be in a private home or a major institution. I don’t think I do aspire to be a part of a particular collection, but I do find it deeply satisfying whenever a piece of work I make finds a place in the world. You have undertaken a number of different residencies, how have these informed/developed your practice? Each residency brings with it new experiences and ideas that move my practice forward. I think the biggest shift has been my interest in exploring how audiences experience and participate in the work I make and how I can use my interests as a platform or starting

point for making work in response to people and places. Which living artist/maker do you most admire, and why? This is such a difficult question to answer, there are so many wonderful artists and makers whom I look toward. Currently I would have to pick out Jacqueline Poncelet for her recently completed work ‘Wrapper’ where she has wrapped an entire building in patterned vitreous enamel panels – it is an absolutely magnificent statement. Tell us about the piece you are most proud of. I think the most significant thing I have made is a piece of work called Gifts & Occupations, an exploration of ornamental motif and pattern presented as a handling collection of ceramic forms. I really enjoyed breaking the convention of a self-contained ceramic form by inviting audiences to handle and re-arrange this large collection of ceramic objects. So much of the interest in what I do is in the making and so to attempt to give voice to that through a participatory audience experience felt like a huge step forward. Print and pattern is a big part of your work, where does the inspiration/ imagery for these come from? So many different sources – I am constantly gathering examples of ornament and decorative motifs from books, photographs, drawings, postcards and objects, with the only criteria being that I enjoy them. The vessels I am making at the moment are gathering points for all of these influences, eclectic and indulgent celebrations of glorious pattern. Travel has been a very important part of this process, and I am excited about a trip I will be making this year to Uganda (my first time in Africa). Beyond the studio you work on many educational and participatory projects, what do you most enjoy about these? It is great to get out of the studio and apply my skills in different contexts. I enjoy working with clay but I find it useful and important to broaden the conversation, meeting and learning from new people and in new places helps me to do this. Where did you spend your childhood and has this influenced your work? I had a very straightforward upbringing in West Yorkshire where the local industries were farming and coal-mining, an interesting combination of rural and heavy industry. It is hard to pin point what set me off on the path I have taken, but I do think the influence of my parents, who were always busy making and mending, instilled in me an enjoyment and respect for making things by hand. What would be the perfect day off for you? We recently moved to a cottage with a garden and so most Sundays I am now very happy to spend the day digging, weeding and coaxing seedlings and plants. If the day were to end with a stroll along the Firth of Forth to our local bar to watch the sunset with a G&T, then that would pretty much be perfection.

Watch Frances talk about her work in our Meet the Maker film series:

Grant McCaig - Silver, Edinburgh

You studied at the RCA (Royal College of Art), tell us a bit about what must have been an amazing experience. The RCA was and remains an amazing place. When I arrived, terrified, for the interview with world-renowned metalsmith Michael Rowe, it was a bit overwhelming. As a student his work represented the type of work that I aspired to. The atmosphere immediately struck me; it felt significant and there was a real sense of hunger and inquisitiveness from the students, who all came in to talk to me as I set out my work prior to the interview. Although it was challenging it taught me to be resourceful and to really investigate all the avenues to any particular problem, to be original and brave in the choices that I made. Where did you grow up and how has it influenced your career? I grew up in Livingston, a new town west of Edinburgh established to answer the acute housing shortage in the post second world war period. As a child it was no surprise to find roads that just came to a stop in a grassy field, it always felt as though there was something waiting to happen, it was a work in progress. The natural inquisitiveness of a child coupled with a vivid imagination, we would dig around in the fields that surrounded our houses and find shards of ancient pottery, which immediately became part of the previous ancient culture. I later found out that the pottery was used as an artificial aggregate to break up the natural clay heavy soil. It was fun imagining though.

