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Useful Organisations

Here you will find a list of the organisations, websites, charities, shows and directories that have great resources for makers who are getting started, or looking to progress their business. 

Cockpit Arts

Who they are: Cockpit Arts is an award-winning social enterprise and the UK’s only craft business incubator for designer/makers. 

What they do: Their focus is on nurturing and supporting designer/makers – talented people from a broad range of disciplines with a craft basis to their work. Cockpit Arts house 170 designer/makers at their London business incubators and many more access support through their Making It programme and online resource.

What we like best: If you don't feel like moving to London to take part in Cockpit Arts' incubator programme, they have a vast resource available online with their Making It programme - and you can buy their toolkit if you need even more information. 

Cultural Enterprise Office

Who they are: The Cultural Enterprise Office (CEO) exist to support Scotland's creative businesses. They do this by providing specialist information and advice as well as events, workshops, training and networking opportunities. 

What they do: The CEO website is packed with an abundance of information on everything from legal advice (like copyrighting, intellectual property, insurance and VAT registration), to marketing, finance, funding, planning and networking help. You can have a browse through their user-friendly and informative guides, get an insight into the sector with their sector overviews, read some of their Insights from professionals in the industry, or get business support tailored to you. 

What we like best: Can't find the answer to your question? CEO are available at the end of the phone (0333 999 7989), Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Their delightful team will answer any questions you have, or arrange a callback with one of their Industry Associates

Crafts Council

Who they are: The Crafts Council's goal is to make the UK the best place to see, collect and learn about contemporary craft. They are a charity who organise dedicated training for makers at all stages of their careers, show temporary exhibitions of works held in the Crafts Council Collection, maintain a website full of details of high-quality exhibitions and events, and a curated directory of makers.  

What they do: The Crafts Council run regular training programmes for makers: Hothouse for emerging makers and Injection for more established makers. They produce the Crafts Magazine every two months with profiles on makers and craft news features, and host a directory of makers where you can apply for a profile with details of your work, contact details, a gallery of images and a 'latest news' section. They also have the Crafts Council Collection. Works in the Collection feature in Crafts Council Touring Exhibitions and projects; as loans to museums, galleries and other venues across the UK.

What we like best: We have partnered with the Crafts Council to bring Hothouse and Injection to makers based in Scotland, and these intensive training programmes are unique opportunities for makers. We also love the weekly round-up from Crafts Council HQ, which gives you a short run-down on what happened in craft that week. 

The Design Trust

Who they are: The Design Trust is run by Patricia van den Akker. They offer practical, honest, inspirational, expert training and support for entrepreneurial creatives. You will find both free and premium resources, whether you are looking for advice on business goals, marketing, selling or time management. 

What they do: The Design Trust website hosts business advice blogs from Patricia, free resources such as opportunities and events (although typically they are not focused on Scotland), as well as training and consultancy sessions and the Business Club; a membership which gives you access to webinars, their online learning library and the Design Trust Challenges. 

What we like best: Patricia is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to creative businesses, and her newsletters always have helpful nuggets of information, as well as letting you know of the Design Trust's latest offers and courses. We recommend signing up

emergents

Who they are: emergents is a community interest company that aims to support the development of creative careers, enterprise and the economy in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and beyond.

What they do: They work to support a wide range of professional craft makers creating contemporary and traditional work. They also work with fashion designers and producers. emergents run two training services: Making Progress for New Start Ups and Growing in Confidence, and host regular workshops in partnership with Scottish Development International

What we like best: emergents regularly provide Go & See Travel Bursaries for makers who are based in the Highlands & Islands, who would like to attend events to aid research and the development of their practices. Perfect for getting to the Craft Scotland Conference

Fife Contemporary Art & Craft

Who they areFife Contemporary Art & Craft (FCA&C) is an independent visual art and craft organisation based in St Andrews, Fife. Their programme is delivered across Fife through varied partnerships in all kinds of places. They are also developing their digital services, which are available to an even larger audience through their website.

What they do: FCA&C work in partnership with a wide range of organisations within Fife, the UK and internationally to bring exciting contemporary art and craft projects to life. Exhibitions are at the heart of FCA&C’s interest in creating activity which is multi-disciplinary in approach and outcome. A unique network has been built for artists in Fife providing information and opportunities for them to meet and develop their work. FCA&C has also developed a brand called treat to promote high quality contemporary craft to new audiences. The online treat store provides a specially curated selection of the best of Scottish craft, changing twice-yearly.

