10 Shetland-based craft-makers were selected and sponsored by Shetland Arts to travel to Orkney between 23rd and 27th September 09, both to attend the Maker's Day at Pier Arts Centre organised by Hi-Arts and to research the Orkney Craft Trail. Amongst the benefits of networking and sharing experiences at an event such as this it is hoped that a trail of makers throughout Shetland can be established using the experiences of those in Orkney, where a trail has been in place since the 1990s.
The trip was a busy one, with studio visits made throughout the Isles as well as the busy networking Makers' Day event and reception at the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness. It was an opportunity for Shetland's makers to gauge their work on a wider platform, with makers present from across the Highlands and Western Isles as well as Orkney.
Hazel Hughson (Craft Development Officer, Shetland Arts) spoke proudly at the Makers' Day about the wealth of talent and opportunities in Shetland and how important it is for these businesses to look outwith Shetland for new challenges and opportunities. There were informative and lively talks from other Development Officers, Co-ordinators and practitioners.
With a punishing schedule of visits and events the trip was an exhausting one but extremely beneficial to all those who took part. The evaluation process has now begun and it is hoped that new and exciting initiatives will soon emerge.
(No images are currently available of the last night's celebrations...)