Who has been the biggest influence on your work? I had an amazing tutor at Glasgow School of Art, Neil Morrison. He was the first tutor that made me understand that art can be an investigation. Do you have a signature style/making technique? I don’t have a signature style, to my mind, though sometimes I wish I did, it would make things easier. Each time I make its always fresh, remakes for me never work, I need to have an emotional connection to what I’m doing. The pieces that I have made the most are a series of simple silver spoons with driftwood handles. They have been all over the world and have got me some great coverage and even made it into Buckingham Palace. You worked in a foundry in Bogota, Colombia, tell us about your experience there. Working in a foundry in Colombia came about through my involvement with an art school in Bogota. In the school they have a small foundry for melting bronze. The technicians were very skilled and encouraged me. I found the whole process exciting; it felt like being witness to the origins of molten matter that swirl at the core of the earth. You have worked on some prestigious commissions during you career including a whisky set for Robbie Coltrane OBE. Are there any that you found particularly interesting/difficult? I was commissioned by the University of Edinburgh to make a ceremonial mace to mark the transition of Queen Margaret College to University status. It was, by far, the biggest single commission that I have tackled to date. I particularly wanted to collaborate with other makers on the project, so I contacted the Wood School in the Scottish Borders (now sadly closed). There I met a great wood worker, Daniel Morgan, who made the shaft for the mace, he was a gifted maker and bricoleur. I also worked with the Letter Cutters Association as well as engravers, platers and polishers from across the UK. The head of the mace was silver and was much bigger, in size, than I had worked with before. As soon as I started I realised that the skills that I possessed at that stage were not going to be enough, traditional soldering would not work. I took a lot of advice and eventually decided to use the industrial process of Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding to connect the heavy silver sheets. It meant acquiring a new skill and given the shortage of time also meant that I could make no errors, I had only one chance, and incredibly, I did it! When the final piece was presented it was carried up the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, I have never been so terrified and proud at the same time. What do you do when you’re not in the studio? I love to visit museums, my favourite being the V&A in London. I easily get lost in the incredible history of making, objects and traditions. What does America mean to your work? While a student at GSA I studied for one term (3 months) in the USA at Maine College of Art. Tim McCreight, author of Master Metalsmith, the metal workers bible, was the subject leader at the time and I was very fortunate to be taught by him.

Watch Grant talk about his work in our Meet the Maker film series:

Jennifer Gray - Jewellery, Edinburgh

You use traditional hand carving methods as well as emerging digital technologies, how do you combine these two methods in your work? I try as far as possible to make work that is timely. I have learned to use techniques and materials which have gone before me and combine this knowledge with what is available to me today to create something new. I have managed to utilise my wax carving techniques when carving digitally using 3D modelling computer packages. A virtual block of wax appears on my computer screen and I carve it using the same carving methods as I use on a real block of wax. For this method I replace my steel wax carving tools for a USB drawing tablet. My work is not defined by the use of new technologies. I integrate them as part of my process. The pieces I make would not be possible without my experience of both traditional and current digital methods. I want to demonstrate that new technological approaches can blend naturally into a piece of work as a means to build upon what’s gone before. You were awarded a place on the Craft Council’s prestigious Hothouse Programme, what does that involve? Hothouse is a six month scheme set up to support emerging makers from all around the UK. It provides tailored, intensive business skills and creative development, after which each maker is linked with a business mentor to give them bespoke guidance whilst

establishing their creative business. I have realised that businesses can take many forms. Hothouse helped me to establish my core values so I can develop my practice in a more targeted way. It has been an invaluable experience. What is your most treasured tool? My steel carving tools. They are like extensions of my hands. You have spent over ten years in some form of education, achieving a first class honours in Design Silversmithing and Jewellery and also completing a Masters at the RCA. What was the most important thing you learnt during this time? Over the past ten years I have been both student and teacher in various educational institutions. In both roles I have discovered that there is no limit to what you can learn. I am not bound to one particular material, I adapt materials and techniques depending on the purpose of their application – it keeps me on my toes. Also I have seen the value in sharing your methods and ideas with fellow makers. When you give a little you gain a lot. What do you do when you’re not in the studio? Dance – contemporary dance, ballet and more recently Argentinian tango! I walk everywhere and listen to audio books. Normally if I am not in the studio I am travelling around the country setting up exhibitions. Your work straddles the boundaries of both fine art and craft, how do you wish audiences to view your work? I like having this ambiguity, but I would always describe my work as design as each piece has been crafted to fit a purpose. Whether to be worn or cemented to the wall my materials and means of construction for each piece are determined by their purpose. In the case of the Amphora Garland, it is first to be worn as a piece of jewellery and secondly to be displayed as a sculpture. This piece gives the wearer a sense of experience as they can adorn themselves in a stone garland, wear it comfortably, and then place it back onto the Urn to complete it as a classical ornament. Who/what is your biggest influence? My inspiration comes from many places; history, classical and neoclassical sculpture and artefacts and stories. I like to re-interpret stories of people, places and happenings through my work. My pieces tell stories and give clues to their origin through titles such as ‘Heads Will Roll!’ and ‘Diamond in the Rough’ I use humour or light satire to blend historical themes with the modern. I have always been fascinated with objects. In some cases I feel crafted artefacts are our only means of mapping certain historical times. They will always outlive their makers and the storytellers. Some appear to idealise a time period while others are more humble, yet all epitomise the maker and their relationship with material and time.

