Our newest retail space on Level 2 demonstrates our commitment to promoting and supporting the work of artists, designers and makers living and working in local AB postcode areas. Operating with a ‘pay it forward’ ethos, the shop features 3-4 makers at a time, on a three-month rotation. They then nominate makers whose work they admire for the next slot bringing you a constantly evolving range of meticulously crafted products from a diverse range of local creatives, including ceramics, fine art, textiles and accessories.
Rachel Robertson is a self-taught designer and maker from the North East of Scotland. Rachel lives and works in Aberdeen, from her studio at Deemouth Artist Studios. In 2018, she established Hackley, a luxury independent bag and accessory business.
Rachel’s design process very often begins with inspiration from the materials themselves. The texture of a leather hide, or the beautiful way a waxed cotton ages, tell a story and Rachel works to weave these elements into her pieces. A strong love of working with her hands has driven the development of her craft and the brand, with each piece being designed and made by her. The construction process itself is an important part of Rachel’s practice; the placement of each stitch, the meditative quality of a repetitive action that leads to the creation of her pieces.
The sleek, functional designs are handcrafted to combine striking colours with tactile materials, creating a bold, eye-catching range.
Rachel has exhibited at Art & Design Fairs in Scotland including Flock and HAAN. In December 2020 two pieces were purchased by the Friends of Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums for the City’s collection.
Alison Thyra Ceramics
Alison Thyra Grubb
Alison Thyra Grubb makes iridescent ceramic jewellery and homewares in her studio in Aberdeenshire. Alison graduated from Gray’s School of Art in 2019 where she studied 3D design, specialising in ceramics.
Her geometric ceramics are made using a combination of hand-making techniques, a process called slip casting, and digital technologies such as 3D printing. Alison believes the layered textures that are built up during the 3D printing process can be beautiful machine-made patterns so she tries to emphasise these by only sanding smooth certain surfaces.
Each piece is finished and refined by hand, and the wonderful nature of making by hand is that no piece will be exactly alike.
Alison is fascinated by the beautiful, colour changing qualities of iridescent glazes and her ceramics are glazed with a variety of metallic and lustre glazes. These iridescent glazes can cast their own rainbow reflections when in sunlight and appear a different colour in different light, making them captivating and almost magical to behold.
William Reid Studio
William Reid is an artist influenced by form, colour, light, surface and pattern found in the landscape and natural environment. The works on display are inspired by the North East coastline and were produced when access to his studio was restricted during lockdown, making it necessary to work on a smaller scale from home.
William graduated BA(Hons) Fine Art from Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen 1984-88, and continues to develop his practice in a WASPS artist studio beside Aberdeen Harbour. He works at Aberdeen Archives, Gallery & Museums as an Exhibitions Officer designing and installing a wide variety of displays and exhibitions. He has shown work regularly in group exhibitions and has had solo exhibitions at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Claremont Gallery and The Foyer, Aberdeen. His artwork is in the public collections of Grampian Hospital Arts Trust and Aberdeen Archives, Gallery & Museums.
Dolly Dimple Design
Rose Nicoll is a jewellery designer who creates colourful pieces from her home studio in Aberdeen.
Rose studied Contemporary Art Practice at the University of the Highlands and Islands followed by a BA in Commercial Photography at Gray’s School of Art. In 2018 she started creating laster cut acrylic jewellery under her brand Dolly Dimple Design.
Dolly Dimple Design began when she experimented with making jewellery to match her 1950s pin-up style. Rose fell in love with creating designs in laser-cut acrylic, and has been releasing regular collections ever since.
Her work is inspired by whatever sparks her imagination - from nature to history and anything in between. All pieces are meticulously hand painted and assembled by Rose.
Helen Ruth Scarves
Helen Ruth is a luxury accessories label specialising in digitally printed silk and wool scarves, printed and hand-finished in Scotland.
Each scarf starts with original hand-drawn illustrations, usually in pen and ink. These artworks are then converted to digital files to be coloured, repeated, mirror imaged, collaged and combined with found imagery and photography to create the intricate and layered prints of the scarves. It has always been a core value of the brand to keep production local and ethical. Printing is carried out in Glasgow and the hand-finishing in Aberdeen.
Allied with these local production and manufacturing values is the brand’s signature style statement: designs are inspired by the wild Scottish landscape and animal life, as well as fairy tales and traditional folklore. Each scarf tells its own story – a well known and loved tale, an old saying or a personal childhood memory, giving the wearer an emotional connection to the piece. Beautiful design and illustration often combine with subtle sinister undertones. There is always more than meets the eye