The latest edition of Orkney’s unique craft trail brochure, which highlights the workshops, studios and shops of local artisans, is launched this week.
Eighteen businesses – covering everything from jewellery, ceramics and artwork, to textiles and traditional Orkney chair making – are participating in this year’s trail.
Now in its 19th year, the trail was set up by Orkney Crafts Association (OCA) in a bid to showcase the work of its members and give visitors the opportunity to see crafts being made first hand.
Special roadside signposts mark the trail throughout Orkney, with the accompanying brochure acting as guidebook.
Andrew Appleby, OCA chair and craft trail participant, said: “Since its creation in 1996, the craft trail has proved enormously popular with visitors. You can’t beat buying crafts at the source, with the trail giving people the chance to meet our wonderful artisans face to face and learn more about the thought processes and skills that go into creating their work. Following the trail is also loads of fun and a lovely way to experience the Orkney countryside.”
Edgar Balfour, development manager for Orkney food, drink and crafts, added: “Orkney’s crafts industry is a vital element of the local economy and we’re always working to promote the sector, with the craft trail and brochure acting as a great marketing tool for the businesses involved. Not only is it a really helpful and attractive resource for tourists, there are also a surprising number of local folk who use the guide for days out.”
The brochure, which is available widely throughout Orkney and downloadable from the OCA website, also contains details of a number of OCA crafts businesses not involved in this year’s trail.
The image shows OCA chair Andrew Appleby with the new craft trail brochure, outside his Fursbreck Pottery business.