Watch Jennifer talk about her work in our Meet the Maker film series:

John Galvin - Furniture, Glasgow

Some of your pieces are reminiscent of furniture from the 1950s, is that an era that inspires your work? There has always been a place in my heart for Scandinavian design, especially the furniture masters of the mid-century era such as Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner and Poul KjĂŚrholm to mention but a few. I also love the honest and modest shaker style. I suppose my style is best described as fusion of both with a strong contemporary feel. You have worked with some unusual woods in the recent past like Purple Heart, what makes you select a particular type of wood? Timber is an amazing medium to work with; no two pieces are the same. It is an especially sensual material. For me designs made with wood are tactile, smooth and organic. There are so many different species; the colours and textures really are endless. Unlike other materials, wood gets better with age and every piece has a story to tell. You are originally from Ireland, what brought you to Scotland? My mother was very interested in collecting and restoring antiques so I was always around beautiful, well-made pieces of furniture. I loved building from a very young age and my favourite toy was Lego (and still is). I would spend hours and hours up in my room, creating multi-coloured sculptures. I came to Glasgow in 1998 to study furniture design and construction, graduating in 2001. I never envisaged that fifteen years later I would have my own successful furniture company in the city with an international client base.

Which stage of the making process do you most enjoy? I start with sketches, a collection of ideas that I develop further. When I’m happy I begin the model-making process, and then this leads on to a half scale mock-up. It’s at this point I can really tweak my design and make sure that I’m 100% satisfied with the overall look of the piece. But the most satisfying part is hand finishing the piece with oil. It is at this point that all the long hours spent hand crafting really pay off. The piece springs to life with a beautiful lustre deep within the wood grain. Who do you most admire, and why? I would say my parents. They taught me that hard work reaps rewards and that it’s always important to maintain a sense of humour – no matter what life throws at you. Tell us about the greatest piece you’ve ever made/most proud of? The ‘Manolo Lounger’ is without doubt the most challenging but satisfying piece I have ever attempted to produce. I have incorporated over five different jointing techniques in the construction of the chair and there is not a single 90 degree angle in the entire piece. The seat is bevelled in two directions and tapers from 12mm at the front to 28mm in the centre. I have hand carved the top edge of the chair to follow the curve of the splayed back legs. The front legs are mirror images, with hand carved twisted details, which are also slightly splayed. Brass pin detailing gives the chair increased rigidity and passes through the arms into the back of the seat. My inspiration for the ‘Manolo Lounger’ came from my admiration of Hans Wenger and Finn Juhl who in my opinion are the two greatest chair designers that ever lived. Secondly, I stumbled upon a beautiful sketch of a high heel shoe designed by Manolo Blahnik. The elegance of the thin stiletto heel and feminine curve of the shoe inspired me to start sketching chair designs. The back legs of the chair are therefore loosely based on this sketch and led to the naming of the chair. The ‘Manolo Lounger’ was launched in the Saatchi gallery London as part of the Craft Scotland stand at the Collect exhibition. A couple of months later the pieces won the Trada Wood Awards for outstanding craftsmanship. What do you do on your days off? On my days off (which are few and far between) I love to spend time going for long walks with my fiancé Rachel and our Australian shepherd Eddie. We are truly spoilt for choice in Scotland with its amazing array of scenery, from the lush green city parks to the rugged beaches of the west coast. Art, architecture and music are also of great interest to me. If you were not in your current profession, what would you be? I have been asked this question a number of times before and my answer has always been the same. I honestly could not see myself being anything else than a furniture designer and maker. I think of wood working as a unique talent, something intrinsic and intuitive. To be a master craftsman requires more than just education and training. It is about having a particular mindset, a drive and passion, about understanding wood, how to manipulate it and re-interpret it as a design piece. Watch John talk about his work in our Meet the Maker film series:

