Artists’ Tuck Shop’s Handmade Christmas Gift Guide 2021

Struggling for gift ideas and want to shop handmade this Christmas but don’t know where to look? Why not check out our fabulous Artists’ Tuck Shop Handmade Christmas Gift Guide for which we’ve compiled together a list of some of our favourite UK-based artists, designers and traders so you can shop small, shop local and shop handmade this Christmas!

This Guide is all about putting the spotlight on local makers we admire – many of which we haven’t had an opportunity to work with (yet!). If you want to check out more of the artists we have worked with and what Artists’ Tuck Shop have stocked for this Christmas, then head to our online store! Remember when you buy one of out artist-led products, 70% of the sale goes directly to the makers and we invest 10% from our end into our art commission fund! This enables us to keep commissioning artists to make more products for us!

We’ve not been endorsed by any of the makers mentioned below and have done this entirely to spread support to local makers and promote the idea of shopping handmade this Christmas. We had a lot of fun putting this guide together and researching the work of each artist and designer mentioned below and hope you enjoy getting to know some of them! We’ve split our Artists’ Tuck Shop Handmade Christmas Gift Guide into 6 Christmas gift categories and picked 5 makers for each. We’ve also highlighted a personal favourite product from each. Also, don’t miss our Custom Gift Ideas near the bottom of the page for some extra special, customisable gifts to add a more personal touch to your Christmas shopping.

| CERAMIC gift ideas |

Claire Henry ceramics

Claire Henry is a small-batch production potter working from her studio in the east end of Glasgow, Scotland. Originally from western Canada, she received her BFA from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2008, focusing on ceramic form and design.

Her work can be found in private collections across the UK, South Korea, Europe and North America. Focusing on durability, function and form, the online shop is updated 3-4 times a year – shipping everywhere in the UK.

Her next shop update will be 10th December!


Claire Henry’s handbuilt vases

Clod & Pebble

Christopher Viviani is the maker behind Clod & Pebble.

His wooden and ceramic ware are a step away from the mundane and lifeless mass produced ware and is a celebration of individuality and uniqueness. 

Trained as a Sculptor and inspired by nature, bushcraft and food, Christopher constantly thinks about how the right piece of kitchenware can change your relationship with food and increase your pleasure of eating. 

Whether it’s a mug that fits your hand perfectly, a favoured bowl to eat your morning cereal from, or something for your home, you can find something here that helps you stand out every day.


Clod & Pebble’s Huggable Mugs!


‘foxed’ is a one woman maker of things, using wild and commercial clays to hand build unique items for your home & garden.

She spends her days collecting clay, making ceramics by hand building the pieces and everything associated with running a small independent business. She doesn’t own a wheel and most likely never will. She gathers small amounts of ‘wild clay’ from the surrounding forests, hills and rivers in Scotland, always from beautiful locations. It’s processed in the studio at the farmhouse on the hill, mainly during the summer when it’s warm and good for drying large buckets of gathered clay, removing the large stones and organic material in preparation for use. The process is labour intensive to prepare, dry, wedge and ready the materials to be suitable enough to work with. When you buy ‘foxed’ work you know that you’re buying something unique and quite special, never mass produced and only made in small batches.


foxed Lace Patterned Faux Tea Light Holder

KJA Studio

Kirsty Jay Anderson AKA KJA Studio, graduated from Grays School of Art in Aberdeen and the last ten years of making textiles has helped to inform her new direction into ceramics.

While attending classes in Edinburgh and self study over the last few years, Kirsty’s transition from cloth to clay has been challenging, exciting and ever changing.  Clay will be a lifetime of learning and one that she loves to engage with every day. 

Her ceramics are inspired by nature and the path it leaves behind on the landscape. The vessels themselves are simple shapes taken from Kirsty’s interest in the aesthetics of past objects – milk churns, chemistry beakers and enamel wear. These shapes will continue to inform each other as she grows and develops her practice.


KJA Studio’s Utensil Holder!

Wild Gorse Pottery

Wild Gorse Pottery was founded in 2019 by Jen Smith. Jen’s work is rooted in craftsmanship, where skill can turn a common, inexpensive material into a valued and cherished object. She strives to make glazes and pots which are both durable and enjoyable to use first and foremost. Considerations of surface and colour come after and are often influenced by ancient pottery, worn and weathered surfaces, and muted colours of the ground and sea.

Wild Gorse has a physical shop on Pollokshaws Road in Glasgow so be sure to pop by for a look. There’s loads of great products but a personal fave would have to be these wee spoon rests!


Wild Gorse Pottery’s Cobalt Brushwork Spoon Rest

| homewares & lifestyle gifts |

camban studio

Camban Studio by Fiona Hall loves the slow made, hand crafted, explorative and creatively meaningful processes involved in textile making, and wants to encourage others to appreciate the many benefits of craft, connection and textile skill.

Everything Fiona makes starts with an exploration of her local environment. Learning about the ecology and discovering a sense of place.

She loves translating the landscapes, colours, textures and shapes into contemporary print designs, enabling you to take the unique beauty of that place to you.

Whenever possible, Fiona sources and uses dead stock and the finest offcuts from the best Scottish textile producers.

Taking their finest quality sustainable cashmere and wool, and along with beautiful silks, cottons and linens, she applies her prints to create a unique and precious range of textile products that are small batch produced in limited quantities right here in Scotland!


Camban Studio’s Limited Edition Bloom Cushion

east end press

East End Press are an independent design and print studio based in the East End of Glasgow creating colourful and sustainable homeware and stationery.

They design colourful decorative objects for your home, and work with crafts people all over the world to create beautiful made objects using traditional crafts and processes. They love colour and pattern, and make unique party and Christmas decorations to add some style to any occasion. East End Press are inspired by folk art, traditional crafts and children’s book illustrations.

