It is a great time to be involved in art and crafts on the island. In recent months, a new Crafts & Company Collective has sprung to life offering a craft club, workshops and a brand new monthly Arran Crafts Fayre. These events have been very well supported and much more is planned. Coral Smith & Fiona Doubleday began Crafts & Company in May 2016 but by the turn of the new year it had already become too busy for just two people to run. Five more ladies offered to help and the new collective took shape. Crafts & Company wants to make connections with people who love to craft and to use crafting as a way of working positively with charities. In 2106 Crafts & Company worked with the charities Mind, RNLI, Mary’s Meals, Little Dresses for Africa and Ayrshire Hospice. So far in 2017 the new collective has worked with Knit-a-Square for orphans in South Africa and our very own Arran Duke of Edinburgh group. A new and very exciting crafting charity campaign will be launched in September and people living on and off the island who love to craft can all get involved. For more information about this and all that Crafts & Company get up to keep an eye on their website www.craftsandcompany.net.
Crafts & Company has also made connections with the artists on the island and two of their members are exhibiting in the Arran Open Studio event that runs from 11th-14th August. Now in its sixth year, this wonderful four-day event will see 40 artists and venues opening their studios to show work and talk about their artistic processes. It is a truly special time for the island as this event continues to go from strength to strength.
In 2017 the brand-new Arran Art Trail was launched which provides visitors and locals the opportunity to visit practicing artist in their studios for much of the year. The Arran Art Trail brochure can be found all-round the island promoting the work of 18 artists and venues. Crafts & Company is delighted to be part of this new and exciting venture. Arran has a wealth of creative talent, often hidden to the public. The Arran Art Trail hopes to create an artistic journey through our dramatic landscape with small studio signs directing visitors to undiscovered places, some with spectacular views.
Strong and lasting connections are being made between old and new creative ventures on the island. It was always the intentions that Crafts & Company would reach out to creative people and groups to encourage collaboration and mutual benefit. Their new monthly Arran Crafts Fayre has over 20 stallholders making craft in a range of media. The event also includes a ‘make & take’ workshop, entertainment for children, craft demonstration and an excellent tearoom. The Crafts & Company website is currently building a page that will detail craft groups, workshops and other events on the island. So, if you are involved in a craft group or activity get in touch with details and these will be added to the page. This allows locals and visitors alike to know what is going on in the world of craft on Arran.
There is so much creative talent on the island and there really is something for everyone. To find out more about the ventures in this article have a look on their websites.