Summer is almost here and that means many of Orkney’s makers are busy welcoming visitors into their workshops, distilleries, and studios.
But that doesn’t mean our food, drink, and crafts businesses stop creating – as always, there are new products and ideas being added to ranges all the time.
One of the newest members of Orkney’s food and drink scene, Box’d Orkney have been going from strength to strength recently and their latest creation comes in collaboration with another Orkney food success story. Box’d’s delicious Orkney Marshmallows are now available in Strawberry and Toffee Swirl Orkney Ice Cream flavour – perfect for that summer sundae!
Orkney-based woodturner Michael Sinclair has long been inspired by the Neolithic sites found across the islands, and his latest work incorporates these themes and his own creative talent. His Neolithic triptych features the Odin Stone, a little grooved ware pot and a petrosphere, all carved from English boxwood. The pot and petrosphere are inspired by pieces uncovered at excavations in Orkney, and they’re all displayed together on an ebonised ash base with a silver staple makers mark.
Stockan’s Oatcakes are one of Orkney’s most recognisable – and delicious – food products. The new Orkney Heritage range complements its more traditional oatcakes, baked with an ancient grain and coarse ground wholegrain oats. Two flavours have been introduced; spelt wheat, herb & pepper, and bere barley, chilli & cheese, which won a bronze award for best new product at Scotland’s Speciality Food Show in Glasgow earlier this year.
Jewellery designer Alison Moore has combined her two greatest passions – geology and the ocean – to inspire a brand-new range of pieces. Her Seaweed collection takes the incredible underwater vistas she views whilst diving around Orkney and transforms them into beautiful earrings, necklaces, rings and much more. Alison uses dendritic agates to produce organic patterns in chalcedony, a type of quartz. These patterns represent the lush world beneath the waves in Orkney’s cool, clear, waters, and lets Alison unite sea and stone in her stunning jewellery.
If you’re in Orkney this summer then a stop at the Eviedale Bakehouse in the West Mainland is an absolute must. The team creates incredible sourdough goodies, from pizzas and breads, to croissants, pastries and more. Their latest creation is the cruffin, a cross between a croissant and a muffin, first baked in Australia but now popular all over the world. It’s made using sourdough croissant pastry which is baked and rolled in sugar. At Eviedale, they’re then filled with freshly made crème patisserie, lemon custard or raspberry jam coulis. There are also chocolate and cinnamon versions too. Pick them up from the Eviedale honesty shop on Friday and Saturday mornings, or from the Brig Larder in Kirkwall from around midday onwards. However, pre-ordering is the best way to guarantee you’ll get our cruffin fix!
There’s no shortage of inspiration around Orkney for local seascape artist, Bill McArthur. But his latest work is inspired by memories of his time lobster fishing off St Kilda in the 1980s. With the looming island cliffs in the background, wild seas, and seabirds swooping across the canvas, ‘Gannet Freefall’ certainly brings the elements alive.
There have been yet more awards for Orkney Gin Company’s Orkney Akvavit recently. Fresh from claiming the title of ‘World’s Best Aquavit’ at the World Drink Awards earlier this year, the Scandinavian-inspired tipple has now taken home gold and platinum medals from the Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards. Orkney Akvavit is the first of its kind in Scotland and is quite different to gin, with a caraway forward rather than the traditional juniper.
Here’s a sneak peek at the brand-new Sheila Fleet Jewellery collection, which will be launching soon. The Orkney designer’s Butterfly range is inspired by the beautiful butterflies found in her garden, and in particular the one that landed on the head of her granddaughter, Holly. This unique collection has been designed and crafted by Sheila’s new in-house designer model-maker, Olivia, and the pieces are hand-enamelled in ‘Holly Blue’ enamel, as modelled here by six-year-old Holly herself! It will be available to preview and order from the Kirkwall gallery and the The Kirk Gallery & Café from 17 June.
The cog is one tradition from a bygone era of Orkney weddings that lives on till this day. Essentially a hand-crafted wooden drinking vessel, the cog is filled with a potent mix of alcohol and spices and shared around the hall. Cogs are beautiful pieces in themselves, with individual styles belonging to each craftsperson. Now Aries Gallery has come up with a special mat complementing the cog and designed for it sit on, which can be personalised with the bride and groom’s names and their wedding date. It’s made from rich white velvet with a faux suede underneath. The hearts and lettering can come in more than 400 colours too. It’s a unique gift for a happy couple, even more so if they have Orkney connections.