Craft Scotland prepare for prestigious event in Chicago

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Craft Scotland will be representing Scotland next month when they take six of the nations’ most qualified craftspeople to the international exposition, SOFA Chicago. SOFA, which represents Sculptural Objects and Functional Art, is a key event for the international collectors market, regularly receiving upwards of 35,000 visitors across three days.

Scotland is recognised as one of the most creative and skilled crafts nations in the world, and this is reflected in the collective talent of the group of craft-makers being represented by Craft Scotland. Work by two Leith-based ceramicists Craig Mitchell and Rebecca Wilson and Edinburgh based glass artist Jessamy Kelly will be joined by jeweller Craig Stuart from Dunkeld, Aberfeldy based furniture maker Angus Ross and artist basket maker Lizzie Farey who works from her studio in Galloway.

The work being exhibited at Chicago’s Navy Pier from 2 – 4 November 2012 will mostly be pieces created specifically for this show and will include a chandelier created from bone china, original furniture made from ancient Perthshire oak trees and pieces of fine jewellery using a contemporary adaptation of the ancient Japanese metalworking technique, mokume gane.

Chicago is the first of two events Craft Scotland has planned with the organisation responsible for SOFA, The Art Fair Company. They will also be taking a second collection of seven makers to New York in May 2013 and they are also planning other opportunities for Scottish makers to connect with the American market.

Emma Walker, CEO of Craft Scotland said:
“The craft sector in Scotland currently contributes £70 million annually to the economy and there is potential to significantly increase this figure by ensuring that Scotland is represented at key international events such as SOFA Chicago.

We are delighted to be working with SOFA – whose team are keen advocates for Scottish craft – and we are very happy in the knowledge that Scotland will be represented at these shows. Craft Scotland is a proud ambassador for Scotland when we’re working abroad. The collection of work we are showing in Chicago enjoys many connections with the local environments makers are working in and so we’ll be ensuring that we do all we can to highlight that 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland while we are there.”

Caroline Parkinson, Director of Creative Development, Creative Scotland said: “Creative Scotland invests in talent to develop both skills and businesses and this prestigious presentation at one of the world’s leading crafts showcases is an excellent platform to promote the quality of work produced in Scotland.”

Donna Davies, Director of SOFA Fairs said: “We are thrilled to have Craft Scotland exhibiting at SOFA CHICAGO 2012. The SOFA fairs are dynamic venues to showcase the very best of modern and contemporary design and the applied arts from across the world. With Craft Scotland’s presence at this year’s fair, we are very excited for SOFA’s audience to heighten their awareness of Scottish arts and design and its rich tradition and exciting future. Craft Scotland will be a first-time exhibitor at SOFA CHICAGO this year, and we expect a fantastic response to their debut and representation of Scottish applied arts and design.”

Established in 1994, SOFA Chicago has run annually since and attracts an estimated audience of 35,000 curators, architects, interior designers, art advisors and new enthusiasts. Approximately 95-100 exhibiting galleries take part in the show, including ten international galleries one of which will be Craft Scotland.

The show takes place at the Navy Pier in Chicago and runs from 2 – 4 November 2012. For more information visit www.sofaexpo.com.