“ I have never before, in my long and eclectic career, been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced filming War Horse on Dartmoor.” Steven Spielberg.

Summer Show 2023

Highlighting the best craftsmanship from our Maker Members 27th May–2nd September 2023
Private View 26th May 2023

The Summer Show is MAKE Southwest’s annual exhibition celebrating the unique quality and craftsmanship of our Maker Members.

The Devon Guild of Craftsmen Summer Show at Totnes Civic Hall, 1962

Luke Shepherd, winner of the President’s Prize, Summer Show 2022

Angie Parker, winner of the Selection Committee Award for Excellence, Summer Show 2022

Image above: Lisa Wisdom, winner of the Green Maker Initiative Award, Summer Show 2022


Our membership comprises nearly 300 makers from across the whole of the Southwest, representing some of the most experienced and skilled craftspeople in the region. Our annual Summer Show is an opportunity to discover the dynamic and diverse craft culture that exists within our membership.

The Summer Show was the origin of MAKE Southwest, and began in 1955 when a group of local makers collaborated to organise a joint exhibition of their work, which has inspired craftspeople in the Southwest ever since.

MAKE Southwest has a long and distinguished history with its origins in the extraordinary melting pot of creativity of Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst’s Dartington Hall in the 1930s and 40s. The original Craftsmen’s Guild was founded in 1955 following ideas championed by Bernard Leach. It became a charity and settled into the historic Riverside Mill in Bovey Tracey on the edge of Dartmoor in 1986. The Guild’s remit was, as now, to both preserve and improve craftsmanship and to promote charitable craft activity covering the whole of Southwest England from which the membership is drawn.

MAKE Southwest Maker Members represent a broad church of craft disciplines, spanning textiles, ceramics, print, woodwork, willow-weaving, jewellery, silversmithing, mixed media, leather, metal, mosaic, sculpture, glass, bookbinding, and furniture.

Submission to the Summer Show is open to all Full Maker Members of MAKE Southwest, presenting an opportunity to innovate within their practice, and to showcase the very best of their work.

Exhibitors are chosen by the Selection Committee, a group of MAKE Southwest Maker Members from a range of disciplines, alongside Exhibitions Manager Flora Pearson, Exhibitions
Coordinator Sharyn Bunn, and independent panelist Tim Bolton, Head of the School of Arts at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation.

The Maker Members on the Selection Committee are: Yuli Somme, textiles; Peter Lanyon, woodwork; Penny Carter, glass; Louise Scammell, print; Susan Brown, photography; Jane Deane, textiles, and Sarah Hemmings-Vourda, jewellery.

Each year prizes are awarded to exhibitors whose work shows an outstanding use of craft skill and innovation. The following awards will be presented:

President’s Prize
Selected by MAKE Southwest President Peter Randall-Page RA

Selection Committee Award for Excellence
Chosen by the Selection Committee 

Green Maker Initiative Award
Selected by Dr Emma Whittaker

People’s Choice Award
Chosen by the visitors, who are invited to cast their votes on our website, and announced at the end of the show.

Exhibitor Events and Workshops

This year, there will be more exhibitor events to get involved in than ever before. Our Jubilee Gallery and Exhibition Education Space will be home to exhibitor demonstrations, as well as interactive multidisciplinary craft activities, in which participants will be invited to respond to the contents of the exhibition. The Summer Show and all exhibitor events will be free to attend.

There will also be a programme of workshops led by our Summer Show exhibitors. Workshops will be available to book at makesouthwest.org.uk.


Southwest is a craft education charity funded by Arts Council England, based in Bovey Tracey, Devon. The organisation has a thriving membership and a programme of events and exhibitions showcasing national and international artists and makers, which attracts over 160,000 visitors each year. Under its former title as the Devon Guild of Craftsmen, the charity has a long history of upholding the highest standards of craftsmanship and design since 1955, and is now a leading advocate for a dynamic and diverse craft culture in the Southwest of England. The Membership currently has 220 Full and 35 Associate Maker-Members, as well as a Graduate Membership scheme to support makers at a very early stage in their careers.

Thanks to public funding for the arts, in particular from Arts Council England, the charity has become a major public exhibition venue showcasing the best craftwork in the region, developing greater public engagement with craft, and an even stronger reputation and membership across the Southwest, and nationally, while continuing to sell outstanding maker-member crafts through its retail gallery. makesouthwest.org.uk