Their work has always been inspired by the traditional crafts and folk art of other cultures so it was a natural progression, and a dream come true, to work with printers and crafts people all over the world. All products sold by East End Press are hand printed, hand painted or hand dyed- skilled human hands made these products individually with craftsmanship and care. East End Press believe in treating and paying everyone who works with them fairly, and have personally visited all their manufacturing partners. To create their paper products they work with fair trade SEDEX certified printers in Jaipur. This means everyone involved in the supply chain is paid a fair wage and treated fairly and safely. They only use recycled paper in both their products and their packaging, and everything is printed with non toxic water based inks.

All of East End Press’ products are designed in Scotland, where they work from a studio in the east end of Glasgow.


East End Press’ Tropical Bird Garland


The product now known as Mirrl has been in development for fifteen years – trialled, manufactured and provided to clients by founding partner Simon Harlow purely by word of mouth, through his company Simon Harlow Design & Build Ltd.

Mirrl’s origins are in Japan. Co-founder Simon Harlow lived and worked there over fifteen years ago and during the trip came across heirloom objects decorated with an exquisite pattern. He began to look into the origins of the decorative style and discovered it was made using an increasingly rare six hundred year old technique called Tsugaru Nuri.

Having seen what the Japanese laquer artists could achieve, he started to try out different techniques back home using resin and colour. After considerable experimentation he created the surface pattern which is now called Mirrl.

Their new mySplash collection offers exuberant and joyful homewares and tableware in an affordable and postable format. mySplash is the latest nutritious instalment from their ongoing collaborative relationship with the fabulous Adam Nathaniel Furman.


Mirrl’s Double & Triple Swirl Coasters

no comply

No Comply is a celebration of skateboarding and its unique community. Consisting of a wee team of two — Cat & Andy, craft from their workshop inside an old barn, nestled in the beautiful Perthshire countryside. 

The pieces No Comply make are made from broken, disused skateboards donated from skaters across Scotland. By the time they get their hands on them, the boards have already generated memories and enjoyment on the street or in the park. On some pieces, you will see evidence of this as No Comply incorporate the scratches and smudged graphics into the design. Their aim is to ensure the boards generate more memories and enjoyment in a whole new form. As each piece is handmade and the colour of the dyed ply varies from skateboard to skateboard, their range varies frequently. This means each piece is unique and there may be only a limited availability of colour combinations – once it’s gone, it’s gone! So don’t forget to check back regularly to see what new treats No Comply have available!


No Comply’s Pressed Skateboard & Pippy Oak Chopping Board

rekha maker

Rekha Maker is a design business which focuses on the casting process. They use a liquid ‘eco-concrete’ called Jesmonite and pour these into handmade moulds to create striking architectural homewares in small batches. Rekha is a full-time Architect, and started the Rekha Maker business during lockdown last year; many of the designs were already in her head, she just hadn’t devoted the time yet to test them.

Making everything herself, Rekha falls between the categories of both craftsperson and designer. Through the casting process, she aims to create high quality, unique pieces which can stand on their own as objects, even when they are not fulfilling their function. Rekha likes to focus on proportions and clean lines. If she could sum up the over-arching theme of her work it would be ‘sculptural architecture for the home’.


Rekha Makers’ MINIMAL Jesmonite Candle Holder

| illustration & print gifts |

Alex Weir

Alex Weir (aka Smex) is an artist and illustrator based in Glasgow. His practice explores ideas of community, connection and identity through painting, drawing and digital illustration – which is often then presented in large-scale interactive installations. Everyday and recognisable subject matters, in particular those from food culture, are always apparent, along with humorous imagery and playful storytelling.


Alex Weir’s Chip Shop Colouring Book

jennie bates

Jennie Bates is an artist from the South Side of Glasgow, working across different mediums creating illustrative murals and window displays, prints and 3D works. She specialises in screen printing, using paper cut-outs to make the layers which gives my prints a handmade and experimental feel. Jennie’s prints show familiar objects portrayed in unexpected ways, with a slightly surreal feel inspired by my love of collage. The objects float about on the paper and suggest the presence of people without actually portraying them.

Across all of her work – from screen prints to one-off dioramas, Jennie explores her interest in human innovation and enquiry. Whether portraying the mechanics of a bike or a musical instrument, or attempting to illustrate a myth or theory, a basic interest in people and how their minds work is the driving force behind what Jennie does.


Jennie Bates’ “Carril-bici” 2-colour Screen Printed T-Shirt


KFRBS is a Glasgow-based illustrator, muralist and animator.

Her artwork often takes on a humourous perspective as she tries to make light of her own misfortune. Based on her own life experiences, KFRBS ironically narrates both the beauty and autonomy of everyday life.


KFRBS 2022 Calendar

POTluck zine

Potluck is a print and digital zine all about cooking, eating and sharing food.

Created and edited by Rhia Cook, a passionate home cook and textile design graduate with no prior experience in hospitality or running a magazine, Potluck creates a place for everyone to tell their own personal stories about food, and share in the joys that come along with it. The zine is a place to document the family recipes, obsess over personal fascinations, and share the little memories you associate with your favourite meals. Potluck provides a different way to read about food, one that’s people-focused, diverse and enjoyable.


A Year’s Subscription to Pot Luck Zine

rachelle w designs

Rachelle is an illustrated homeware designer based in Edinburgh.

Drawing inspiration from things she loves such as her favourite foods and the vibrant city she lives in, she translates her designs into a range of colourful homeware. Her latest collection, “Homegrown” promotes fresh produce in a colourful design and most recently features an autumnal twist with assorted pumpkins and squashes.

All her work start of as either carefully hand drawn illustrations or with pieces of hand cut textured paper to create collages. Each piece is then scanned and tweaked slightly to carry the colour vibrancy through to the finished product.

Sourcing only good quality and responsibly sourced materials, the brand also seeks to keep the British manufacturing heritage alive.


