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Arts and crafts groups band together in the Cairngorms

9th May 2006

A new arts and crafts association has been set up in the Cairngorms National Park to help promote the sector and to highlight its importance to the area both economically and culturally.

‘Creative Cairngorms’ is open to anyone living and working in the Park who is involved in the arts and crafts sector, from painters and potters to knitters and wood turners as well as retailers of products. Anyone involved in arts and crafts outwith the Park can also apply for associate membership of the organisation.

‘Creative Cairngorms’ has been established with help from the CNPA and The Highland Council. The Park Authority put out the call to craft producers and retailers in the Park in October 2005, to assess the level of interest in setting up an association. Over 70 people replied positively and following two initial meetings in Tomintoul, ‘Creative Cairngorms’ was formally created just last week!

Barry Horning is a jewellery box and clock maker from Tomintoul, who also owns his own gallery. As chairman of the new group, Mr Horning said: “The newly launched ‘Creative Cairngorms’ at last gives a focus for the widely disparate and dispersed artists and craft workers within the Cairngorms National Park. We have had great difficultly in promoting our work since most of us live in remote places that do not easily link in with other craft trails, where they exist.

“The formation of the National Park has given us an ideal opportunity to bring to the notice of residents and visitors alike, the wide range of arts and crafts created within the Park. The superbly high standard of work may come as a surprise to many and
we should be proud to promote it as effectively as possible. We are grateful to the Park Authority for helping to establish ‘Creative Cairngorms’, without their help this project would not have progressed.”

Through ‘Creative Cairngorms’ it is hoped that various initiatives will take off in the coming months and years including the establishment of an arts and crafts trail, better connections between producers and retailers across the Park and improved marketing of arts and crafts.

John Thorne, Economic Development Officer with the CNPA said: “I am really pleased that there has been so much enthusiasm for setting up ‘Creative Cairngorms’. I am sure that it will help develop the production, marketing and sale of locally made goods. If anyone out there is a local maker who has never made contact with an arts or crafts group, now is the time to get involved. This is an association run by and for its members and should go from strength to strength.”

Lynn Johnson, Arts Officer with The Highland Council commented: “This is an exciting opportunity to bring together artists, craft makers and the community through creative and educational initiatives in the area.”

Anyone interested in joining ‘Creative Cairngorms’ should contact Barry Horning, A’anside Studios,  tel: 01479 872074 /
email: [email protected]  or David Fallows, Newtonmore Craft Centre and Gallery, tel: 01540 673026 / email: [email protected]