Modern Heritage Craft Newspaper 2015

Page 1

THE BEST WAY TO BECOME A SKILLED MAKER IS TO LEARN FROM ONE For most of our history, making things by hand was the norm with the skills passed from one generation to the next. In this digital age, when so many spend their days in front of a computer screen, the thrill and sense of satisfaction in taking time to make something is that much more important. Yet there are crafts that form part of our cultural heritage that are in real danger of dying out. Dumfries and Galloway has a rich cultural heritage and is home to a large number of craft makers using traditional techniques, materials, and methods creating both functional and sculptural work with modern relevance. Spring Fling have been supported by The Holywood Trust and The Heritage Lottery Fund to give young people in the region the opportunity to work with Dumfries and Galloway’s most talented Craftsmen. The Modern Heritage Craft Project has run in 2014 and 2015 and has given eighteen 15-25 year olds, all at different stages of their careers, the chance to create contemporary functional objects.


“I really enjoyed the project and would recommend it. It has helped me decide what I want to do as a career. ” Lauren, 17, Eastriggs

AMANDA SIMMONS GLASSWORKER Amanda Simmons has worked with glass for the past 12 years, graduating from Central St Martin’s School of Art & Design in London with Distinction studying Postgraduate Certificate in Glass & Architecture, before re-locating to Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland in 2005. Past exhibits include Collect (Crafts Council), Contemporary Applied Arts, London Glassblowing, Bullseye Gallery, Portland and SOFA Chicago. Amanda makes kilnformed glass vessels, playing with gravity in the kiln. Manipulating mass, heat, colour and time she aims to create complex, elusive work that has intense colour and pattern which reacts to the light it is placed in. She uses opaque glass powders to construct her work because of its varying translucency as the form elongates in the kiln. Amanda finishes the kiln-fired pieces using many coldworking processes to shape and mark the glass including sandblasting, hand lapping and diamond point and wheel engraving. Amanda was keen to pass on skills she has learnt in the last 12 years. Working with glass is important to her as she is concerned with the lack of physical skills being taught at college and university. Amanda worked with Lauren, Annie, Ellen and Hazel (see back page).


GODFREY SMITH CLOG MAKER Godfrey Smith moved to Galloway in the 1970s having made and sold leather goods in London markets. A traditional craftsman taught him the fundamentals of clog making and he still used his apron and some of his machinery. In the 1850s almost 60% of Scotland’s clog makers were in Dumfries & Galloway, Godfrey felt that this project was an ideal way to carry on this local tradition. Sadly Godfrey passed away early 2015, making this project even more special. Godfrey worked with Rebekah, Lewis, Anders, Iain, Rosie and Kyna (see back page).

“I am hoping to go to Dumfries College next year to study art. This has given me a boost of inspiration and confidence to carry through the year. ” Rebekah, 22, Glentrool



“This was a good experience for me as it highlighted how working with wood wasn’t a strenuous exhausting job but very delicate. I am going to study Product Design Engineering in 2015 and know the skills I learned on this course will be useful throughout life. ” Roan, 17, Castle Douglas

IAN CAMERON SMITH WOODWORKER & FURNITURE DESIGNER Ian Cameron Smith studied interior design at the Glasgow College of Building and Printing and qualified with credit in 1974, achieving a Diploma in Design and Decoration. He spent a further year working for an Associateship, which was awarded in 1975 and he became an Associate of the British Institute of Interior Designers. The word tactile is often used to describe Ian’s furniture, and it is by accentuating the timber’s natural edges and by carving and shaping the solid wood to create smooth, flowing contours that achieves the touchable, organic feel of his works. Ian employs traditional woodworking tools and skills, as well as unconventional methods and machinery for this process, even including the use of heavy-duty electric grinders at the early stages, and this results in the graceful form that is the essence of the sculpted elements of Ian’s furniture When he saw the project advertised he was excited by the opportunity to teach students using unconventional techniques and also being able to reflect his own style in their work. He describes the students he worked with as very capable and keen to learn. Ian worked with Jordan, Roan and David (see back page).


“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn valuable skills I can now confidently use in the future, not only in art and design work but in practical situations as well.� Josie, 17, New Galloway.