Rachelle W Designs’ Pumpkin & Squash Tote Bag

| Jewellery gifts |

Dust Studio

Founded by artist and maker Ishbel Mackenzie, and based in Glasgow, Scotland, Dust Studio provides carefully designed, wearable objects that are made by hand.

Dust Studio pieces reflect a simple, sculptural aesthetic alongside a playfully bold use of colour. The lightweight nature of polymer clay makes for fun, tactile styles that are a joy to wear. Each piece is hand crafted with love and care, using hypoallergenic findings to create comfortable, effortless jewellery.

All jewellery is made to order and each piece is unique.


Dust Studio’s Wiggle Necklaces


NMARRA was established in 2017 by designer and long-time earring aficionado Jen Stewart. Intrigued by the possibilities of working with brass and developing drawings into wearable designs the experimentation began, and NMARRA came to life.

NMARRA strives to bring intrigue and interest to affordable accessories. Designs take inspiration from the rich visual language of the natural world, reflect structure in our built environments and play with forms inspired by folk art and 20th century design.

Made from warm brass, these statement pieces make a great gift for yourself or others. Get ready for a barrage of compliments as these irreverent earrings never go unnoticed!


Nmarra’s Kela Earrings

RR Designs

RR Designs, established by jeweller Rachel Rogers in 2015, specialises in sterling silver collections with a focus on sculptural design. All pieces of RR Designs jewellery are carefully designed and handcrafted by Rachel in her Glasgow studio. 

Working with sterling silver, she incorporates a range of traditional and contemporary silversmithing techniques to create unique collections.

Paper and copper models play a fundamental part in her creative practise, providing a basis to explore the natural ductile and malleable qualities of the materials. The act of methodically exploring and manipulating simple shapes and forms results in beautiful organic sculptures that showcase the structural designs within nature and exploit the bespoke qualities in each individual piece of handcrafted jewellery.


RR Design’s Petal Bar Studs

smith & gibb

Smith & Gibb is a jewellery business solely designed, made and managed by Rebecca E Devine (formerly Smith).

The name, Smith & Gibb, originated from her time at Duncan of Jordanstone Art School in Dundee, where part of her degree show collection was inspired by love letters sent between her Grandparents – Trevor Smith & Margaret Gibb.

Part of her graduate collection Rebecca used original handwriting and images of the pair together and apart over the period of 1943-1946, through very uncertain times during WWII.

Trevor Smith, Rebecca’s Grandfather, was a spitfire pilot and wrote almost everyday he was away to his sweetheart back home, Margaret. It was a truly emotional and inspiring project, that led way to Rebecca continuing her love of designing and making jewellery.

Although Rebecca no longer makes work with her Grandparents letters, she has always got them with her in Smith & Gibb. If anything has taught her from their beautiful letters, is the importance of communication and to hold your nearest and dearest close – and even more importantly to enjoy life!


Smith & Gibb’s Circle Window Pendant – Enamel

Heather woof

Heather is a jewellery designer based in Edinburgh working with traditional techniques to create understated yet distinctive jewellery. She creates each piece in her Edinburgh studio with a focus on craftsmanship and detail.

A pared back aesthetic characterises her work. Clean lines and simple forms are balanced with a love of pattern and rhythm. Her inspiration is rooted in observations of the natural world, of shifting light and landscape. This is translated through drawing, abstraction and methodical making process. Her work explores restrained simplicity, a sense of unruly precision and balance of form.

Heather aims to create essential pieces that remain favourites for years to come.


Heather Woof’s Ripple Earrings

| Gifts for Plant Lovers |

another studio

Another Studio is a plant loving, conscientious, design company, founded on Aimee Furnival’s kitchen table in London, in 2009. Their inspiration comes from ephemera, architecture and the botanics. They’re enthusiastic about every product they create, especially if it plays with scale.

As well as producing their own collections, Another Studio have worked with museums, universities, galleries, publishers and creative brands to design bespoke retail and promotional products.

Another Studio’s latest mission is becoming an environmentally friendly company. So far they’ve been able to achieve carbon neutral deliveries for all their stockists’ orders and all their packaging is 100% biodegradable. They’ve also been composting all their organic studio waste, and recycling or reusing all the boxes and plastic that comes into their studio.

Now in 2021, Another Studio work from their own beautiful sun-lit, plant filled studio in Deptford. With a small but mighty enthusiastic team, all with a passion for plants.


Another Studio’s Plant Animal Decorations

brazen botany

Brazen Botany is a statement art collection by Irish designer Caroline Byrne. Their products are designed and carefully handcrafted in their London studio. 

Brazen Botany became Caroline’s labour of love during lockdown 2020. Being stuck in her London flat paled in comparison to her previous life of a set designer, creating ad campaigns and window displays for luxury brands. Caroline wanted to bring that vibrancy and atmosphere into her own home, but all her previous attempts with plant parenting had ended in failure. This became a problem to solve as Caroline endeavoured to create something everlasting. She decided to put her skills, passion and artistic license to good use and create the magic of a tropical jungle inside her home. Caroline became playful with colours and textures and went beyond what exists in nature to create her own statement art houseplants, made of her favourite high quality materials!


Brazen Botany’s Medium Pink Prayer Plant

glasgow plant mama

Glasgow Plant Mama turned her personal indoor plant jungle and crazy plant lady blog into a business following the first lockdown in 2020. Aimed at making houseplants easier to understand and more accessible she specialises primarily in easy-care air-purifying plants and offers a range of care classes & workshops! She also hosts a live Q&A on her Instagram every Friday night from 4pm where she gives advise on any planty problems you might be experiencing!


Glasgow Plant Mama’s Holiday Jungle Box

Emily Siân Hart

Emily Siân Hart is a crocheter living and working from her plant-filled home studio in Glasgow. She designs and makes crocheted plants and colourful homeware and accessories.

