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Creative Christmas: Gift Guide 2019

"Where, oh where, can I find meaningful gifts this Christmas? Can they be a bit... different? Creative, even? And support local businesses?"

Don't despair, dear reader! We've looked high and low to bring you a 2019 gift guide with a creative twist.

A mother reads to a baby who is dressed like a tiny elf

Christmas Appeal donation, £5

From Scottish Book Trust

This year's Scottish Book Trust Christmas Appeal seeks to give teen parents across Scotland the best start for their babies by gifting copies of children's classic picture book, the Whale and the Snail by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Donate on behalf of a loved one, and receive a gift certificate to present to them.

Visit the Scottish Book Trust Christmas Appeal website

A bar of soap with black swirls throughout

Dook Salt Soap by Dook, £8

From Collective Matter

Dook is a small, artisanal company based in Portobello, Edinburgh. Their small batch salt soap is a hand-poured, visually striking combination of luxury and sustainability. You can find it in Collective Matter, a retail space created by Collective, the centre for contemporary art in Edinburgh.

Dook Salt Soap on the Collective Matter website
Cover of the music of others CD by the Glad Cafe

The Music of Others - Glad Volume 1 Download, £10

From the Glad Cafe

The Glad Cafe is a not for profit music venue in the Shawlands area of southside Glasgow. As part of a fundraising effort in 2019, the Music of Others compilation album was born, with some of Scotland's best known indie bands and artists covering each other's music.

Find out more about the album on the Glad Cafe website

A pink and blue risograph print with large geometric shapes

Wilderness II by Emer Tumilty, £15

From Edinburgh Printmakers

Edinburgh Printmakers is a centre for printmaking and the visual arts in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh. Home to one of the largest printmaking studios in Europe, it is also home to a shop that sells original prints and design-led handmade products by artists in residence as well as artists and printmakers from across Scotland, such as this risograph print by Emer Tumilty.

View the print over on the Edinburgh Printmakers website

The book cover of Night Walk for Edinburgh

Night Walk for Edinburgh by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, £20

From Fruitmarket Gallery

Night Walk for Edinburgh is a part game-playing, part surrealistic poetry augmented reality experience. It found such popularity at this year's Edinburgh International Festival, it is now a permanent part of The Fruitmarket Gallery’s collection. This book goes behind the scenes of the walk's creation by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller.

Find out more over on the Fruitmarket Gallery's website

A multicoloured tartan cashmere scarf

Hand-dyed cashmere scarf by Caithness Weavers, Lybster, £39

From Timespan

Helmsdale-based cultural organisation Timespan is a multi-functional space, comprising local history museum, contemporary art programme, geology and herb gardens, shop, bakery and cafe. Their shop stocks items from local Highland artists and makers, like this cashmere scarf by Caithness Weavers in Lybster.

Visit the Timespan online shop

A series of cartoon faces made out of painted elements on blocks

Facemaker Wooden Blocks by Miller Goodman, £39.95

From Welcome Home

Supporting both emerging and established artists, Welcome Home, a craft, design and illustration shop found in Glasgow's CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts stocks creative gifts like these endlessly entertaining blocks.

View Facemaker on the Welcome Home website

Lino printing at Dovecot

Block Printing Workshop: Tote Bag, £45

From Dovecot

If you're buying for someone who would rather learn new things than get new things, how about a printing workshop at Dovecot? Built around a tapestry studio, there are a range of workshops throughout the year at Dovecot on a variety of different mediums, often inspired by their exhibitions. This workshop, for example, draws on their current May Morris: Art & Life exhibition.

Find out more about the Block Printing workshop at Dovecot Studios

A blue and white cushion inspired by the sea

Orla Stevens Sea Cushion 1, £70

From Fife Contemporary Arts Centre

Designed as part of the ongoing Aural Textiles residency, this cushion by Orla Stevens is inspired by the sea and winds surrounding the Isle of Lewis. You can find this piece at Fife Contemporary, an independent visual art & craft organisation based in St Andrews, Fife.

View the Orla Stevens Sea Cushion on Fife Contemporary's website

A stylised product shoot of a moss green tie in white surroundings with some moss sitting on the table next to it

Moss Silk Tie by Niki Fulton, £80

From Craft Scotland

Craft Scotland is the national development agency supporting makers and promoting craft. It can always be counted on for an unusual, design-led gift, and this tie by Niki Fulton is no exception. Made from 100% silk, this tie is inspired by the Hebridean landscape.

Visit the Craft Scotland website to see more

A black and white photograph of David Bowie holding a microphone

David Bowie by Harry Papadopoulos, £40-150

From Street Level Photoworks

Music fans will delight at the work of Harry Papadopoulos, a photographer from Glasgow who captured famous names like Nick Cave, The Ramones, and David Bowie, pictured above in a piece from his 2012 career retrospective at Street Level Photoworks, a leading photography arts organisation in Glasgow.

Visit the Street Level Photoworks website to see more from Harry Papadopoulos

The Stills darkroom

Darkroom Photography: Intro to Black & White, £165

From Stills

Stills Centre for Photography offers workshops year-round, such as this intro to black and white darkroom photography. Learn to process film and print your own photographs in this four-week long evening course. If the intro sparks something greater, affordable memberships are available to use the facilities on a more regular basis.

Find out more about the Darkroom Photography Workshop at Stills

A miniature painting by Christopher Orr

Untitled by Christopher Orr, £354

From Dundee Contemporary Arts

This print of one of Scottish artist Christopher Orr's miniature paintings is just one of the incredible offerings available at the Dundee Contemporary Arts Shop. Remember, you can spread the cost of buying artwork with Own Art and purchase pieces over ten months with 0% APR.

See this print and more at the DCA Shop website

Image credits: Scottish Book Trust, Collective Matter, the Glad Cafe, Edinburgh Printmakers, Fruitmarket Gallery, Timespan, Welcome Home, Dovecot, Fife Contemporary Arts Centre, Craft Scotland, Street Level Photoworks, Stills, Dundee Contemporary Arts

This article was published on 13 Dec 2019