Inspirational Artists and Makers' Spaces

Marliese Richmond checking Hot Pink Train Tracks fabric design

Photo Copyright: Fraser Band Photography for Invest in Perth

Across Scotland, there is some fantastic support available to both fledgling and established artists and makers.  One organisation which strives to support artists and makers is WASPS, which provides studio spaces in buildings which they have renovated, in the heart of communities across Scotland.  You can read on their website how they redevelop "historic yet redundant buildings, converting them into ideal and much needed facilities for artists, creators, creative industries, social enterprises and charities, generating employment and improving the physical appearance of local communities".  I attended workshops, and volunteered for art therapy and mental health programmes in different WASPS spaces across Edinburgh in my 20s.  I was delighted when the joint funded WASPS and Perth and Kinross Council Creative Exchange opened here in my local town of Perth in 2020.

WASPS Studio, Perth

One of the concepts of WASPS is to repurpose old spaces.  The joint funding from Perth and Kinross Council and WASPS allowed for the beautiful refitting of this building which was previously St John's School.  Many facilities are available, including artist studios, meeting rooms, business spaces and community venues.  I have become involved in all sorts of ways - attending the regular craft fairs, doing life drawing classes, and meeting artists during Open Studio events, such as the fabulous artist Alison Price.  My daughter has also participated in some of their children's workshops.  It is a thriving hub.

Alison Price - Artist

It is the Famous Grouse Ideas Centre where I have had most of my involvement though.  This is an incredible resource for artists wishing to develop their knowledge and skills using tools which, on an individual basis, would be unaffordable.  I have been able to experiment with a laser cutter to create woodcuts, a print making technique which had been out of reach to me previously.  I've been able to use their printers to help visualise my fabric and wallpaper designs, such as my hot pink train tracks.  

Checking out Hot Pink Train Track design

 Photo Copyright: Fraser Band Photography for Invest in Perth

Just as important, the Ideas Centre has enabled me to establish links with other experts and artists, such as Technologist in Residence Scott, who has been very patient in teaching me how to use the laser cutter; and it is through him that I learned about free vector software Inkscape.   Fellow maker Cal Scott of Hooper Hart has inspired me with her beautiful laser cut pieces, especially her layered pictures such as the fox one below.  She has also become our dog sitter for our rehomed Patterdale terrier!  I urge you to seek out your local artists and makers' space - these vibrant, inclusive communities will enable you to access classes and equipment, energise your creativity and possible lead you to explore a new artistic direction. 

Hooper Hart Layered Picture



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