She studied Fine Art Photography at The Glasgow School of Art and after graduating she began crocheting. She instantly loved the versatility of medium and was crocheting as often as she could. As a plant lover, she decided to combine these two interests and began making her crocheted cacti. After opening up her online shop, she expanded her product range to include other plant themed pieces – plant pots, plant hangers etc. She also makes a small selection of crocheted jewellery and other accessories.

She loves making fun, cheerful pieces to brighten up your home.


Emily’s Crochet Cactus with Hand Painted Pot

tass floral studio

Tass Floral Studio is a Glasgow based studio florist and cutting garden run by Sonia selling small batch floral wreaths and bouquets, whilst offering bespoke commissions and arrangements for weddings and events.

According to A Scots Dictionary of Nature by Amanda Thomson, Tass or Tas can mean: a small heap of earth or a cluster of flowers. A very fitting name for Sonia starting her own flower business from her own small heap of earth – small suburban garden in Glasgow!

Being a gardener and keen walker, both garden plants and those growing in the wild inspire Sonia’s work; meaning free flowing, meadowy shapes are her style. 

She also loves having things on hand in the garden to cherry pick and add to her work. For Tass, she always tries to be as sustainable as possible; never using floral foam and always aiming to use local seasonal flowers as much as she can.


Tass Floral Studio’s XL Dried Flower Bouquet

| Custom Gift Ideas |

David mcdiarmid studio’s custom fruit & Veg Paintings

David is a Glasgow-based artist producing food-related artworks and homewares using a wide range of different materials and processes, and often working on various limited editions or collections at a time.

Inspired by facts, stories and myths associated with food history, David produces paintings, prints, ceramic wares & hand cast jesmonite homeware products from his ‘foodio‘ in Glasgow.

He also provides fabrication services. using his expertise in woodwork, mould-making & casting to produce exhibition / market display furniture for other makers.

Why not give the gift of one of David’s choose your own Fruit & Veg oil paintings this Christmas and get your family member or friend’s favourite fruit or veg captured by David on a small plywood board! Plus for every order, David is donating £5 to Locavore’s Good Food Fund which is used to support charities and organisations fighting local food poverty issues.

JUJU BOoks’ personalised photo album

Juju Books was founded in Glasgow in 2017 by bookbinder, illustrator and all-round paper enthusiast Gillian Stewart.

The studio takes on commissions of one-off bespoke projects, as well as short runs of up to 100 books, depending on the process and deadline. Using traditional and contemporary techniques, Gillian works with a variety of materials and processes to find the right fit for each project.

These bespoke photo albums are a wonderful way to hold special photographs, tickets and ephemera. Bound in a soft linen bookcloth that’s soft to the touch and hand finished in gold, using traditional bookbinding techniques. Available in two sizes – just under A5 landscape and just over A4 portrait.

30 leaves, interleved with acid-free tissue to protect your photographs. To be used with photo corners.

Personalisation available for up to three words/ names or initials in gold 24pt sans-serif typeface.

little letter studio

Combining hand-drawn illustrations with beautiful colours, Jo Martin’s timeless prints make the perfect gift for a new born baby or decoration for your child’s bedroom, playroom or nursery.

This fun nursery print features lots of animals and quirky details including a bear riding a bicycle, a bull and a bird!

Children will love to discover everything beginning with the letter B in their very own personalised art print.

All of their alphabet prints can be personalised with a child’s name, which creates a unique and timeless gift for new babies and young children!

logs studio’s logs large mirrors

Logs Studio is a one woman maker (plus 2 dogs!) producing handmade mirrors from her studio in Glasgow.

Logs Large mirrors are made to order and measure 75cm x 66cm

There are 5 design options that you can choose from but if you like a design but want different colours/takeaway/add something you can do that to!

3-4 weeks making time

Only Local delivery available or collection from Logs’ Glasgow based studio

studio mama’s personalised ceramic bunting

Studio Mama is a ceramics studio in Glasgow founded by the award-winning Artist Debbie Young. It began in response to the issues faced by creatives – namely high costs and a lack of support.

Studio Mama offers affordable kiln hire (without membership), workshops and expertise, plus sells a unique range of made in house ceramic wares.

Studio Mama’s personalised ceramic bunting can be made with your own bespoke message! Comes with 6 ceramic flags, with additional flags available for longer messages at an additional £5 each.

If you enjoyed this, then check out our other posts on the Artists’ Tuck Shop Blog!

For more ideas, remember that you can also shop Artists’ Tuck Shop’s very own range of specially commissioned, handmade artist-led products!

Top Tips for Setting Up Your First Market Stall by Glasgow Based Artist & Illustrator Jennie Bates

With the festive season now upon us and the return of local, handmade Christmas markets now in full swing, we ask local Glasgow-based artist and illustrator Jennie Bates to pass on her top tips for fellow traders looking to set up their first market stall this Christmas!

Jennie Bates at Park Lane Market, Glasgow

I’m an artist from Glasgow, making screen prints and t-shirts. Since I got my illustration degree in 2017, I’ve been making and selling work, with some breaks for working in hospitality and/or being depressed. Selling my screen prints and t-shirts at markets is now my main income stream from sales (I also sell through physical shops and my own webshop. This wasn’t the case for me until maybe a year ago, when I started focusing more seriously on making screen prints, sorting out my “business”, and smartening up my approach to markets. 

Doing markets is pretty draining and in my experience it takes time to start turning a profit. For a couple of years I would do markets and sell nothing, or maybe just make back the cost of the table, and go home feeling shitty about myself and my work.

Given my low success rate and self-esteem, it’s weird that I kept signing up for stalls – and there were lots of times when I said I would NEVER do a market again. But unless you’re lucky, it’s really hard to find an audience for your work and make consistent sales through other sources, and I had the sense that markets did work for some people, or why would they exist? So I kept going, even though it was really tiring juggling it with my other jobs, and demoralising selling almost nothing, which I saw as a reflection on the quality of my work. Also sometimes people say mean stuff at markets which I always find really funny, like announcing really loudly for no reason that they don’t like the colours, or picking up a print and saying “what is it FOR”. Gradually though I’ve made it work, and even enjoy doing markets and find them worthwhile!

