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Modern makers show off their new skills

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By Fiona Reid
Modern makers show off their new skills

JEWELLERY, pottery, print-making, woodwork, glass-making and costume design are just some of the skills that have been passed from one generation to the next through Modern Makers.

The Modern Makers programme has been going for seven years and has teamed up small groups of young people from Dumfries and Galloway with highly skilled makers and artists across the region.

It’s a practical programme through which young people can have up to 30 days’ experience taking part in a highly creative project that can help them think about their future careers.

And some of them have just been showing off their newly found talents in an exhibition in Dumfries.

One of the 2018 cohort was Hazel Fairley Keast who was part of a group working with Alex Rigg and his performance company Oceanallover to design and create fabulous costumes for a production called Orographic.

The experience had such an impact that she is now studying fashion and textiles at Heriot Watt University and has internships with Mother Of Pearl – a sustainable high end brand and Cad and the Dandy, a men’s bespoke tailor in Saville Row. She got such prestigious placements because Modern Makers made her CV stand out.

Hazel said: “I was already interested in costume design, so when the chance to work with Alex came up it was perfect for me.

“It was brilliant experience, and when I was back home during covid I was able to work with him on other projects, helping create costumes used by the French circus company Gratte Ciel.

“If it hadn’t been for Modern Makers I wouldn’t be doing what I am now. And once I’ve finished my degree I’m now thinking about a career in costume design or fashion management.”

Amy Marletta, director of Upland who run the programme, said: “The opportunities for young people to learn craft skills and what it takes to plan, then make something from scratch, can be very limited.

“Modern Makers has given them the chance to work with skilled and experienced makers of many kinds – people who truly love what they do – and pass on some skills and insights.

“We believe it’s enormously important that young people have the chance to learn about careers in the creative industries at the point where they are planning what to do with their lives.”


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