Peak District Artisans launch recruitment drive for artists and designer makers

Artists and designer makers are invited to join a group that exhibits in prestigious venues such as Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall.

Monday, 21st March 2022, 8:51 am
Cath Dunn's painting entited Birches II,  Glossop Road.
Cath Dunn's painting entited Birches II, Glossop Road.

A recruitment drive has been launched by the Peak District Artisans, ahead of its next intake on May 2, 2022.

Artist Cath Dunn, who deals with membership, said: “The last two years have been tough ones for our artists and artisans.

“Throughout this time we have been continuing to support artistic activities. We think it is important to ensure that those working in the arts in and around the Peak District get all the help they can, which is why we are very keen to give new recruits the opportunity to join us.”

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Linocut artist Louise Edwards says that membership of Peak District Artisans has supercharged her artistic career.

Standards are high in the PDA, however the benefits are huge with many artists and artisans finding themselves exhibiting and selling in places they would find it difficult to access individually.

Said Cath: “Being a member of PDA has been extremely valuable to me in many ways. Not only is PDA a friendly and supportive group, but they are a fountain of knowledge on all things connected with showing and presenting my paintings.”

Rachel Evans is another of the craftspeople who deals with membership. She explained the process involved in becoming a PDA member:

“We rely on artists finding out and being interested in joining us. If any of our members meet artists at shows that we think might meet the criteria, we chat to them and point them at the PDA website initially for them to find out more. They then fill in a form to apply and the form goes out to our committee to decide if they meet the criteria. If the majority agree then they are invited to interview with a panel,” she said.

“We are particularly keen for 3D artists to apply.”

Rachel who creates willow baskets under the name Wheatcroft Willow continued: “For me personally, joining the PDA has been a great confidence boost. Members are selected for the quality of their work, so I was so pleased to be selected. Baskets are often seen as the poor, rural relation in the craft world, so being able to show my work at venues such as the Buxton Dome and Chatsworth and being able to discuss them with customers who appreciate art and artisan-made products have really helped to increase my sales and raised my profile.”

Others agree that the PDA umbrella has many advantages.

Linocut artist Louise Edwards explained: “Being accepted into the PDA, apart from being an enormous help with confidence in my work, has also been a huge help to stabilise and broaden my business planning. I have always been an employee and as such, was comfortable doing the tasks I was given. As a self-employed artist I found that I easily floundered and struggled with marketing and sales. The PDA has given me focus and so much help and advice.”

Phillip Cox of Heartwood Crafts UK is also reaping the benefits of belonging to the PDA. He said: “Being a member of PDA has given me confidence in my craft and helped me to develop my artistry. We work together to promote our art, reflect the environment we live in and encourage individual expression.”