Crafts, Fashion and Textiles at XpoNorth 2017 in pictures

A selection of images from the crafts, fashion & textiles sessions & showcasing XpoNorth 2017

Scotland’s leading Creative Industries Fesitval, XpoNorth took place on the 7th & 8th June 2017 in Inverness. Here we reflect back on the Crafts, Fashion and Textiles element of the festival by sharing some of the images from our conference session and SHIFT, our Scottish & Icelandic Crafts Showcase. Find out more about XpoNorth, view the full image gallery and films at:

CONFERENCE SESSION ‘It’s all about Making’
Panel: Fiona Chautard (Fashion & Textile Industry Consultant), Alec Farmer (Founder of Trakke), Hilary Grant (Designer/Co-Owner, Hilary Grant), Mati Ventrillon (Designer/Owner, Mati Ventrillon) and Jaki Love (Director of Textiles Scotland)

How a product is made can be key to the development of a successful craft based business. Choosing to make everything in-house or out-sourcing the production to an external manufacturer, can change the perception of the brand to the consumer. In this panel discussion, chaired by fashion & textile specialist Fiona Chautard, we talked to successful designer makers who make in-house and also externally and explored the advantages & the disadvantages and how this impacts on the development of their brand.

Photograph credits: Tim Winterburn & XpoNorth

The Birth of a Book: Dream Plan Do’ with Patricia van den Akker of The Design Trust

Last year at XpoNorth Patricia talked about creative crowdfunding, which inspired her so much to launch her own successful campaign on Kickstarter in the Autumn, raising over £27k!

In this practical Q&A style-session Patricia talked about how she turned the idea for her book into reality. From how to come up with a book idea to making time (when you are busy). From working with others to what is really involved and takes the most time. The session had loads of real insights and practical tips for those who were thinking about doing their own crowdfunding project or want to publish their own book. 

We’ve also snuck in a photo of Patricia doing a 121 after her session!

Photograph credits: Paul Campbell & XpoNorth

CONFERENCE SESSION: New Approaches to Crowdfunding
Panel: Helen Voce (Independent project manager, event & programme producer), Patricia van den Akker (Director of The Design Trust), Fi Duffy-Scott (Founder, Make Works) and Kaye Symington, (Co-founder of Paved With Gold)

Crowdfunding is an established form of alternative finance harnessed by creative businesses. It can be transformational – see prototypes become products and ideas become projects or businesses.

Drawing on their own and others’ experiences, our panel will shared insights, dos and don’ts and thoughts on current / future trends to explore how to choose the right type of campaign and platform, plan ahead and optimise timing, define your goal, tell your story and pitch it right, get your community behind you, build traction and ultimately close a successful campaign.

Photograph credits: Paul Campbell & XpoNorth

XPONORTH TRAINING: ‘Colour Conversations – a View into Colour Psychology’
with Anne Ritchie, owner of Colour Conversations

Colour impacts on all aspects of our lives and during this presentation and interactive workshop Anne showed how colour psychology can be used as a valuable tool to enhance every aspect of the performance of a business.

Colour psychology uses the concept of colour harmony in four seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Using images of the seasonal palettes Anne discussed and showed examples of each season and how the implementation of colour harmony has a positive impact in product, branding, marketing, uniforms and work place premises.

Craft Showcase at XpoNorth 2017
SHIFT: a change of emphasise, direction or focus

Shift is a project that brings together a diverse group of 5 Highlands and Islands and 4 Icelandic designers and makers to talk, explore and inspire one another. Coming together first at DesignMarch 2017 in Reykjavik, the group also showcased their work at XpoNorth on 8 June 2017.

Photograph credits: Paul Campbell & XpoNorth

The exhibiting makers were:

Highlands and Islands


The showcase was curated by ilka North  – a collaborative creative practice of designers, visual artists, curators, writers and creative thinkers. Based in the Highlands of Scotland, they exist to interpret and facilitate diverse projects in the creative industries.

Further information:

CONFERENCE SESSION: Building the Economy on Creativity
Panel: Clive Gillman (Creative Scotland) (Chair), Halla Helgadottir (Icelandic Design Centre and Design March), María Jesús del Blanco Patino (Bilbao Ekintza)

The Creative Industries have long been recognised for both their economic and social value.  With regular reports showing the sector’s value to the economy or their ability to encourage growth and innovation in other sectors, there still appears to be a need to argue the case for support.  Bilbao, was a large industrialised city that has been completely regenerated following the building of the Gugenheim, and now has a well earned reputation for design and culture. Iceland is a country with a smaller population than the Highlands and Islands, and yet it has achieved an unrivalled international profile thanks to its creative talent.

This session provided a valuable insight into the how creativity has helped build the economy of two very different areas.

Photograph credits: Paul Campbell & XpoNorth

CONFERENCE SESSION: Shift: Scottish Icelandic Maker Collaborations
Panel: Carol Sinclair (Curator & Project Manager), Sunneva Hafsteinsdóttir (General Manager, Crafts and Design), Guðrún Lárusdóttir (Designer/Co-Owner, Doppelganger), Agusta Magnusdóttir, (Designer/Co-Owner, AUGUSTAV), Hilary Grant (Designer/Owner Hilary Grant) and Netty Sopata, (Designer/Owner Diggory Brown)

Shift is a project bringing together Scottish and Icelandic designer makers to talk and inspire one another and to explore location, environment, influences, skills, experience, materials and techniques.  Through discussion and experimentation we aim for a shift in emphasis, direction or focus of their practice.  Shift is a catalyst for new creative production, development of new audiences and markets and fosters a deeper connection between cultures.

The collaboration began with an exhibition at DesignMarch 2017 in Reykjavik and continued at XpoNorth.  This session, hosted by project curator Carol Sinclair, brought Scottish and Icelandic participants together to reflect on their experience.

Photograph credits: Paul Campbell & XpoNorth

XPONORTH TRAINING: ‘How to Build Your Instagram Profile with @zobolondon’

Photographer and social media influencer Zoë @zobolondon discussed how best to build your individual or brand’s Instagram feed and how to create an identity and presence that will engage new followers and grow business further.

She talked through all elements of the Instagram app from creating and shooting to editing techniques that will help create a ‘look and feel’ on Instagram and push your social media presence forward to the next level.

Photograph credits: Tim Winterburn & XpoNorth