About the Guild - FAQs

What we do

Kids doing craftWe are a charity and Membership organisation which aims to create as many opportunities as possible for people to enjoy and learn about contemporary craft.

Whether you visit our exhibitions at Riverside Mill or one of our shows touring the country, experience an education project with Freehand, or visit our partner event The Contemporary Craft Festival - we are dedicated to one mission: inspiring creative excellence through contemporary craft.

As well as galleries, we also have a lovely on-site cafe and a large craft shop.

Directions & opening times

For information about how to find us (directions), map and opening times, follow this link...

What's on?

Chloe the mosaic sheep at Devon GuildWe have regularly changing craft exhibitions (see programme here), plus a lively programme of related events such as talks and workshops for adults and children - all focused on creative making and different crafts - from pottery and print to glassblowing or blacksmithing. Our main aim is to bring the newest, most exciting craft and design  to the South West and to give you - our visitors, an inspiring experience. Our centre is here to promote the best craft in the area, nationally and internationally - and as an attraction, provide a fantastic visitor experience! Find out about our Shop, Exhibitions, Cafe

Our visitors? We had over 120,000 visitors in 2016 to the Guild gallery, shop and cafe (including all the exhibitions and events). In 2016:11,000 members of the public observed craft demonstrations, met artists and makers and took part in a making activity at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen. See visitors' reviews on Tripadvisor....

About our charity

Kids learning craft at Devon Guild
Our main aim is to promote activities that encourage interaction with craft to help design and making skills and to increase confidence and well-being. We set up activities through our education project, Freehand which funds makers and artists to go in the community, schools or colleges where they run hands-on workshops in various crafts. In 2016, we ran 30 off-site artist residencies including work with learning disabled adults and asylum seekers. More...
Support us....

Membership?

John Pollex Guild MemberThe Devon Guild currently has over 260 selected Members who exhibit and sell at our premises in Devon and are given advice, support, networking and professional development opportunities. Applications can be made by all craftspeople based in the South West region (Devon, Dorset, Cornwall, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol and Bath). Selections take place throughout the year. Find out more about jbecoming a Member...

Our approach?

helen Snell, papercut with laser technologyWe aim to set the standard for contemporary craft.  That means, researching, locating and showing people the most innovative and exciting craft work around. we like to present new ideas and combinations of design and materials. With a focus on 'contemporary' you may find traditional deas about what 'art' or 'craft' is, challenged - for example a ceramic item may be hand-thrown or formed with a 3-D printer or textiles could be hand-painted or made using laser-cutting or digital print methods. 

Our exhibitions

Our recent programme has covered themed craft exhibitions such as 'Pour Me' (March 2017), based on the form of the jug vessel, and ones which focus on a craft medium such as rogue taxidermy ('Dead on Arrival' 2017). We'll also feature local craft traditions and history ('Artisans of Dartmoor'; 'Hortus'- 2017). The aims of the exhibition programme is to help you learn about how objects are designed and made, to show how different mediums in craft are applied using a range of techniques to create a final, original piece - which may or may not be for sale!

We provide lots of resources, information and backgound material about the craft too.

Coming to our gallery will give you great access to amazing objects you wouldnt normally come across, and hopefully you'll get to look a bit closer and think a bit deeper about materials and making. Even better if you are inspired to make something yourself... ! There are always DIY making activities for kids - and grown ups - in the craft corner of the gallery.


Our funding

The organisation maintains its facilities and services through kind support from Arts Council England.. It is also sustained by membership subscriptions, sales of work, cafĂ© income, commissions, charitable donations and project grants. We also have a Patrons and Friends Scheme for regular supporters. People can also be 'Friends' for a small yearly sum and have discounts, special events and other benefits.  Make a donation...

We are a Registered charity, no. 296568

riverside Mill in Bovey, an old photographOur history

A 'Guild' is traditionally a community of tradespeople offering mutual support and networking. The Devon Guild of Craftsmen was founded in 1955 by local furniture-maker Edward Baly and a group of artisans who wanted to share skills and support eachother in their craftmaking. They set up an annual summer exhibition which was held at various locations until Riverside Mill became the HQ.

From an original membership of just 18 the Devon Guild has grown to its current membership of around 260 makers from South West England.


Our building, Riverside Mill

Riverside Mill in Bovey Tracy, home of Devon Guild of Craftsmen
Our building is a Grade II listed,19th century mill, built in 1854 as outbuildings and stables to Bridge House (now the pub opposite) then home of John Divett, owner of Bovey pottery. The big wheel pumped water from the River Bovey to the top of the tower then through pipes to the main house and horses. Guild Members bought and settled at the restored Mill in 1986. In 2004 renovation work here included a new, larger gallery with sedum roof and outdoor cafe terrace with rooftop views.

Our team:

Executive Director: Erica Steer


Finance Director: Keith Bell

Craft Enterprise Manager: Lisa Cutler

Retail Administrators: Sharyn Baker & Lindsay Cornish

Office Manager: Alison Penwell

Office Administrator & Marketing Assistant: Georgina Richardson

Exhibitions Manager: Saffron Wynne

Exhibitions Officer: Sharyn Baker

Exhibitions Officer (Riverside): Flora Pearson

Development Officer: Heather Holcroft-Pinn

Education Manager: Phil de Burlet

Marketing Manager: Simon Williams

Marketing Officer / Gallery Education Assistant: Anna Trussler

Online Retail Administrator: Kathryn Mason

Finance Officer: Lindsay Boteler

Terrace Cafe, Head Chef & Cafe Manager: Richard Quested

Cafe Supervisor: Jade Peters

President of The Devon Guild of Craftsmen:
Peter Randall-Page

Contact us here.

Call us on 01626 832223