Makers’ Festival a showcase of craft talent

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Words and pictures by Colin Smeeton

The inaugural Makers’ Festival, held over three days in conjunction with Brodick Castle and Crafts and Company, was a metaphorical collage of the myriad of talented craftspeople and artists on Arran.

Taking place on the expansive lawn at Brodick Castle the event included a number of exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations and community groups who all offered something interesting for the throngs of visitors who enjoyed browsing the marquees which formed a small village beside the castle.

On offer for visitors too, on Saturday and Sunday, were the musical talents of Ain’t Misbehavin, Arran Singers, Vivace, the Arran Taiko drummers and the Arran Pipe Band.

Crafts and Company are a collective of artistic ladies on Arran who practise, promote and encourage others to share and enjoy the practise of crafting and making items by hand, often with charitable intentions.

Through demonstrations, workshops and courses they promote crafting to help develop and share skills and encourage creativity. The Makers’ Festival, along with the support of Brodick Castle, allowed a wide audience to enjoy the creative talents of makers and artists who shared the tricks of their trade and encouraged others to try their hand at learning a new art.

On offer were classes on crocheting, making paper flowers, making gift boxes, clay work, embroidery, weaving, painting, sketching, felting, knitting, beadwork and jewellery-making among many others.

A spokesperson from Crafts and Company said: ‘A huge thank you to Jared Bowers of Brodick Castle for hosting the first Makers’ Festival.  So many makers on the island came together to share their skills and in their work with workshops, demonstrations and talks.  Hundreds of visitors enjoyed the event which was supported by community groups and musicians.  All the makers have thought about the sustainability of their work as we come together to map a more sustainable future for our making community on the island.  Planning is already underway for the 2020 Makers’ Festival. ‘

Jenny Stark of COAST and Simon Ross-Gill, creator of the Arran Green Map, welcomed visitors to learn about marine conservation and environmentally responsibility organisations on Arran. 01_B29maker01

On display inside the castle itself was an exhibition of the project, 52 Stitched Stories. 01_B29maker02

Organisers Fiona Doubleday and Coral Smith welcomed visitors to the inaugural Makers’ Festival. 01_B29maker03

Jenny Clutterbuck teaches Carol Quinney how to crochet during a crochet workshop. 01_B29maker04

Alison Page, author of Corrie Capers, reads to young Marsaili Martin with mum Cheryl and dad Craig enjoying the story too. 01_B29maker05

Assja Baumgartner of Arran Gems displays her line of jewellery made of recycled and upcycled materials. 01_B29maker06

Rorie Rutherford hosted a demonstration on spinning and weaving. 01_B29maker07

Visitors browse the attractively decorated marquees in the castle grounds. 01_B29maker08

The friendly faces of Arran crafting, artist Lesley Van Bogerijen and Karen Furze of Arran Candle Makers.  01_B29maker09

Young children explore the various tents in the Makers’ village. 01_B29maker10

Makers of all ages enjoy a peg doll workshop. 01_B29maker11

Artist Gordon Davidson speaks with a visitor about his art and the charity that it supports.  01_B29maker12

A visitor admires the detail on one of Maya Maclean’s handmade products.  01_B29maker13

Lynn Jones of Lynne’s Art on Arran stands among some of her favourite works.  01_B29maker14

Karen Bell of Karebell Designs welcomes visitors to her stall showcasing her handcut creations. 01_B29maker15