Connecting creative practitioners with the general public, Guildhouse’s Well Made is the perfect place to discover and/or grab some work by this state’s artists and designers.
Launched recently, the website Well Made, of which The Adelaide Review is a media partner, is an exciting initiative from Guildhouse. Well Made is an online guide to allow locals and tourists searching for art and design to connect directly with the artist to buy or commission. Guildhouse’s Executive Director Rae O’Connell says the initial idea for Well Made was discussed when she was interviewed by Guildhouse (then called Craftsouth) five years ago. “ The organisation had wanted to create a publication called Well Made Adelaide featuring outstanding practitioners and the interview panel asked me how I would do this,” O’Connelll says. “I suggested that we look at something online that would provide ongoing marketing support as the printed publication would date quickly and have a limited audience. We started to research online options and Victoria Bowes did a lot of research as part of her Bachelor of Visual Art degree.” O’Connell says Guildhouse, which is celebrating its 50th year, always saw the site as a “marketing and promotional platform” but now they see Well Made as an “ideal way of promoting the commissioning process”. “If people want a special gift, a unique piece of jewellery or furniture this is way that they can connect with South Australia’s best crafts people and designers. There is an online form that people can complete to start the process that outlines their needs, their budget and time line. It is not difficult to commission new work, it’s about matching up the right person to do the work. This is where we will focus our e fforts to make these connections.” Currently there are 29 creative practitioners on the site as well as four spaces. Guildhouse are aiming to have 100 creatives on board by the end of June. “I know there is a financial commitment that artists need to make to have a place on the site, but this will provide them with a new audience that they can direct back to their own website for direct sales or to their galleries and agents. We will promote their events and highlight their news through our blog and other social media networks, which have increased considerably since we launched Well Made.” One of the creative spaces on board is Worth Gallery. Amy Sierp-Worth says Well Made’s “website and strategies will hopefully prove to be another opportunity to assist with the work we do”. Sierp-Worth says the timing to join Well Made was appealing as Worth Gallery is currently setting up a new space at Kent Town, which they share with Tell Henry and that the gallery was founded on partnerships and collaboration. “We have been hosting exhibitions in pop up spaces for five years including Fisher Jeffries, Adelaide Oval and Sam Scott & La Prova Cellar Door plus more. Holding shows in spaces that are not galleries has exposed the art to new audiences and maximised the opportunity of reaching new clients. In The Barn we have six artists studios, we offer a residency space and exhibition space and we also offer classes and workshops run by professional artists. In our newest location at 20 The Parade West we are sharing the warehouse with Tell Henry Cafe, Rodeo and Lucent Construction. “In all these scenarios we are banding together, maximising opportunity, reaching new audiences, educating and building awareness. There is so much benefit in working in his way; it is cost effective, positively geared and mutually beneficial. “Well Made is a platform that should achieve the same en mass marketing and collaborative efforts.” Ultimately, O’Connell says that Well Made “wants to make as many connections for those on the site as possible, lots of sales and valuable commissions”. “We hope that if someone is looking for a piece of furniture or special gift they will use Well Made and acquire something that will last and maybe even become a family heirloom.” wellmade.com.au Photos: Jonathan VDK