I found it funny being asked to write this blog because it implies that I’m an expert with wisdom to impart which feels far from the truth. Having done markets for a while, though, I do have some advice to give. Here are my main take-aways:

Familiarity breeds respect

As previously mentioned at great length, I did markets for ages before I started being consistently successful. Often I would take less than thirty pounds, not even covering the cost of the table. On a “good day” I would take between sixty and ninety pounds, and would go home feeling pumped. 

After a while of doing markets I noticed that people would come and buy something they had seen at my stall the previous month or even year. So they had spotted one of my prints at a market ages ago, and now on seeing it again, they had decided they wanted it. I think it can take a while for people to like things, and if they see you at a market a few times, they get the chance to be exposed to your work which often makes them like it. This is maybe more applicable for art than products.

Now, however, even people I haven’t come across before buy stuff from me at markets. In the spirit of openness, on a good day for me at a market now I take between four and six hundred pounds, and for it to be worthwhile I like to take over two hundred. This is probably less than many of the big kahunas on the Glasgow market scene but I’m happy with the progress I’ve made and that I’m starting to get more income from print sales at markets.

Don’t just shove stuff on the table

Your table needs to look good or it might make your stock look bad. If you’re not used to setting up a stall, practice at home first and take a picture to copy at the market. I like to display stuff at different heights, and also give people the opportunity to rummage. So I have prints displayed flat on the table, and on a hinged MDF display board I made. I also made print display boxes in three sizes (A2, A3, A4) which stack into one another, making them easy to store and transport. My pride in these boxes can’t be overstated. 

Definitely use a tablecloth cos the bare table is ugly. Mine is a non-elasticated single bedsheet from Asda. I favour a darkish colour because my work is really bright and colourful and I don’t want my tablecloth to steal the show. 

I have a clothes rail to display my t-shirts. I bought coat hangers specifically for markets so that I don’t have to take all my own clothes out of my wardrobe and retrieve the hangers before a market, and then put them back in after, which has really improved my quality of life. I painted my rail to make it snazzy and match my display boxes. I think your display should reflect your work, so mine is quite colourful and bold. If your work is more earthy and crafty, for example, it wouldn’t make sense to have vibrant neon colours like mine. Hopefully that is common sense.

I only put one of each print out at a time, though I bring spares to replace sold stock. I want it to be interesting to look through and I think people will get bored flicking through multiples of the same thing. Grabbing and keeping people’s attention at a market is really important. If they aren’t immediately pulled in then they will just walk past, because browsing can be really awkward for people. I always put my most eye-catching prints at the front of the display box for this reason.

Be friendly but also don’t scare people if possible

One of the hardest things about markets is not making people feel uncomfortable. Going up to a stall can be quite intense – you can sometimes sense the desperation coming off the seller. I try to gauge whether the people will want to chat or not which can be easier said than done. I always say hi because I don’t want to be aloof, and then judge from their response how much interaction they will want. 

I also keep a distance when someone is initially browsing. So if they are looking through prints on the left, I move to the right of my stall, so they don’t feel crowded and pressured. I keep an eye on what they are looking at but don’t stare, because most people find that off-putting. If someone has been looking for a while and is clearly interested – not just doing a perfunctory browse to be polite – I engage them by telling them about the technique of screen printing and how I make the images. If they’re interested, that sparks a conversation, but if not that’s fine.

It takes practice to read people’s body language and figure out when to push for a sale and when to try and put them at ease. Even if someone isn’t going to buy something it’s nice when they enjoy and appreciate your work. Building relationships is a big part of doing markets and it can take a while to get good at that. Be patient with yourself and try and enjoy it!

about jennie

Jennie Bates is an artist from the South Side of Glasgow, working across different mediums creating illustrative murals and window displays, prints and 3D works. She specialises in screen printing, using paper cut-outs to make the layers which gives my prints a handmade and experimental feel. Jennie’s prints show familiar objects portrayed in unexpected ways, with a slightly surreal feel inspired by my love of collage. The objects float about on the paper and suggest the presence of people without actually portraying them.

Across all of her work – from screen prints to one-off dioramas, Jennie explores her interest in human innovation and enquiry. Whether portraying the mechanics of a bike or a musical instrument, or attempting to illustrate a myth or theory, a basic interest in people and how their minds work is the driving force behind what Jennie does.

You can find Jennie at the following markets:

Sat 4 Dec

This Is Not a Christmas Market organised by Rags to Riches, at The Deep End, Govanhill, Glasgow

Sat 11 Dec

This Is Not a Christmas Market organised by Rags to Riches, at The Deep End, Govanhill, Glasgow

Sun 12 Dec

Park Lane Market, Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow

Tue 21 – Thu 23 Dec

Festive Artists and Makers Market at the Alchemy Experiment, Byres Road, Glasgow

More info:

How bread brought me here. An artists reflections

Guest blog post by Harriet Jenkins, one of the 25 artists & collaborators who contributed a recipe and images to our self-published artist-made cookbook, Make Bake Cook Book.

Harriet Jenkins is a Glasgow based artist with a BA in Jewellery Design and Silversmithing from The Glasgow School of Art. Specialised as a silversmith, she also works with ceramics, using methods of casting and enamelling to create unique, sculptural, tableware objects. Inspired by her former work as a baker, Harriet’s art practice seeks to explore the varied, and valuable, role of foodstuffs in our lives.

Rewinding, just prior to Covid19, I had freshly graduated from a course in Jewellery Design & Silversmithing at The Glasgow School of Art and was part way through a year long residency there, supporting first year students, whilst finding my own feet as an artist in the ‘real world’. The residency had given me access to the universities workshop facilities, allowing me to continue making silverware. This was an extremely helpful transition, and opportunity for a new graduate, as my work takes the form of tableware pieces such as spoons, bowls and candlesticks that are heavily reliant on a plethora of niche tools and machines to make them. The pandemic cut short this residency and ultimately prevented me from being able to continue making any products using the same techniques as I’d previously been.

