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New for Old Thailand at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Film by TACA

19 April 2016
by Kendall Robbins

The British Council and the SUPPORT Arts and Crafts International Centre of Thailand (SACICT) are pleased to present New for Old, an exhibition showcasing the exchange and collaboration in craft and design between Scottish and Thai makers and designers hosted by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

An interactive exhibition, designed by London-based designers Studio Hato, will present the processes and journey of a collaborative exchange which happened in January 2016 at Kaewwanna Natural Indigo Dyeing Studio in Phrae, Thailand.  Blending traditional making techniques with contemporary influences, this diverse group of makers explore ideas of environment, sustainability and community within their work. The designer-makers span different practices, including woodworking, basketry, indigo-dyeing and weaving, and so represent a wide spectrum of hand-making techniques and traditions from countries which have craft making at their heart.

The exhibition will be brought to life through an exciting weekend events programme curated by Scottish ceramicist Carol Sinclair on the 14 – 15 and 21 – 22 May. Visitors will be given the chance to experiment with different forms of making and learn techniques first-hand from both the Scottish and Thai makers. All events will be free and open to the public.

Scotland-based designer-makers include Lorna Fraser, Sam Goates, Anna S. King and Naomi McIntosh. Thailand-based designer-makers include Flow Jewellery, Homlom Studio, Jetsada Studio, PATAPiAN, Pin Metal Life, Plural Designs, Thaniya and Vassana.

This exhibition forms part of the British Council’s New for Old programme, which aims to promote, support and develop the craft and design sector, helping to make it more sustainable and viable for designers, entrepreneurs and their communities.  All of the designer-makers featured have undergone training, collaborations or exchanges with UK practitioners as part of this programme with the ambition to build long-term links between the UK and Thai design and craft industries.

In addition to the exhibition, the designer-makers will continue their exchange through a study tour hosted by Carol Sinclair. A selection of Thai designers will also present their work in an exhibition at Clerkenwell Design Week in London 24 – 26 May.


Further information on the exhibition and events

The exhibition will run 9 – 22 May 2016 is open to the public 10AM – 6PM daily at John Hope Gateway, Arboretum Place, Edinburgh  EH3 5NZ.

Free public workshops and demonstrations will take place 14 – 15 and 21 – 22 May from 10AM – 6PM.

Full events schedule: 

Weekend 14th and 15th May 2016 - Scottish Makers

As part of the exchange process, the materials for the workshops on this weekend will all use beautiful hand made and hand dyed Thai paper which has been created especially for us at Kaewanna Indigo Studios in Phrae where the exchange workshops took place. The Scottish makers, who work in a variety of craft and design disciplines, will apply their own making techniques to this paper, so come along, join in and see what you can create. All workshops are suitable for all ages.

Workshops - Saturday May 14th

10.30 - 12.00: Fibre Artist Anna King Using plain and indigo-dyed paper Anna will show you how to make origami envelopes and other simple folded structures. Use the envelopes to hold small cards with messages and secrets.

14.00 - 15.30: Jeweller Naomi Mcintosh Using a variety of rolling, folding and tearing techniques Naomi will show you how to make sculptural jewellery and beads using natural indigo-dyed paper.

Workshops - Sunday May 15th

10.30 -12.00: Textile Designer and Weaver Sam Goates Using a variety of textile weaving techniques, Sam will show you how to use contrasting colours and patterns to create interesting structures and textures in paper.

14.00 - 15.30: Ceramic Artist Lorna Fraser Using techniques that she uses in her ceramic work, Lorna will show you how to make small pictures from nature using a simple process of printing leaves onto indigo-dyed paper.

Weekend 21st and 22nd May 2016 - Thai Makers

As part of this exchange process the Thai participants of the programme will be coming to Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to share their ideas and making techniques, with a talk and workshops free and open to the public.

Saturday May 21st Talk: New for Old: Social Enterprise Models in Thailand

11.00 -12.30, Lecture Theatre RBGE.  The event is free, but please register here

Workshops - Saturday May 21st

14.00 - 16.00: Basket weaving with Varni Weaving Community and Indigo Dyeing with Kaewanna Indigo Studios

Workshops - Sunday May 22nd

10.30 - 12.00: Bamboo Weaving with PATAPiAN Studios and Vassana Saima

14.00 - 15.30: Indigo Dyeing with Homlom Studios