AAS Launches Support for Makers with new ‘Rethinking our Rhythms’ Programme

We have all felt overwhelmed at some stage over the past few weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting constant and dramatic changes in our lives and concerns over the health and wellbeing of family and friends. We really hope you and yours are safe and well, and we urge you to follow safety guidelines so that we can all get through this together. We know you will have seen this already, but just in case here is the link to the Scottish Government Guidelines.

We also know that makers are very concerned about losing their livelihoods overnight and we are keeping a close eye on developments concerning financial support, specifically yesterday’s launch of the UK GOV Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. part of the UK Government’s package of temporary support for businesses.

Other advice is to keep a really good record of all of the money going in and out of your business (including all the ripple effects of cancellations and alterations) so that you have evidence of the financial impact on your business.

As makers we also face particular challenges as making is not just how we earn money, it is part of who we are and how we experience the world. In the words of a maker who took part in AAS research on success ‘without making my life would be incomplete, making, sharing skills and showing my work makes me who I am’.

We are a voluntary organisation run ‘by makers for makers’, so we are all facing the same challenges. We want to support one another, so have been putting into place ways in which we can connect our community and share makers stories and the inspirational ways in which ways in which we’re adapting. There are some amazing things happening and opportunities for all of us to reset and think differently.

Excited by the idea of ‘Rethinking our Rhythms,’ a phrase which AAS Board Member and jeweller Stefanie Cheong recently used to describe her new life while self-isolating, we have developed a programme to support makers and are taking the following actions:

Publishing a new ‘Rethinking our Rhythms’ newsletter/blog with news from makers on what they are doing, advice and tips, and sharing stories, information and ideas to inspire and support each other. Read our first issue next week & find out how you can help us do this.

Launching a new Weekly Digital Drop-In for makers who just need some human contact. Not so much to have a moan (although you can do a little bit of that too) but to be inspired and soothed, to share ideas, great books to read, new creative or business processes to try.

Developing new Digital Workshops to support your creativity and practice. Our first digital workshop Closing the Loop took place this week and we are currently planning to run it again in, look out for new dates to be announced shortly. Connected to the Think Plastic: Materials and Making exhibition it is held in association with Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for makers interested in crafting a more environmentally sustainable practice. Image above of new work using plastic by ceramicist Lorna Fraser Photo: Creative Informatics/Chris Scott.

Asking you to get in touch by a Short Survey to hear your thoughts on our plans and find out if there are other things we could be doing to support your creativity and wellbeing. It will only take 3 mins to do!

Please help us reach as many makers as possible by sharing this survey and news of our activities with colleagues or promoting it on social media using hashtag #rethinkingourhythms

We have all had challenges in the past and what we have to remember now is that we got through them and we can do it again. By working together we can unite as a community and give much-needed support and encouragement to each other and can come out of this stronger, more creatively connected and freshly inspired.

Our board and freelancers all work from home so are adhering to government guidance. We will maintain contact via our email, social media and website so please do connect with us through these channels using #rethinkingourhythms or email

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