Working part-time as a baker and chef at a community cafe throughout my studies had greatly inspired me and steered the direction of research that informed my art practice. The tableware I made during this time aimed to highlight the inherent value of foodstuffs: socially, politically and environmentally.

I further developed this body of research during a week long artist residency at Cove Park, back in early spring 2019, just before the first lockdown came into place. During the residency I focused on one foodstuff, sourdough bread. This felt like the obvious place to centre my research, given my own experience as a baker in Glasgow, and the role of bread globally, as a staple food.

During my time at Cove Park I made and shared bread with other residents, documenting the impacts of this through writing, drawing and photography. Whilst there, I also developed a workshop titled ‘Breaditation’ (which unfortunately never came into fruition due to the pandemic), combining bread making with mindfulness activities as a means to cultivate more awareness surrounding where our food comes from; A counter-action to fast-passed lifestyles which can be argued feed into consumerism, convenience food, over consumption and the consequential deteriorating health of both people, and planet.

Images from week-long artist residency at Cove Park, 2019.

Driven by a strong sense of disconnect between the food we eat and where it comes from, I was extremely curious to understand and explore our societies current relationship to food and the rippling consequences of this. A catalyst for this thinking was an extremely inspiring six part podcast titled Cereal, produced by Farmarama. Uncovering the hidden truths behind our bread and the people currently involved in building a new grains movement.

When the lockdowns began being implemented globally, issues surrounding food security and sovereignty became increasingly visible and relevant. Confronted with unemployment and a lack of the necessary tools to continue with my art practice as I’d known it, I decided to use this opportunity to actively engage with such issues by seeking employment in the farming sector. Ultimately taking my area of research to the next level by fully immersing myself.

Throughout this period I continued to stay creative by engaging with other artists through online drawing projects, exhibitions and virtual workshops, including my contribution to Make. Bake. Cook. Book. ; A template recipe for a savoury porridge (encouraging the cook to be creative and use seasonal, local produce).
Involvement in these projects allowed crucial points for reflection and integration; marrying together my work farming and my art practice along with my personal thoughts, values and current research.

Pictured Top and Bottom Left: Contribution to Grapevine Project. Pictured Right: Recipe contribution to Make Bake Cook Book

Fast forward to now, and I’m currently living and working on a croft on the north west coast of Scotland, near to Ullapool. The site has been my home for the majority of 2021 and has provided me with access to an array or resources including local knowledge, natural materials and space in which to learn and explore. My time living here has demonstrated a way of living that is connected – a life that fully integrates people, food, land and creativity.

The Gaelic word “dùthchas” doesn’t have a succinct translation to english as it incorporates a rich set of ideas however, it seemingly captures my feelings towards my last year spent living in the highlands;

“Dùthchas” can be described as ‘a collective claim on the land which is reinforced and lived out through the shared management of that land. It is a right which is grounded in daily habits and activities and it is bound up with relationships to others, and responsibilities. It gives rise to the idea, identified by the scholar Michael Newton, that “people belong to places rather than places belonging to people”’. 1

In other words, Dùthchas refers to the intrinsic connectedness between people and nature. I believe it’s a lack of this connection to land, and unity with nature, that fuels our separateness from one another and a dissociation with where our food comes from. Effectively, this separateness prevents us from directly witnessing the impact of our actions on the land, and thus renders us unable to sufficiently manage or collectively care for the environment around us.

In response to this, I hosted workshops at Cove Park, as part of their events programme aiming to get children from local schools to engage with nature through creative activities. During the workshops, titled Forage, Fire, Feast, I led the groups on a walk through the forest, foraging materials to build and make a fire, safely and sustainably. Following on, the groups made and baked their own Bannock breads over the fire. As part of this activity they processed some of their own flour using Scottish grown wheat: thrashing, winnowing and stone milling by hand.

The workshops were a great success and part of an ongoing development within my art practice to incorporate and facilitate creative, educational workshops that enhance a relationship to land and develop an appreciation and understanding of the farm-to-fork connection.

Meanwhile, In the last months I have begun setting up a workshop space in which I’m gradually acquiring the tools I need to begin making silverware again. I’m excited and eager to begin translating my experiences from the past year, which have formed a rich body of research, into physical, tactile objects that I hope will encourage and instigate conversations around how we value our food.

What I’ve learnt over the last year is that sharing dialogue between people from differing disciplines and backgrounds is an integral step in culminating positive change within our food systems. This is extremely relevant in light of the current COP 26 events in Glasgow, in which artists, farmers, chefs and all differing walks of life will be gathered together. We each have a place within this conversation!

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Find our more about Harriet Jenkins

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4 Artists’ Favourite Tools

As you can imagine artists use all kinds of funky tools, material and equipment to produce their wares. But why do they us the tools they use? For this blog post, we speak to jeweller Rachel Rogers of RR Designs, painter Peter Chalmers, ceramicist Katie Rose Johnston of M A N I F E S T O and bookbinder Gillian Stewart of Juju Books, to ask them what their favourite, most used and loved tool is, what they use it for, and why they use that particular tool over others…

Rachel Rogers, RR Designs

Rachel’s Favourite Tool?

My favourite jewellery making tool is actually not even a jewellery making tool. It’s a nail file stolen from a manicure set, filed down to create smooth surfaces and corners. And it’s long thin shape fulfils more than one very specific need. 

One of my most used jewellery making techniques, foldforming, involves folding silver in half and hammering it along one side to curve and shape the metal. These folded shapes, which are often very tightly pressed together, then need to be gently prised back open. My nail file is the perfect thin sturdy object to carefully ease in between the folded metal and prise them apart. 

