As part of Craft Week Scotland, Euan and I (virtually) sat down with Director of Craft Scotland Irene Kernan along with fellow panellists Susanna Beaumont (Design Exhibition Scotland), Judith Harris (TOAST) and Miranda Harvey (Cordis Prize) to discuss the value of craft and how talent can be nurtured.
Hopefully some of you were able to join the webinar on 12 November - it was a rare opportunity to see Euan out of the laboratory! If you weren’t able to tune in, fear not! I’ve put together a wee post of highlights as well as a few points that there wasn’t time to talk about…
We believe that perfumery is a craft - an intimate knowledge of materials and techniques coupled with an artistic vision and, in our case, intimately crafting by hand - however this is not a notion which is universally believed. It was this that got us to thinking about other craft mediums and their difficulty to be recognised, and how that might affect a maker’s development.
As some of you may be aware, earlier in 2020 we launched the Jorum Craft Award - a self-funded micro award scheme to help with the research and development of makers’ craft here in Scotland. It was over a year in the making, actually beginning development before we launched Jorum Studio and around the same time that we commissioned our first ‘heirloom piece’.
Starting with one award of £500, we reviewed applicants alongside Irene and the Craft Scotland team. The selection process was incredibly tough, and we were bowled over by the level of talent, so much so that we decided to award another maker £250.
Through the Jorum Craft Award directly we have been able to contribute to the research and development of:
A maker specialising in ceramics with a focus on the craft in a Scottish context with a keen interest in perfume flacons. Florence Dwyer has studied traditional techniques in Japan and these methods are reflected in Flo’s graceful and refined creations. With the Jorum Craft Award, Florence plans to travel to the Scottish Isles to study the sites of ancient settlements; marrying Scottish history with international techniques.
Woodturner Stephen Kavanagh focuses on the use of recycled, reclaimed, salvaged or ethically sourced timber. Stephen was looking for funding to explore new techniques which requires a heavy amount of research and development, trial and error.
Through Jorum Studio we have also commissioned heirloom pieces by:
Euan discovered Juli’s work at the Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show about 7 or 8 years ago when she was presenting beautiful handcrafted perfume bottles – the attraction was obvious! All those years ago, when both of us were working for a large fragrance brand, Euan presented her work to the head-honchos who unfortunately wanted to take a more mass-market approach which meant a project at that time wasn’t viable. Since then, he’s always wanted to work with her in some capacity.
We approached Juli in early Spring of 2019 with an idea that we would commission one heirloom piece tied with our perfume collection Progressive Botany Vol. I, however as the project developed Juli ended up creating 21 fabulous glass pieces, each embodying flora and fauna which she fondly calls her ‘Wild Flowers’.
In October 2019, just as the ‘Wild Flowers’ were completed, the pieces were shown at the prestigious Hauser Wirth gallery in Somerset and since then have been showcased at some of the most renowned galleries in the UK as well as featured in top international publications such as Elle Decor and Dezeen.
Daniel gifted carpenter and furniture designer based in Edinburgh under Studio Brophy and Black Box Furniture. Some of you may be familiar with his ‘Tree Fruit’ which we have featured on the Jorum Studio Instagram feed. To link with the launch of our Eau de Parfum Fantosmia, part of the ongoing Selective Memory perfume collection from Jorum Studio, we commissioned Daniel to re-imagine a traditional bust in his own style.
Being able to offer both the Jorum Craft Award as well as direct commissions is an effort that is very close to our hearts. As both are self-funded, we try to engage in these activities as and when we can, but we hope as Jorum Studio grows, we’re able to contribute to more makers and offer larger investments too.
But for the time being we’re pleased to announce that applications for the next Jorum Craft Award will be open in December 2020, with the recipient(s) receiving £500 towards their practice. Check the Craft Scotland website for more information on the Jorum Craft Award as well as other activities during Craft Week Scotland.
Craft Week Scotland (9 – 15 November 2020) is a nationwide online campaign by Craft Scotland to raise awareness of Scotland’s vibrant contemporary craft sector and boost sales for both makers and craft destinations.