Hand-Crafted Treasures from Craft Town Scotland
Located in the coastal town of West Kilbride, overlooking the Isle of Arran, Craft Town Scotland offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy an unspoiled Scottish village, and purchase a wide variety of hand-crafted items directly from the skilled crafters who made them. Visitors can spend some time watching the creative process in the eight open studios – an interesting feature of this increasingly popular attraction – before making their purchase.
Launched in 2005 as a project devoted to the development of arts and culture, as well as community and economic development, Craft Town Scotland has gone from strength to strength. The new Barony Centre, a craft exhibition, education and events venue, is set to open in March 2012, which will further enhance the visitor experience. Located in a 19th century church building, and designed by award-winning architects, the facility plans to host heritage and contemporary craft and design shows from within the United Kingdom and internationally. In addition to offering a variety of events, the upcoming program will give visitors the opportunity to participate in design and craft classes.
Visitors to Craft Town Scotland can view award-winning Scottish silversmith Marion Kane at work in Studio 24, as she creates items that are both functional and decorative. Using ethically sourced mill-spun yarn, Lilith Green hand-paints the yarns she sells under the lable of Old Maiden Aunt. Lilith also runs dye-your-own workshops at Studio 30. Studio 99 is the domain of Stewart Soutar, where he produces stained-glass panels, engraved glass, kiln glass and lamps. He also paints portraits and is known for his abstract/environmentalist art. Lorna Reid runs the craft business, Chookiebirdie, out of Studio 117, where she specializes in hand-made decorative gifts, cards and a variety of accessories. Other crafts available from Craft Town Scotland crafters and associates include hand-printed artworks, hand-knitted garments, ceramics, wood carvings, sculptures, paintings, pottery and woven baskets.
Under the leadership of the West Kilbride Community Initiative, Craft Town Scotland has been nominated for the Year of Creative Scotland 2012: Creative Place Awards. Moreover, this creative endeavor was joint winner of the Ayrshire Business Awards 2011 Rural Enterprise Category, and is listed as a 3-star accredited VisitScotland Visitor Attraction. Places of interest nearby include the West Kilbride Village Hall and Museum, Kirktonhall and Portencross Castle. With easy access, either by train or car, from Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Scottish Borders, Craft Town Scotland is the ideal destination for a family day-trip.