Christmas is coming, and that means the festive shopping season is already here.
Picking the perfect present for your friends, family and loved ones can be quite a challenge these days, but here in Orkney we’ve got plenty of suggestions that could make your life a lot easier.
Here's our Creative Orkney Christmas gift guide, featuring some of the most talented makers and designers you’ll find anywhere.
Keep cosy this Christmas
When you live in an archipelago at the north of Scotland, you know the value of wrapping up warm during the dark December days. You can definitely do that in style with knitwear from local design partnership Hilary Grant. There are hats, scarves and gloves, beautiful blankets and throws to choose from, and some handy Christmas Posting Date information too so you don’t miss out.
You can also get creative with wool from Orkney and decorate your Christmas tree all in one go this month. The team at Isle of Auskerry has special Christmas Bauble Crochet Kits available this festive season. The kits make eight bright baubles, filled with bio-degradable pure-felt wool stuffing. There is a choice of colours and crocheters of any level can give it a go. Order yours online.
Gift something sparkly to your special someone
Orkney has some of the best jewellery designers and makers in Scotland, and there are some beautiful pieces with a seasonal theme available this year.
Marion Miller creates her jewellery at her workshop in the island of Stronsay and her robin-themed ear-studs and pendant certainly capture the Christmas spirit – you can order yours via Marion’s website.
Sheila Fleet Jewellery’s new ‘Arctic Stream’ collection is inspired by the shapes and colours of glacial ice, water and rocks, perfect for wearing this winter. Earrings, necklaces and a pendant are all available, find out more online or at Sheila’s stores in Orkney, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Karen Duncan is another talented member of Orkney’s jewellery-making community. She’s been busy in her workshop on the Scapa Flow shore creating new pieces, including her Snowflake designs. This is just one of three, which are available in earrings, pendants and bracelets. You can buy them locally at the Pier Arts Centre and the Wellpark Garden Centre. Visit Karen’s website to see her online ranges.
More from our Creative Community
Other original pieces available this Christmas include Carrie Paxton’s stunning range of glass lights, made from clear glass and enamels. Each piece features a custom-made wooden base too. Find out more via Carrie’s website.
Rosalind Johansson is a relatively new member of Creative Orkney, but she’s been busy creating wall hangings inspired by the landscape around her, and plenty of other subjects. Some of her work is available to view and buy at Ortak in Kirkwall. Find out more via Rosalind’s website.
Michael Sinclair Woodturner has created an incredible bowl, the Howar Cauldron, cut from a spalted beech log and turned at his workshop in Harray. The 450mm diameter piece has hand-carved feet and handles and is full of character, including a walnut-laminated repair band, bronze staples and patches. It’s currently on display in the Pier Arts Centre, but remember to check out Michael’s website to see more of his work.
Fraser Anderson at Orkney Hand Crafted Furniture has some special items available in the run-up to Christmas too, including bairn's Orkney chairs, creepies and stools. Visit the website for more information on Fraser's work, and see what's available in the image above.
As well as Michael’s contribution, the Pier Arts Centre’s Annual Open Exhibition features work by nearly 200 other local makers and artists and is open until Christmas Eve. You can also pick up a piece of artwork by Sanday-based seascape artist, Bill McArthur, this month. He has a collection of work on display in the Highland Park shop on Albert Street in Kirkwall. Finally, the Old Library’s Christmas Collection has some beautiful pieces by 12 local artists and designers on display until January.
Find out more about all our talented makers on the official Creative Orkney website.
The Digital Orkney project has been part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Orkney LEADER 2014-2020