Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Craft for Christmas

P E T E R   P O T T E R   G A L L E R Y

Christmas: Supporting Scottish Craft 
 18 Nov 2011 – 6 Jan 2012

Is it possible to be unique in the age of mass production? Of course it is!

As the year draws to a close, the Peter Potter Gallery is giving the next 7 weeks to supporting the best of Scottish craft. Individual makers from across East Lothian and the rest of Scotland have been submitting work to be exhibited and sold in the run up to Christmas. At the gallery we value the role we play in supporting creative culture, including both traditional and contemporary crafts. Across the country individual makers have exciting and diverse practices, creating unique and beautiful objects that add to people’s lives. The timelessness of materials such as silver, wood and clay is counterbalanced by the way these materials are lovingly worked by makers.

In recent years the word ‘craft’ has been fighting off its associations of the home-spun, old-fashioned or non-technological. Craft is simply the branch of design that deals with the decorative and the domestic. Often craftspeople work with the troublesome binary of form and function, achieving both beauty and usefulness. This is not to be underestimated – in the words of William Morris, ‘have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’. As well as this, in our age of technology, the handmade object has a value and resonance that makes it all the more precious. 

Scotland should be especially proud of its heritage when it comes to the decorative arts – think of the innovations made by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow School a century ago, bringing together function and ethereal decorative form in unique styles that were lauded across Europe. The Glasgow girls were a force in themselves, with the intricate and graceful illustrations of Jessie M King, and the delicate metalwork and jewellery of Margaret and Frances Macdonald. Craft is the place where product design and the fine arts meet, often with extraordinary results. Craft and design practice is about style, beauty and innovation, and often ideas filter through to the high street from these individual practices.     

Come and visit us this Christmas and you will be able to see ceramics, jewellery, accessories, bags, cards, prints, paintings and textiles from across Scotland. Support the extraordinary creativity of Scottish makers, and if you are Christmas shopping, you will be able to find truly unique gifts...