It’s second function involves a very stubborn barreling unit, which polishes my silver. As I’m putting the lid on my barreling unit I need to let as much air escape as possible – easier said than done when it’s made from hard plastic. The knack is to pull the side of the lid out as you’re pressing it down and I use my handy nail file as a lever to do this!

About RR Designs

RR Designs, established by jeweller Rachel Rogers in 2015, specialises in sterling silver collections with a focus on sculptural design. All pieces of RR Designs jewellery are carefully designed and handcrafted by Rachel in her Glasgow studio. 

Rachel‘s interest in the sculptural elements within design stems from her time at Cardonald College where she graduated in 2012 with an HND in Jewellery and Silversmithing. Working with sterling silver, she incorporates a range of traditional and contemporary silversmithing techniques to create unique collections.

Paper and copper models play a fundamental part in her creative practise, providing a basis to explore the natural ductile and malleable qualities of the materials. The act of methodically exploring and manipulating simple shapes and forms results in beautiful organic sculptures that showcase the structural designs within nature and exploit the bespoke qualities in each individual piece of handcrafted jewellery.

Peter chalmers, painter

Peter’s Favourite Tool?

I have so many invaluable tools I use in my day-to-day practice it is so hard to select just one. Some are very old, some are new, some are borrowed… and yes, some are indeed blue too. Some are very familiar, some less so and others are not even used for the job they were made for.

Framing has always been a central part of my work and in fact has really taken centre stage in recent years. Image has largely been removed from the canvas and the subject is now often found in the framing. My frames can often become quite complex and so I rely on a variety of tools to make them. I could laser cut these, and my life would be simpler if I did, but the idea of craft and touch is crucial to the ideas behind my work, so they are all cut by my hand. The saws I use, whether a band saw, fret saw or otherwise, are not simply a tool for cutting, I use them as a tool for drawing – my hands guiding and informing each cut, whether accurate or imperfect, in each curve or straight line. 

Here is an image of the band saw I use most often. I’ve used this saw on and off for 18 Years and a huge percentage of my work has been made with it. It’s a tool that connects my work through the many changes in direction and developments I have made in my career to date. It’s seen the backwards and forwards steps and has been a constant, reliable and familiar tool as I fight off the doubt that often seeks to creep in when I step into the unknown of what I haven’t yet made. It’s also a tool that has been used by countless other artists before me and likely after me too – both professionals and students, over decades. It not only runs as a line through my work, it connects me and my work to so much creative endeavour and output throughout the North-East of Scotland, and that is something I cherish. 

About Peter chalmers

A graduate of Gray’s School of Art (2007), Peter Chalmers is an award-winning Painter who has exhibited widely nationally. His work is kept in several public and private collections throughout the UK, Europe and North America, including The Royal Scottish Academy, Robert Gordon University and abrdn. After spending extended periods of time living and working in Florence, London and Paris, he returned to Aberdeen to undertake a teaching position in the Painting department at Gray’s School of Art. Since 2015 he has split his time between Aberdeen and Glasgow

Katie Rose johnston, m a n i f e s t o

Curiosity Cloud
Vase with Mudstone

Katie’s Favourite Tool?

Found whilst combing a quiet, windswept beach in the north of Scotland, this small Belemnite fossil has become one of my favourite tools to work with in the studio. It’s an unassuming object at first glance: a simple, smooth cylinder worn by the tides and covered in small holes. It’s also a remnant of a creature long since extinct – a distant relative of the squid and cuttlefish – that lived in our oceans 66 to 201 million years ago.

The surface texture has been created by a creature much closer to us in time: bristle worms. Slowly burrowing into the belemnite’s flint-like core, the bristle worm has helped create an object that allows me to capture a rough and primordial texture upon clay. The eroded, pitted surface creates a gentle, knurled impression reminiscent of the rocks that the belemnite sat amongst, waiting to be found. Glaze breaks and pools over the small indents left behind by this beautiful object, like the tide that gradually wore it from the preserving rock bed far below.

It’s a pleasant object to hold, cold to the touch and light in weight: whilst working, I find myself turning it subconsciously between my palms as I figure out where to impress it next. No tool creates a similar mark, it is completely unique and irreplaceable – much like the memory that accompanies it. When I work with this tool, I am transported back to the beach where it was found, with heavy grey clouds above and salt on the wind; my aunt close by pouring out a flask of coffee whilst we carefully comb the strand line.

Belemnite Fossil
Belemnite Fossil and Clay Texture
About m a n i f e s t o

Working from her garden studio in South Glasgow, Katie Rose Johnston crafts small batch, sculptural ceramics that are influenced by Archaeology, the Natural Sciences and the raw, windswept landscape of her birthplace Shetland. Mudlarking for ancient artefacts, foraging and crafting from nature start as material research in her practice, as well as experimentation with form, colour and texture.

M A N I F E S T O has been featured in Milk Decoration Hors Serie Number 10, Local Heroes: 5 Scottish Ceramics Makers by Dr. Stacey Hunter in The Skinny Magazine, and was featured in the exhibition 1000 Vases during Paris Design Week 2020. In 2017, Katie graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Sculpture from The Glasgow School of Art and has exhibited works at The Royal Scottish Academy and the Ingram Collection in London.

gillian stewart, juju books

Image credit – Gabriela Silveira
Gillian’s Favourite Tool?

The most trusty tool for any bookbinder has to be a bone folder. Traditionally made from the thigh bone of a cow, these are long, flat tools that come in handy for all sorts of things. They make a super neat crease when folding paper, tidy up the cloth corners when making a book cover and can coax leather into just the right shape when covering a book. Although there are a few standard sizes, you often know if you’ve picked up someone elses folder because it will feel different based on how they’ve used it. Over time, the edges become worn away where the binder has applied pressure.