What we like best: FCA&C have a great weekly newsflash, which will bring opportunities (particularly suited to Fife-based makers, although regularly covering a wider remit) right to your inbox. They also provide funding for makers based in Fife, whether you are working on a specific project, just starting out or in need of some mentoring. 

Make Works

Who they areMake Works are factory finders for designers and makers. Whether you are looking for a manufacturer, maker, material or workshop, they spend their time hunting out the best fabricators, so that when you need to make or repair something, you can work with people in your local area.

What they doYou can use Make Works to find and get in touch with their listed factories, material suppliers and makers. Their list of manufacturers includes open workshops and facilities if you are looking to find equipment, and tools or machinery to make something yourself. Make Works visit and verify all of the manufacturers they list, so that you can trust the quality and craftsmanship of every factory listed. Often the manufacturing directory includes highly skilled manufacturers, hidden away in industrial estates that you can’t find online.

What we like best: Most listings on the Make Works directory come with a beautiful video so you can get an idea of how the manufacturer, workshop or maker produces your new piece. If you are looking for regularly-run courses or classes in specific disciplines (everything from sculpture, glass and ceramics to printmaking, textiles and digital fabrication), you can take a look at Make Works' guide to fabrication courses in Scotland. They have put together a comprehensive list of where to find workshops and classes where you can learn a making skill.

Process Studios

Who they areProcess Studios is a multi-disciplinary facility for professional designer/makers and the community. Their fully equipped workshops are housed in a Victorian school house in Abbeymount, with studio space, membership and a busy programme of courses and community projects.  

What they do: Process Studios provide workshop facilities and offer access to tools and equipment for printed textiles, constructed textiles, fashion, jewellery, product, wood and ceramics within a lively professional environment. They offer a valuable resource for makers, providing 24-hour access to the facilities and desk/bench space in a shared studio, starting at £110 a month. Sessional access to the facilities starts at £65 per month. If you are interested in studio space and workshop access and would like to look around, you can email Process Studios to enquire. Make sure you include a short description of your work or a link to your website and an idea of how frequently you would like to use the workshops.

What we like best: In addition to running an extensive series of courses and providing studio space and facilities for makers, Process Studios' founding director also instigated the Edinburgh Craft and Design Map, a useful resource for those looking to find workshops and craft places within Edinburgh city. 

UKTI

Who they are: UKTI is a non-ministerial department of the UK government who work with UK businesses to assist with exports and overseas trade. They have professional advisers around the UK and staff across more than 100 countries, with headquarters in London. 

What they do: UKTI works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets through exports. They encourage and support overseas companies to look at the UK as the best place to set up or expand their business.

What we like best: They regularly offer events, missions and exhibitions for specific sectors including clothing, footwear and fashion; giftwear, jewellery and tableware; and textiles, interior textiles and carpets. You can go along to one of their events to learn more about exporting, or even take part in one of their missions where they support businesses to take their products to new audiences across the world. 

WASPS

Who they areWASPS Studios (Workshop and Artists' Studio Provision Scotland Ltd) is a charity that provides affordable studios to support artists and arts organisations. They currently house 800 artists and 23 arts organisations in 17 buildings across Scotland.

What they do: WASPS have studios across the country, from the Scottish Borders to the Shetland Islands. They redevelop redundant, historic buildings into facilities for artists and charities, attracting jobs and improving the physical appearance of local communities. Studio rates vary depending on the location, the quality of studio available and the size of space you need (typically the average monthly rent is £120 - £150 for a 200 sq.ft. studio). They offer a month to month lease to allow maximum flexibility. Available studios are advertised by email to registered artists, and WASPS will decide studio allocation, taking into consideration the amount of time that an applicant has been on the waiting list, their requirements and practice in relation to the available studio, and how they will develop professionally through having a studio with WASPS. 

What we like best: Even if you don't have a studio space with them, WASPS run annual open studio events across their studios, usually from September to December. It is a fantastic opportunity to see inside other makers' spaces, get a feel for the WASPS studios and see if you would like to be part of their community. 

Think we have missed something?

Craft Scotland has put together these pages based on organisations we have worked with or resources we have been made aware of through our work with makers. We want these pages to act as a signpost for makers, instead of repeating information our partners have worked hard to collate and provide. If you are a member of an organisation, part of a company, or know of a useful resource that we do not have listed here, please get in touch to let us know about it. 

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