Katharina Vones - Jewellery, Edinburgh

You completed a Masters under the guidance of Professor Hans Stofer at the Royal College of Art, how did this inform your practice? It provided me with a completely different perspective on what jewellery design could encompass. While during my undergraduate degree at the Edinburgh College of Art we were always encouraged to express our creativity and gain inspiration through drawing and model making – an approach I still use in my practice today – Hans introduced me to the complexities of conceptual jewellery. The idea that an object could be viewed in the context of adornment and that the thought behind it should be considered as deeply as its visual and aesthetic properties is something that I have taken away from my time at the RCA. While I particularly admire the acute sense of humour Hans incorporates so successfully in his work, I have found that in terms of my own practice the biggest leap has been to create pieces that could stand alone as sculptural objects when not worn on the body – something that is particularly evident in the larger pieces of work I have created for SOFA Chicago. How has growing up in Cologne, Germany, influenced your work? Growing up as a budding artist in Cologne was a wonderful experience. While my school was very academically minded, my mother very much believed in enabling me to enjoy a more rounded education. She took me to different museums in the city at the weekends, where open-access art classes for children took place. While the purpose of these classes was mainly to encourage children to view the exhibits on show with greater interest, in my case it sparked a lifelong desire to become an artist. I still believe the clay sculpting

workshops I participated in contributed considerably to me pursuing a career in the field of 3D design. Some of your pieces are designed to grow on the body, tell us about the process you go through to develop such a piece. While the visual inspiration for my pieces has evolved over the span of my career from examining the vibrant deep sea environment through looking at architectural forms and finally to microscopic structures and fungi, the desire to create pieces that virtually grow on the human body has remained a constant. Initially I start by sketching, taking photographs and making small scale models, allowing myself to be as free as possible in my expression – inspiration can hit anywhere and at any time. Often when creating my pieces I have a place on the body in mind where I could see them grow – the crooks and valleys of the neck, a crease of a finger, the body’s peculiar geometries. I then start creating the various elements of each piece, letting them evolve as the object develops, referring back to the shape of the body part I envisage them to be worn on frequently. Laser welding is a technique particularly suited to this process, as it allows me to join fine wires into intricate structures around heat sensitive materials, giving me the ultimate freedom to create structural elements that would otherwise not be possible. What has your craft taught you? Patience and precision. An eye for detail and the value of experimenting with a variety of materials. Knowing when to stop adding things – that is the hardest part for me. Tell us about your dream studio. Where? What would it be like? My dream studio would be located in the middle of the beautiful Scottish countryside – most likely Fife or Perthshire. It would be part of a complex of 1970s inspired hexagonal pod buildings grouped around an internal courtyard and joined by covered walkways. I would have one pod devoted to a traditional metalwork studio, with another devoted to advanced digital technologies. There would also be a gallery and exhibition pod as well as an accommodation pod for visiting artists. Are there any art collections that you aspire to be part of? I would love to see a piece of mine in the collection of the Neue Pinakothek in Munich. If you were not in your current profession what would you be? I would like to think that I would be a pâtissier, designing and making huge elaborate wedding cakes. The intricacy of techniques such as creating sugarpaste flowers and blown sugar decorations fascinates me and I am an avid follower of American pastry chefs (amongst them is Sylvia Weinstock) who have taken their craft to the limits. Jewellery and patisserie are not so different in the end – patience, precision and an eye for detail are important for both disciplines. What are your plans for the future? I am in the second year of my PhD at the University of Dundee and am hoping to finish it in the foreseeable future, whilst continuing to develop my practice as a jewellery artist. Watch Katharina talk about her work in our Meet the Maker film series:

