After a quieter couple of years, the Creative Orkney Trail is back for 2022, bigger and brighter than ever.
The pandemic may have kept some of the doors on the trail closed over the last two seasons, but that doesn’t mean our makers haven’t been busy. For many, the rise in online sales has been an unexpected but positive consequence of recent events.
But the internet just doesn’t quite compete with meeting the maker in person, visiting their workshop and experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells for yourself.
We’ve been to meet three of the makers who’ll be happy to welcome you into their workshops this year.
“It’s just fantastic to have folk coming into the workshop again,” says Jackie. “We’re very proud of the quality of what we produce, and while you can give a sense of that in a photograph it’s not the same as being able to see it up close. That’s when you maybe get more of an idea of the attention to detail that’s involved.
“The Creative Orkney Trail is a great way of putting ourselves on the map. We get visitors in here from all around the world and it’s just fantastic to show them a bit of traditional Orkney craftsmanship in action.”
Meanwhile, in the West Mainland, Woodwick Gallery is one of the newest members of the trail. Painter and sculptor, David Pierce, says he’s starting to see a steady flow of visitors dropping past his workshop and gallery.
“It's good to be part of the visible art scene on Orkney. We can have a bigger presence as a group without needing to devote a lot of time to publicity.
“The Creative Orkney Trail is such a good way to help visitors find small galleries and craft places they might otherwise miss. I think it's very helpful to offer the map alongside the individual details so visitors can plan according to weather and location. Visitors often mention the Trail when they come in."
In Stromness, jewellery maker Zoe Davidson is busy at her workbench. Her time is split between commissions and producing her own intricate collections, inspired by Orkney’s seas, coastlines and rich history.
“I’m very much looking forward to having people come by the workshop again. It can be quite a solitary occupation and sometimes talking folk through how you came up with a certain design can help you understand your own creative processes.
“We’ve got plans to expand the workshop, which should be great and will give us a slightly higher profile, as well as a lot more space. The Creative Orkney Trail is so important as it attracts the perfect visitors - individuals who are just as passionate about works of art as we are.”