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What is craft?

The question 'What is craft?' is a common one, and one which is hard to answer.

For many, it involves the hands of a maker.

A crafted object is one which has been made, not manufactured. It has often been made by the hand of the product's designer, and shows their skill and creativity. 

Makers can work for many years to reach a high level of skill. It's estimated that over 56% of Scottish craft makers have studied at University, and many work over 40 hours per week on their craft.

A survey carried out on behalf of Creative Scotland and other craft agencies in the UK revealed that Scottish craft contributes over £70million to the economy, from an estimated 3,350 Scottish craft makers. As of April 2015, Craft Scotland features profile pages for 1,534 Scottish-based craft makers; nearly 46% of this thriving sector. Craft Scotland works to promote a wide range of crafts, including ceramics, glass, textiles, millinery, furniture, jewellery, metalwork, wood, lettering, musical instruments, paper, basket making, willow weaving, mosaics, heritage craft, and printing on fabric/glass/ceramics (limited productions).

We currently do not represent fine art, painting, drawing, photography, printing on paper, taxidermy, candle, soap or cake making, or stationery and jewellery made by the assembly of bought-in materials. This is mainly due to our funding remit. However, Craft Scotland supports the work of makers who incorporate non-craft disciplines into their craft practice: for instance photographic transfers on handmade ceramics, or painting onto blown glass. We also like to review our representation based on feedback from makers, and new methods of making invented.

To help you 'craft' your own answer to the eternal 'what is craft' question, we've put together a selection of pages with information on the main crafts we represent:

Scottish Craft
Contemporary Craft
Heritage Craft
Discover the wide world of traditional Scottish crafts, from tartan and kilts to boats and willow.

Discover contemporary craft made in Scotland today.


Find out about Heritage Craft in Scotland.



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