Lizzie Farey - Basketry/Fibre Art, Kirkcudbright

You grow your own willow, it must be great to have your materials so close to hand and in plentiful supply, what impact does this have on your work/ practice? It means that I have the quality and variety of materials I need. Most artists and makers buy in their paint, clay or whatever materials they need, I grow my own so have that intimate connection right from the start. Which living artist/maker do you most admire and why? I admire many living artists and makers, but am consistently drawn to the Japanese and Korean makers who make the complex look extremely simple. Early influences were Hisako Sekijima and Ueno Masao, whose bamboo structures simply take my breath away. You have exhibited in America regularly, what does America mean for your work? Ever since I first exhibited in America in 1999 at Browngrotta Arts in Connecticut, I knew my work had ‘come home’. America is an appreciative audience for my work; they ‘get it’ which is a delight. I would like to do more for the U.S. market. Who/what would be your dream customer/commission?

I would love to do another large interior commission on a wall for a big public building, similar to ‘The Portal’ that I made for the DLA Piper offices in London, but bigger. What do you do on your days off? We are very fortunate to live in a beautiful part of Scotland, close to the sea. One of my favourite days off is meeting good friends on the shore with a picnic, cooking it on a fire, dipping in for a swim and staying on till well after sunset with a glass of wine. Tell us how you got into your craft and what do you get from it? After college I trained in stained glass, but after two years I visited my sister-in-law in North Wales and she taught me how to make traditional willow baskets. I then moved into more sculptural, artistic pieces. The traditional skills I learnt in the early days have been invaluable in forming my practice. What is the most valuable thing you’ve learnt whilst making? The ability to keep going through thick and thin; there is sometimes a pain barrier you have to go through to resolve a piece, it is very rewarding once you have reached the other side. You have exhibited extensively and have received multiple awards, what has been your most rewarding experience so far? There have been many rewarding experiences. All of them have come at moments when I really appreciated them and gave me a boost. In the early days I think it was winning the ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ Award from BBC Homes & Antiques. The dinner at Holyrood Palace with Prince Charles was a special moment too. How would you like to be remembered? As an Artist.

Watch Lizzie talk about her work in our Meet the Maker film series:

Marion E. Kane - Silver, West Kilbride

You have worked on some prestigious commissions during you career including a coffee set for Ewan McGregor, are there any that stand out as particularly rewarding/challenging? The Ewan McGregor coffee set made for the Silver of the Stars project is a particularly rewarding commission [the project saw ten international celebrities paired with ten of Scotland’s finest silversmiths – each pair then collaborated on the design for a piece of silver]. The set was the most technically challenging piece I have made. The idea of it being made with traditional hand raising and fabricating techniques – but made to look that it was engineered – was quite a task. Your studio is by the coast, is your work influenced by your surroundings? Being able to see Arran every day in different light and weather conditions fascinates me. Even something as simple as the structure of the windswept trees on the coastline interests me. The peace and tranquillity of walking along the beach gives me time to reflect and think about ideas. You used to swim competitively, has this influenced your work in any way? Being a competitive swimmer when I was growing up instilled discipline and the desire to win. This has taught me that in life in general (including work) you cannot expect to do well if you do not put in the time and effort. You only have yourself to blame if things do not get done or don’t go well. You are also striving to do better.

Your craft is very labour intensive, what do you do to relax? My work is labour intensive and I do need to be able to relax and switch off. I have tried yoga and pilates, but I find I am too hyperactive. The closest I get to this is gardening, but my first choice will always be aerobic exercise. Some may think that going to the gym or working out is not relaxing, but it works for me – especially after a day of extremely intensive work. It also has the benefit of keeping my strength up, vital for my work, and it helps to balance out the body after hours of sitting doing repetitive work. You have a selection of tools that any crafts person would be proud of, what is your most treasured/favourite and why? My favourite tools are my old hammers; each one of them gives a unique texture. Some have hand carved handles that fit nicely into the hand and also balance the hammer. The odd one even has the previous owners initials carved into them. When I am using them I sometimes wonder who this person was and what task they carried out with them. Who do you most admire, and why? I admire all craftsmen and women who are determined to make a career out of their passion and love of their craft. You have previously said that you wish people would no longer consider silver as being too precious to use. If you could create anything in silver, if money and facilities were no object, what would it be and why? I would create a collection for my own personal use and to display in my home. What stage in the making process gives you the most satisfaction? The process that gives me the most satisfaction is hand raising. For a while I feel that I am not progressing with the form and then all of a sudden the final shape seems to appear. If you were not in your current profession, what would you be? I really cannot imagine doing anything else. I would be living the same life but perhaps in a hotter climate, and near the beach so I can spend my lunch break there. What has your craft taught you? My craft has taught me that happy accidents do exist and you will always be learning.