Every so often, and when brand new, I’ll soak my bone folder in vegetable oil. This makes it a little less brittle, so that it won’t shatter when (not if) it’s dropped on the concrete studio floor. It also makes glue less likely to stick to it. This wee ritual bath for the folders is a nic bit of maintenance that helps keep that going for years. They also come in Teflon, Delrin, bamboo, antler and brass versions, and each is best for a particular part of the process of binding a book. My favourite changes every few weeks, but I always have some type of trusty folder in my pocket!

About juju books

Juju Books is a prize-winning creative bookbinding studio, making bespoke books and enclosures for artists, designers and book lovers.

Founded in Glasgow in 2017 by bookbinder, illustrator and all-round paper enthusiast Gillian Stewart.

After gaining a Design Degree from Glasgow School of Art and time spent training in a small commercial bindery, Gillian went on to become a prize winning QEST Craft Scholar, studying from Master (and Mistress) bookbinders across Europe.  She’s a Licentiate of Designer Bookbinders UK, and Chair of the Society of Bookbinders in Scotland.

The studio takes on commissions of one-off bespoke projects, as well as short runs of up to 100 books, depending on the process and deadline. Using traditional and contemporary techniques, Gillian works with a variety of materials and processes to find the right fit for each project.

As well as a working bindery, the studio is also a place to share skills and knowledge. One-to-one and group tuition is available, as well as studio hire for experienced binders.

Out of the Frying Pan (and) into the Fire

Guest blog by ceramic artist Kevin Andrew Morris

Kevin’s (Clay) Baked Trout with Fennel, Lemon and Capers recipe from Make Bake Cook Book

The physical and cultural landscape and environment i find myself in is hugely important to my current work and development. Based in Aberdeen i am often referred to as a ‘Nomadic Ceramicist’ exhibiting my work nationally and internationally as well as working with a range of artists, institutions and on various public projects, including developing my recipe (Clay) Baked Trout with fennel, lemon and capers for Artists’ Tuck Shop’s Make. Bake. Cook. Book. Integral to my practice is participation and engagement greatly valuing opportunities to work with others, during the development of my recipe this included Artist Tuck Shop and Orange-ade Design & Illustration.

Initially motivated by an investigation of my own family heritage (my grandfather was a Ghillie on the Dee) and material culture my recent work engages with concepts of craft, material and place. Making narrative work that considers traditional and contemporary practice as well our collective connections to heritage and tradition often through ceramic slip casting, atmospheric (specifically gas/wood) firing and print. Thematically my recent work has been shaped by northern landscapes, exploring themes of identity and place often through local eating and drinking cultures, focusing on these narratives and rituals associated with living within northern places, and how these actions preserve intimate and strong connections towards ‘north’ as itself, a place.

Since early 2020 I’ve been trying to view ‘limitations’ in my working environment as refreshing focusing on the liberating aspects of being forced to get out of this comfort zone as a maker and embrace more ‘limited’ materials, tools and familiar ways of working such as gathering and process materials directly from the landscape. The opportunity to further research natural glaze materials (including bone ash) has greatly contributed to my understanding and maximizing of the nuances of glazing and its relationship to form and surface as well developing more sustainable approaches to ceramics.

Fisk Plata: Fish Plate, Gas Fired Stoneware, 2020.

Fiskhausar: Fish Head, Gas Fired Stoneware, 2020.

The use of wood to “fire” clay (and food) is a continuation of technology and tradition from ancient history into contemporary practice the characteristic earthen tones, ash deposits, burnt sienna flashings, natural glaze surfaces, and spontaneous effects, are something I embrace in my firing, making and glazing processes. I continue to build on and develop the use of atmospheric firing in my own work, the use of natural materials and having a more sustainable practice. I feel by its very nature ceramics and cooking have a lot of crossover, atmospheric firing for example forges cohesiveness and symbolises the intrinsically communal and collaborative aspects of ceramics, much like cooking or eating communally. Making ceramic glazes are similar to following baking recipes and more generally a lot of the processes and tools associated with the ceramics are often described using food related terminology and share similarities. Cooking food in clay is an ancient technique that goes back thousands of years. Clay has good insulating properties, therefore conducting heat evenly and consistently, dissipating any hot spots. Cooking with clay also keeps in moisture, effectively steaming the food. It forms a barrier between the food and direct heat, allowing delicate ingredients like fish and lean meat such as venison to be cooked successfully.

Glen Olsen, Wood Fired Porcelain, 2018.

Guldagergaard Plates, Wood Fired Stoneware, 2018.

Drawing from previous works I have been exploring the red deer population in Scotland, their impact and management. Alongside this I have also been exploring traditional recipes for wild venison, which is a sustainable, high quality, healthy, low fat, local food source that can contribute to reducing food miles and individuals carbon footprint. The opportunity to work towards new commissioned works for the Artists Tuck Shop supported this research and the development of new work, specifically an edition of 25 plates (glazed using deer bone ash from controlled culled animals/found bone) and accompanying recipe card for (Clay) Baked Venison with juniper, buckfast and redcurrant jelly.

The commissioned work has drawn from my original recipe for the Make. Bake. Cook. Book as well as research trips to the Deer Museum in Torridon and The Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership in Lochinver. Working closely with those involved in land management deer management and stalking, conservation and wildlife organisations to reflect and unpack the complex relationships between of red deer, the land and people historically and contemporarily. The small-scale batch produced plates are pressmouled using 500grams of red stoneware clay per plate, bisque fired to 1000 Degrees Celsius , glazed and gas fired to a further 1280 Degrees Celsius (with colours ranging from well done to rare) and come with a printed recipe card for (Clay) Baked Venison with juniper, buckfast and redcurrant jelly. It is my hope this commissioned work contributes to making venison more accessible to a local audience and allows the exploration of our shared cultural heritage.

(Clay) Baked Venison with Juniper, Buckfast and Redcurrant Jelly, Red Stoneware, Gas Fired 2021.

Find our more about Kevin Andrew Morris

Order Make Bake Cook Book