Saturday, 13 February 2010

Craft Organisations in Scotland

There are a range of organisations that represent and support Makers in Scotland: Crafts Guilds & Associations, Craft Development Officers, the Scottish Arts Council and Crafts Council.

The Scottish Arts Council
The Scottish Arts Council is an executive non-departmental public body which is one of the main channels for Government funding for the arts in Scotland, receiving its funding from the Scottish Executive. They also distribute National Lottery funds received from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. As a non-departmental public body they are independent from, but accountable to, the Scottish Executive. They fund a range of arts organisations for annual programmes of work. In addition, they make project and lottery grants to individual artists and arts organisations. Visit the Scottish Arts Council website (opens in new window).

The Crafts Council
The Crafts Council is the UK’s national organisation for the promotion of contemporary crafts. Established in 1971, they are an independent body funded by the Arts Council of England, responsible for promoting fine craftsmanship, encouraging high standards and increasing public awareness of contemporary crafts and applied arts. Visit the Crafts Council website (opens in new window).

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A wee film about us on STVs the HOUR SHOW click on STV logo to see the film

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Andy the Daft Hermit lives 45 minutes outside Inverness with his wife Mel in an old bus parked in a layby. This current home of theirs is the longest they have ever stayed in one spot. “I’ve been travelling now 25 years,” said Andy Lowe. “Mel’s been travelling 15. One of the reasons we’ve come and stayed up here is because of Mel’s health. I wanted to bring her to the mountains for fresh air and clean water and just a slower pace of life.” Mel has had breast cancer twice, skin cancer once, and for three years believed she had bone cancer after being wrongly diagnosed. Andy’s belief in the restorative powers of the north made them pack up ‘The Black Bus’ that they live in and cross the border into Scotland. New Highland home for hermit couple Andy and Mel “I think we both believe in trying to get to a more simple way of life,” said Andy, “but it’s strange for us because we are sort of hermits, or we like to live separate, but it’s not being anti-social… it’s just the way we are that allows us to be creative.” Andy first began travelling when he left the army. Fed up with bureaucracy he packed a rucksack and left for France and has been travelling ever since. By investing any money the couple have earned into solar panels and wind generators they now live a self-sustaining existence, without electric bills, and collect rain water “straight from Heaven”. “It’s not easy,” said Mel. “There might be time when there might not be enough facilities around, but you always find a way, you know?” Rather than rejecting technology, Andy blogs about his travels online and collaborates with artists from around the world via his ‘Scratchy Heid Film Studio’, which he runs from a static trailer next to the couple’s bus. He explained his philosophy: “My belief is that if you can go through life and you drop dead and you’ve got a balance there that slightly outweighs the good than the bad, you’ve done alright. “Yesterday, with what Mel’s been through with the cancer and all that, I had a woman on one of my sites there that thanked me for the writing, for the positive things, and to me that’s worth everything. You can keep your millions, we’re not interested. That is what we do.” To check out Andy’s artwork and video projects check out his website. MORE FROM THE NORTH

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