Watch Marion talk about her work in our Meet the Maker film series:

Mette Fruergaard-Jensen Wood and Metal, Edinburgh

You originally trained as a potter and ran your own pottery workshop for 25 years, what prompted the change to working in wood/metal? I always wanted to do craft, I was seventeen when I started at the Art and Craft School. My father was a potter and I suppose I did choose to be a potter because I was so familiar with it, but after 25 years I had been through everything I wanted to do and felt stuck. It was confusing, because I thought it was for life. And as always when you finish anything – something else appears. I went on an eight month woodwork course and took weekend courses to try different materials and it was very refreshing to explore new materials. How did being a maker in Denmark differ to being a maker in Scotland? Being a maker in Scotland is not different from being a maker in Denmark. I think I would make the same things if I was still there, but I lived in the countryside in Denmark and now I live in Edinburgh, which I love, as it’s a city so full of cultural activity. It is also a plus to have the studio at Coburg House and be amongst other people working in the same field, as you can feel isolated in your own workshop. Craft is quite a lonely job sometimes. What are the main things that influence your work? A love of things and materials. I am always on the hunt for materials wherever I am, in pottery it was only the clay, but now that I am making my own materials like resin and

cement there is a whole range of materials I can choose from and combine. Who is your biggest inspiration? I find that being Danish abroad makes you even more Danish, and I am certainly a product of Danish simplicity in craft. Due to my age I have seen much work in my life – from the 1950s to the present day. What do you consider your career highlight so far? Since I have been in Edinburgh I have really enjoyed taking part in the annual exhibition with Visual Arts Scotland in the Royal Scottish Academy building and I am thrilled about SOFA Chicago, it is so uplifting to be chosen to take part in an event like that. What stage of the making process makes you happiest? This is easy to answer, it’s the beginning. I get the idea of a pattern, a form or a material and when I start this is by far the best part. Then as work progresses, and I work very slowly, I make many decisions and I do not like to finish things. I do not use precious materials, but I take a lot of time to make things to perfection. It is the perfection that can make it so challenging. What is your most treasured tool? I think the sander is my most treasured tool, it does not sound very exotic, but I could not work without it, and my materials must be within sanding ability. Do you have a signature style/making technique? Yes, I think I work in a limited way, as I will almost always make boxes – my love for functional things is everlasting. What do you do when you’re not in your studio? I very much enjoy going to the cinema, spending some time out on the Hebrides or roaming around charity/ thrift shops where I find a lot of materials, which I cut up and reuse. What would be your dream commission? It would be something similar to the Wych Elm Project in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh a few years ago. Each exhibitor got some elm and we were was asked to make something from that. I liked the limitation.

Watch Mette talk about her work in our Meet the Maker film series:

Naomi Mcintosh - Jewellery, Aberdeenshire

You initially began your training in architecture at the prestigious Bartlett School of Architecture in London, what prompted the change of career and how has this training informed your work as a jeweller? My time at the Bartlett was excellent and the ways of working and processes inform my work now. Architecture at the Bartlett is a demanding and intense course and I immersed myself into studio life. I began to think about scale, pattern making, creating volumes and relating buildings to landscape. I made devices and models and hand drew all my drawings. I wanted to represent spaces with lines and was more interested in the making of models and drawings existing as objects rather than thinking about the actual building. After a year travelling and a year working at an architecture practice I went to Central Saint Martins and did a Masters in design. This was where I learnt more about how to start relating my interests to spaces that surround the body and jewellery related objects. Where did you grow up and how has this influenced your work? Growing up in the countryside allowed me lots of space to dream and draw and to realise that I wanted to do something creative. However, I think that moving to London at seventeen and studying architecture was where I did my growing up and where I found my identity that influences my work now. Combining my interest in the built environment and nature is what started to influence my work and opened my eyes and I began to look up and see my environment in detail and at a macro and micro scale.