SHONA KAREN GUTHRIE JEWELLER Shona graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2005. Night skies, surrounding environment and written word inspire her work. She constructs visual diaries of environments, the sentiment of which she aims to translate in to unique pieces of jewellery. There is a need to work in a considered and concise manner in the jewellery industry. Shona was fortunate to work with a group of young people whose hard work and enthusiasm was exemplary and key to the success of the project. Shona worked with Caroline, Grace, Josie and Lydia (see back page).


Amanda worked with... “I really enjoyed the project and would recommend it. It has helped me decide what I want to do as a career”

Ian worked with... “I’m really proud of what I’ve done and have enjoyed expressing myself through woodwork. It’s been good coming up with ideas and adding my own designs.”

Lauren Souter, 17, Eastriggs Jordan Tate, 18, Dumfries “For me the project has been absolutely amazing, so much so that I intend to apply for a foundation art course.” Annie Hyde, 23, Galloway

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in this project, which has so many advantages such as the exhibition and the professional photographing of our work. It has inspired me to look for other workshops that involve using varied materials.” Ellen Muir, 18, Lockerbie

“I think it has been very well organised, Amanda has been amazing and was so prepared.”

“This was a good experience for me as it highlighted how working with wood wasn’t a strenuous exhausting job but very delicate. I am going to study Product Design Engineering in 2015 and know the skills I learned on this course will be useful throughout life.” Roan Ballantine, 17, Castle Douglas

“I have created jewellery and etched glass before but never a serious wood project such as this. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the tools and the experience of seeing the roughly cut timber being turned into a beautiful piece of furniture.” David White, 16, Shawhead

Hazel Maclennan, 22, Dalbeattie

Shona worked with... Godfrey worked with... “I am hoping to go to Dumfries College next year to study art. This has given me a boost of inspiration and confidence to carry through the year.” Rebekah Crang, 22, Glentrool

“I make lots of things from wood and metal but I’ve never made anything from leather. I loved being in the workshop and learning new processes.”

“It’s been a great experience and I would highly recommend the project for anyone looking to broaden their horizons or begin to learn a new skill.” Caroline Inker, 22, Newton Stewart

“As well as being part of the course I enjoyed being part of the spring fling and it has hopefully opened up new opportunities for me in the future in taking part in spring fling.” Grace Rowan, 20, Dumfries

Lewis Crosby, 19, Auchencairn

“This is the first time I have made any apparel from scratch. It made me appreciate how much work goes into something and how complex a process is involved.” Anders Rigg, 21, Upper Nithsdale

“I was interested in taking part in the project because I enjoy learning new crafts and working with my hands. I’m sure to use some of the skills I learned again in the future.”

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn valuable skills I can now confidently use in the future, not only in art and design work but in practical situations as well.” Josie Oliver, 17, New Galloway

“I have gained a whole new set of skills and an experience that I won’t forget. It has also made me interested in taking jewellery making further.” Lydia Reilly, 18, Auchencairn

Iain Gisbey, 20, Auchencairn

“I’ve always been interested in making things and couldn’t pass up this opportunity. I made the most fantastic pair of derby boots and can’t get enough of showing them off.” Kyna Hodges, 19, Moniaive

“I found the process of transforming the twodimensional pieces of leather into a wearable threedimensional form exciting and hugely satisfying. I have developed skills that will feed into my next projects.” Rosie Giblin, 20, Auchencairn

Spring Fling is Scotland’s premier open studios event. Each year in spring since 2003, artists and makers in Dumfries & Galloway have opened their doors to visitors around the world. Join us from 23-25 May 2015. www.spring-fling.co.uk We would like to say a huge thanks to The Holywood Trust and The Heritage Lottery Fund for allowing us to create such an important project, to our makers, Amanda Simmons, Shona Guthrie, Ian Cameron Smith and the late Godfrey Smith, our young makers, the Spring Fling team, Colin Tennant for his outstanding photography and film, Broughton House and Designs Gallery for the exhibition opportunities and Brighteye Design for their design work. Photography by Colin Tennant Design by Brighteye In memory of Godfrey Smith