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Perthshire Artisans Creates Virtual Highstreet, Linking Highland Perthshire’s Handcrafts

WATCH: Caron Ironside and Derek Allan discuss the role of Perthshire Artisans

Highland Perthshire’s small business support organisation, GrowBiz, is working with the ‘Perthshire Artisans’ to help develop local artists and entrepreneurs.

They help by building a network of local craftsmen and women, ‘it’s about the people, the place and the product that they create.’

Caron Ironside, GrowBiz’s enterprise facilitator, said: “Promoting themselves is one thing artisans and creatives can be a little bit uncomfortable about doing.

“They’re amazing at creating the beautiful products that they create and have a lot of skill and talent about what they do.

“But actually getting out there and shouting about what do can be uncomfortable for many.

“And it was through many of the clients that GrowBiz works with, we have about 20 per cent of our clients working in the creative sector, and it was after several events and discussion with these clients that this desire for a supported platform came about.”

Connecting handcrafters through their website, social media and in person events, Perthshire Artisans looks to link likeminded locals.

Derek Allan is one of these artists, from his workshop, he creates jewellery through a mixed blend of Scottish and Scandinavian traditions.

Working form his home in Pitlochry, he can access the virtual Highstreet and wider marketplace through this network.

Mr Allan said: “Like a lot of things they starts small you think big. I’d always been interested in the creative process, I had always been involved in design, and I never really actually, physically, made anything myself.; I had done a bit of painting, but that was about all.

“And I literally bought some basic tools and started banging away in the garage.

“Some of those pieces were actually quite horrendous, I thought they were great but other people didn’t think so much of them.

“And so, I decided I needed to get some more training, so I went down and did some summers schools, bought some more tools and read up a lot on the techniques and the processes; I’m pretty much self-taught.

“And then about three years I built my own studio workshop in the garden, which is where I go and hide for several hours.”

Creators like Derek Allan make up the backbone of Perthshire Artisans, people who want to start making something themselves and are looking to get that out there.

Events such as the get togethers put on by the group are an opportunity for people like Mr Allan to meet with contemporaries.

Caron Ironside explained: “Everybody shares what they’ve been up to, what they’re current projects are, what they’re issues might be and any challenges that they’re currently facing.

“So it’s a really good chance for people to sort of clock who’s doing what, and also what’s lovely isn’t confined to what we create, these artisans are getting to know each other on a better level.

“So they’re contacting each other out width the events which we’re running.”

Anyone looking to find out more about the artisans can go to: https://www.perthshire-artisans.scot/

Watch the full interview here: https://youtu.be/bqOVjdkot4s

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