You have recently returned from a residency at Cove Park, tell us a bit about your experience and how your work has developed as a result? I was lucky to spend a month at Cove Park, which is an artist residency programme on the West Coast of Scotland. I was away from my normal workshop and tools which gave me an opportunity to explore new processes as well as making abstract drawings of elements and pieces of wood and other materials that I found. I am interested in pattern making and mark making and the elements in my work and began to explore steam bending wood that I collected as well as beginning to think about working in different scales and developing objects off the body. Whilst at Cove Park I started a new collection of work (that is still being developed) that uses steam bending to create volumes in wood. The work that I did there has been a catalyst for thinking and whilst the objects are yet to be completed I am really excited to see how being there will change my practice. You were awarded a place on the Craft Council’s prestigious Hothouse Programme, what does that involve? Hothouse is a programme for emerging makers that I was involved in at the beginning of the year. I was selected as one of ten jewellery and metal makers. It involved support and mentoring in the practical areas of being a professional artist and maker and has enabled me to be clear about what areas I want to develop in my practice and the direction that I want to take. The Craft Council organised brilliant and influential people to give talks and workshops as well and provide us with feedback. An excellent aspect of the Hothouse Programme was meeting other makers and thinking about possible collaborations and building networks and sharing experiences and support. Your studio is in a beautiful location and quite remote, what made you decide to set up there? I moved from London to set up my studio in Aberdeenshire. It is my idea of heaven living here. Every day is different. I experience proper weather and the landscape is spectacular, I have the perfect space to work and think and focus. Tell us how you start the design process when you are creating a new piece. I make line drawings of everything that I look at or interests me. Pieces of wood or fragments of rocks. This helps me to generate a visual language which I then relate to the body. I like to reveal spaces in my work, by using volumes, lines and colour and thinking about how these spaces are manipulated by movements so they are dynamic and constantly changing and revealing. Are there any collections that you aspire to be included in? I aspire for people to look and be interested in my work. I am really excited by seeing my work on the body and worn. I like the relationship between my work and the wearer and how the jewellery is worn. What are your plans for the future? I am really excited to be developing ranges in my work and making pieces in different scales.

Watch Naomi talk about her work in our Meet the Maker film series:

Patricia Shone - Ceramics, Isle of Skye

You live and work on Skye, how does this influence your work? It has been a tussle at times to get a balance between the influence of such a powerful landscape and my own creative imperative. But I enjoy the discomfort that this can produce in my work, stained surfaces, broken textures, and sometimes unbalanced pots. There’s an Australian potter, Peter Rushforth who sums it up: “I don’t want to go beyond what comes out of the materials and processes by superimposing a decoration that isn’t relevant. It must be integrated, and come out of the materials and processes themselves.” It’s not about the landscape of Skye per se, but about my place within the land and how I feel my relationship with it is. It’s not just about the clay, but about how it reacts with my hands and which elements I choose to develop. Your work involves raku firing, tell us about this process. This process requires removing the piece with tongs from the kiln at about 1000ºC (1832ºF). It is then submerged in sawdust in a closed container. The resulting incomplete combustion draws oxygen from the clay to produce the lovely soft blacks and greys. It’s an exciting and immediate way of firing, physically challenging in the handling of the larger pieces and risky from the thermal shock they experience. There’s an element of chance with the resulting surface patterns and I like not to be entirely in control.

