Arts and Crafts Arts and Crafts

Arts and Crafts in Orkney

Orkney supports a thriving and remarkably varied crafts industry, with skilled artisans and artists producing all manner of high quality goods.

Craftspeople in Orkney can access support from the Orkney Crafts Association, which helps promote locally made products on its website and through exhibitions. The association was set up in the 1990s with help from Orkney Islands Council (OIC) and grew with assistance from both OIC and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

A wide range of crafts and skills are represented in the Association, which counts jewellers, textile artists, knitwear designers, potters, photographers, wood turners, furniture makers, glass designers, a craft co-operative, weavers, soft furnishers, and artists and illustrators amongst its growing membership.

Members regularly join forces to market their wares at large trade and public events on the mainland, including the Country Living Christmas Fair in London and Scotland's Trade Fair in Glasgow.

In 1996 the Association set up the Orkney Craft Trail, which highlights the workshops, studios and shops of local artisans, with specially designed roadsigns and a brochure steering the public in the right direction. The Association also runs a busy crafts shop in Kirkwall during the summer months.

Other local groups offering help to craft businesses include Orkney Arts and Crafts.

Orkney has a thriving art sector as well with artists inspired by Orkney's quality of light and diverse landscapes. There are galleries throughout the islands holding regular exhibitions of new collections from individuals and groups.