Guildhouse has worked closely with practitioners to identify the opportunities and barriers to economic growth for South Australia’s craft sector and develop a strategy to see us through the next 10 years.

South Australia’s craft sector is inter/nationally renowned for the strength of its community, its conceptual and technical rigour and the quintessentially South Australian work it creates. The sector makes a vital contribution to South Australia’s identity, with craft helping to differentiate the state’s identity as a cultural and creative place to live, work, visit or engage with.

This strategy has been developed by Guildhouse as a means of identifying the key roadblocks currently impacting growth with a focus on education and training; infrastructure, strategic investment and inter/national markets and profile. The strategy has been developed in close consultation with South Australian practitioners and brings together contributions from over 170 practitioners via in person focus groups, case study interviews and an online survey.

It provides a range of short and longer term recommendations designed to strengthen the South Australia’s craft economy at both a macro and micro level.

This strategy was developed in response to the South Australian Government’s Growth State Agenda with a focus on economic growth. We acknowledge the input of the JamFactory and support from Arts South Australia.

Key Findings

  • Australian and international participation in craft is growing, with indicators the market for craft is on the rise.
  • Despite this, the number of professional craft practitioners has fallen over the past two decades, greatly attributed to the fact that makers’ incomes have not kept pace with increased participation and consumer demand.
  • Cashflow was identified as the top barrier restricting growth in makers’ careers, followed by the need to do other work to supplement their income, access to government funding and grants, and avenues to sell and exhibit their work. When asked to rate opportunities for income generation in South Australia, makers said they were below average (4/10).
  • The collegial and connected nature of the South Australian craft community is crucial – 73% of respondents told us this community was vital and extends beyond their specific area of practice.
  • Craftspeople are among the creative practitioners most likely to work in regional areas. Approx 11% of surveyed makers were based in regional South Australia.

Areas of Focus

Our sector consultation identified four major roadblocks affecting growth:

  • Education and Training
  • Infrastructure
  • Strategic Investment
  • Inter/national Markets and Profile

Read the full report below to find out more about the recommendations made.