Overview of the 2016 programme
The Festival had around 100 contemporary, heritage and emerging craft makers showcasing and selling
their work in the Makers’ Marquee. In addition, there were 18 heritage crafts people providing demonstrations and 11 of those allowed visitors to have a go and make something for themselves.
Returning after the success of previous years are our highly respected Heritage Tours with many new additional tours and speakers.
New additions for 2016
The new Arts Council funded ‘Craftivate’ programme has already worked with a number of groups in Salisbury and some of their work was displayed at this year’s event. Highlights from the programme included the Schools Heritage Challenge exhibition which was on-site on the Friday, with a large number of the young people who created the work. Six class groups from six different primary schools worked with the programme to create original felt pieces. The other exhibitions taking place at the time of the Festival were; the Reflection in Glass Exhibition across the Cathedral and its Close and a display of flags created by Circular Arts with groups across Salisbury.
The Festival village was expanded with new marquees including a Maker’s Talk Tent, where contemporary makers explained what inspires and drives them to create what they do. Another new space was the Maker’s Film Tent, which was a nice cool space to sit back and be mesmerized by the creative process of national craft makers with films created by R&A Collaborations. Six local artists from Salisbury Plain Arts were be demonstrating their skills across the weekend in the Plain Arts Tent. On Saturday, the Paint Off returned to Salisbury Museum in the Cathedral Close.
New for 2016 was ‘A Good Reed’ which is the new and innovative encyclopedia corner giving amazing insights from the experts on a range of topics, from bee keeping to trout tickling. Artist Sarah Hurly
was commissioned to create stories inspired by the histories of craft in Salisbury Cathedral. Traditional
oral Storytelling methods formed the foundation of this lively, new set of stories about the carpenters, smiths,
masons and glaziers – delivered for adults and children under the storytelling tarp.
The Crafts Workshop Tent had a three-day programme, included within the cost of a Festival ticket. The workshop programme included Sally Dove Lantern Making, Fragment Glass Painting with Ruth Spaak and a Ceramic Workshop with Jim Erin from the Great Pottery Throw Down.
The Festival had even more popular Heritage Games to try with friends and family and a new Dressing Up Tent, Selfie Zone and Stocks to keep young and old entertained.
The Heritage ‘Have a Go’ Zone was an opportunity try a wide variety of skills including stone-carving, pottery, felt making and workshops where you can learn spinning, weaving, braiding and cordage. In the Heritage Demo Zone you could see how makers create lace, spoons, felt and ceramics. A more in-depth insight into the skills of a few of our heritage providers was possible with Spotlight Talks.
Other Festival and ‘Craftivate’ events later in 2016
The programme will also offer professional development opportunities to already established and active artists and makers, including a series of makers seminars. In November, a Big Craft Debate in partnership with the Craft Study Centre will allow amateur and professional crafters and makers to come together to share ideas and practices.
Craftivate will focus on both Contemporary and Heritage crafts, celebrating Restoration and Conservation skills with a programme delivered by West Dean College and in collaboration with the Salisbury
Cathedral’s master craftsmen and women.