Meet the Team Delivering New Course to Inspire Makers in 2022

AAS Advisor Carol Sinclair explains the ways the new course Sustaining Craft Business Practice is different, how it will benefit makers and introduces the team who will be delivering it.

After a rocky couple of years this new course is perfect for makers who want to start 2022 inspired, energised and with a renewed focus.

Sustaining Craft Business Practice is a new part time short course delivered in a partnership between AAS and Lews Castle College, University of Highlands and Islands. It takes a completely new approach to supporting makers creative and professional development to get 2022 off to a flying start. Perfect for craft practitioners wanting to get a new business started, or makers already running a business but wanting to review, revitalise and improve business skills.

So what’s new about this approach? There are 3 key features that bring many benefits for makers juggling an already busy work life balance.

Firstly, applying the AAS principle of by makers for makers, all course content has been developed by experienced professional makers who share their tips, tools and tried and tested approaches to business that work in practice. We have an amazing delivery team who come from a variety of craft disciplines and locations across Scotland, details below.

Secondly the course is entirely online which means it can be access from any location and at any time to suit makers balancing existing life and work commitments. We are particularly keen to offer places to rural practitioners who might otherwise need to travel, and childcare cost may also be available depending on circumstances.

And thirdly the course is SQA accredited so on completion of 3 modules students gain a recognised Professional Development Award. Module options include idea development, marketing, working internationally, managing projects, business planning, sustainability, monitoring and evaluation, as well as an introduction to virtual reality especially for makers.

Introducing the Sustaining Craft Business Practice Team

Netty Sopata
Based in Ness, the most northerly part of Lewis, Netty has been running her own kilt and garment business, Diggory Brown, for 14 years. Although she works from a remote location she has clients from all over the world including KT Tunstall and E. Tautz. Netty is also a lecturer in Fashion and Textiles at Lews Castle College and is the Lead Lecturer for Sustaining Craft Business Practice and will deliver modules in Sustainability, Monitoring and Evaluation.

Carol Sinclair
Based in Forfar in Angus, she has been running her ceramics practice for 31 years. Mostly working to commission with projects including works for a TV set, cruise ship, ski resort, hotels, hospitals, private customers and galleries. Carol balances her making with her work as a qualified business adviser and trainer and will be delivering the business planning module to share her passion for taking an individual and creative approach to planning.

Alice Dansey-Wright
Glasgow based artist and designer who specialises in surface design for textiles, jewellery, furniture, set design and performance. Alice often works collaboratively and runs a custom garment painting service with recent commissions for Local Heroes, Fanfare Label in London and Squint Clothing in Melbourne. With 12 years experience of business support and project development Alice will deliver the marketing module.

Cally Booker
Based in Dundee, Cally is a hand weaver and textile artist creating exhibition pieces and micro collections of accessories and homewares. Developing her professional weaving practice for the last 15 years after an earlier career as a statistician, Cally uses data as the inspiration for her work. An experienced online teacher she will lead the project management module to share insights into managing exhibitions, collaborations, commissions and other creative projects.

Amanda Simmons
Based in Corsock, Kirkcudbrightshire, Amanda has been running her glass practice for 20 years, working to commission and for exhibitions at home and abroad. For the last 12 year she has been focused on the the strategic development of an international market for her work. She is an experienced mentor and tutor, keen to pass on her skills and knowledge, Amanda will lead the module on international trading.

Anne Marquiss
Based in rural Aberdeenshire, Anne combines a variety of making techniques in her jewellery, using traditional silversmithing, stone setting, laser cutting and weaving to create one off pieces and small batch production. An active participant in open studios she enjoys working directly with her customers to develop ideas. An experienced portfolio tutor Anne will lead on the idea development module.

Steve Colmer
Based in Glasgow, Steve studied architecture before specialising in story telling for heritage, arts and culture organisations, using immersive technology to help museums to engage with new audiences. Bringing these skills and expertise to the AAS DISTANCE project Steve has been working with makers to explore the role of virtual reality in all stages of their their practice.

Find out more about the background, the free course and how to apply.

Deadline for applications 10 January 2022.

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