What is the most critical part of the making process and which stage makes you happiest? I suppose the final firing is the most critical, until that point I can change my mind about a piece, change it physically or abandon it. I’m happiest when making the textures and allowing the clay to reveal itself and develop its song. You have been working in clay since the 1990s, what has been your career highlight to date? Career wise probably being selected to show with Craft Scotland at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft show in 2011 as part of their guest country program. I did well there and loved being in America for the first time. Which artist/maker do you most admire, and why? This changes almost daily. At the moment it is the Japanese artist Akiyama Yo. I saw a piece of his for the first time recently in London and was staggered by the scale of it. His ceramic work manages to suggest both intimate vessels and monumental land forms. What is your most treasured tool? A wooden modelling tool whittled by my Dad from a piece of olive wood, because of the way it feels in my hand and it always seems to be the tool I need. But there’s also a worn smooth potato basher which I use to stretch the pots. What do you do on your days off? I make more pots, to give me time off from the administration of modern life. If you were not in your current profession what would you be? In the real world of earning a living I’d be a cook; if I started over again and hadn’t found clay, and was a different person, possibly an actor. You have exhibited in America previously, what does America mean to your practice? One of the highlights of the last few years! It helped me think on a larger scale; made me think about the sense of attachment to a place from another perspective. I’m more confident about my work when it is outwith its usual context, unconstrained by familiarity. Who would be your dream client/ customer? Impossible question. I try not to think that I am making the work for anyone, it inhibits me. But if you want a name – Bob Dylan! Watch Patricia talk about her work in our Meet the Maker film series:

Susan O’Byrne - Ceramics, Glasgow

Your creations have such life and character, how do you achieve this? The animals I make are not intended to be direct representations of real species. They are representations of human emotions or ways of being. Much of my work attempts to subtly convey feelings of anxiety, awkwardness, sensitivity or hope. The anatomy of my creatures have little in common with real biology, instead their body shapes and postures often owe more to puppetry and folk art. I feel that elements of my particular making technique, such as the shrinkage of the clay onto wire, or the way in which some work is hung in the kiln, also contribute to the feeling of life. Tell us about the most challenging piece you’ve ever made, what did it teach you? I don’t think I can narrow this to one piece; the work has presented me with many challenges. I have developed a very personal making process, and continue to enjoy how technical problems and solutions can suggest interesting and new aesthetics. Print and pattern are a huge part of your work, where does the inspiration for these come from? I would like my work to suggest that it has a history – that it was perhaps made some time in the past for some unknown purpose or event. I cover my animals in a surface of scraps

of differently patterned clay, working in much the same way as I might work with collage on paper. I would like this mosaiced and patched surface to reflect the tradition of the bricoleur. My most recent collection of animals was inspired by the animals catalogued in medieval bestiaries, and their patterns were taken from British tile designs of that period. You are originally from Cork, Ireland, what brought you to Scotland and has this influenced your work? I came to Scotland to study at Edinburgh College of Art in 1994. While living in Edinburgh I spent a lot of time drawing in the National Museum of Scotland. My experience of the museum and its countless exhibits still influence my practice today. How do you select which animal will be subject of your new work? The choice of animal is usually dictated by a definite theme or by the feelings and ideas I’m trying to express. I’ll also often choose animals accurate to a particular period in history if the work is inspired by that period. A recent theme was a collection of British birds inspired by Victoriana. If money/facilities were no object what would you make? A whole ceramic forest, including flora and fauna. You’ve exhibited in some prestigious galleries, particularly in Europe, are there any in particular that stand out? I very much enjoyed exhibiting at the Marianne Heller Gallery in Heidelberg. It’s amazing to be able to show in galleries that exhibit the work of so many of the ceramicists I have admired for years. It’s a great feeling to know that a gallery owner has a proper knowledge and understanding of the work they show and a passion for the medium. Marianne’s friendliness and hospitality also made this exhibiting opportunity very special for me. You have studied in Kilkenny and at Edinburgh College of Art, what is the most valuable thing you’ve learnt from your education? I think the most important thing I learnt was the value in experimentation and taking risks, and that sometimes there was even value in failure. At Edinburgh College of Art I found the time and importance given to drawing very valuable also. If you were not in your current profession what would you be? If I didn’t make ceramics, I would probably make something else. I have a strong love for textiles, printmaking, and working in metal. I could also imagine cooking for a living. What would be an ideal day away from the studio? Foraging for berries in the woods outside Glasgow, or taking a trip to the coast.

Watch Susan talk about her work in our Meet the Maker film series:

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Craft Scotland at SOFA Chicago - Meet the Makers  
Craft Scotland at SOFA Chicago - Meet the Makers  

Read interviews and find out more about the sixteen makers represented in the 2013 Craft Scotland showcase for the SOFA Chicago exhibition.