Monday, 2 January 2012

NZ Craft Destinations & Craft Town Scotland

Happy New Year everyone! As the holiday season continues, we know many of you will take the opportunity to visit, see, and buy craft and object art in various holiday destinations around New Zealand. Maybe you have a favourite craft destination? Maybe there is a particular town or city, gallery, retail outlet, or market that you would recommend to your friends and family and to Craft Aotearoa?

We would like to feature some of these favourite craft destinations in a future blog. You can either post a comment at the bottom of this blog or send an email to   Let us know the object you liked and why, where you saw it, and why you would recommend this New Zealand craft destination to others.

    Hand built forms using stoneware clay by Maggie M. Broadley
    Craft destinations are an interesting concept and in West Kilbride, Scotland, the whole town is being developed and marketed as 'a vibrant community of makers and an ongoing programme of activity and support for makers, residents and visitors alike.'

    In 2006, Craft Town Scotland, a community-led initiative, was the national winner of the Enterprising Britain competition (a search for the most enterprising place in the UK).

    Craft Town Scotland aims to have West Kilbride recognised for supporting quality and distinctiveness in craft and desig; stimulate wider interest in the arts, crafts and design and provide a basis for community learning and participation; provide studio space and gallery outlets for graduate and professional makers; develop a major regional facility that provides craft exhibitions, education and event; support other artistic and cultural initiatives into the town to complement the established craft businesses.
        Three years ago, Craft Aotearoa founding trustee Jenna-Lea Philpott visited West Kilbride whilst undertaking research for the UK Craft Blueprint. Ceramicist and Creative Director of Craft Town Scotland Maggie M. Broadley outlined a vision for attracting tourists to the area and revitalising the town. Today, Craft Town Scotland includes an award winning silversmith, a spinner skilled in the craft of handpainted and hand spun yarn, a glass maker and environmental artist, a textiles maker, a printmaker's boutique, a textiles designer, a ceramicist, basketmaker, woodcarver and sculptor.

        In New Zealand, the relationship between craft and tourism has been integral to the economic development of many towns. Is there a place in New Zealand that stands out as a craft destination?