Contemporary Craft: Scottish designers at Collect 2022

We take a look at the Scottish designers and makers presenting at international contemporary craft and design fair, Collect

Article by Stacey Hunter | 25 Feb 2022
  • Craft Scotland at Collect

Fluid forms and sustainable processes lie at the heart of Craft Scotland’s latest showcase for Collect. Eleven designers and makers were selected to represent Scotland in London at one of the world’s most important art fairs – the collection of contemporary craft and design from established and new makers included furniture, textiles, ceramics, jewellery and works in silver and gold.

Craft Scotland presented this cohort within its own dedicated gallery space, giving Scottish designers a valuable platform during Collect 2022. Covetable artworks in silver and gold sat side by side with pieces made using wood and recycled plaster making this year’s exhibition one of the most diverse to date. Held at Somerset House just off The Strand in central London, Collect is the craft sector's premier showcase, bringing together galleries, artists and collectors from around the world, positioning Scotland-based makers and their work in front of global curators, collectors and buyers from world-renowned institutions.

Jasmine Linington is a textile artist whose work with foraged seaweed from the Scottish coastline introduces this sustainable material in surprising new ways. Experimenting with a variety of seaweed species hand harvested, under licence, from beaches close to Edinburgh, she uses the material as a natural dye and as unique embellishments for her SeaCell fibre textiles. Susan Cross has designed and made contemporary jewellery for over 30 years. Inspirations come from plant forms, and from her deeply-rooted interest in textiles, both in terms of borrowed techniques and a range of visual references. Precious metals are central to the making process. Silver is oxidised black, emulating a drawn graphite or inky line. In recent pieces, Susan has begun to use pearls and semi-precious stones, integrated into a metalwork matrix.

Duke Christie, a Moray-based furniture maker, makes work in wood inspired by the natural environment surrounding his studio in the north east of Scotland. Duke plays with light and texture to create unique pieces that remind us of our elemental and emotional bond with the natural environment. Steven and Ffion Blench of Chalk Plaster have designed and made pieces crafted using the scagliola technique which feature pigments sourced from the Fife coastline.

Returning artists include Daniel Freyne, a blacksmith with an in-depth knowledge of iron and forge work who is pushing the limitations of his material, and Naomi McIntosh whose work in wood draws from an architectural practice and showcases pieces from her Quiet Garden series at last year’s London Design Biennale.

The platform offered by Collect is perhaps unparalleled for designers and makers, especially in a time when they have been facing unprecedented challenges around display and trade. Craft Scotland’s Director, Irene Kernan explains, "It will be our first major in person exhibition since the pandemic so the opportunity to see beautiful tactile pieces up close will allow visitors to appreciate the value of design-led Scottish contemporary craft and understand the master craftsmanship that goes into creating these objects. Showcasing work on an international platform is incredibly important for Scotland whose global reputation as a destination for high quality craft needs to be maintained despite the challenges of Brexit and the impact of the pandemic on international markets.”

The 11 makers selected are: CHALK, Daniel Freyne, Eileen Gatt, Heather Woof, Duke Christie, Jasmine Linington, Lara Scobie, Lynne MacLachlan Studio, Naomi Mcintosh, Susan Cross and Susan O’Byrne