Independent Art and Design Christmas Markets 2018

For anyone that's wanted to spend their Christmas gift budget (no matter how much or little that may be) on a unique and thoughtful present, and in a way that can support local art and design, look no further

Article by Adam Benmakhlouf | 07 Dec 2018
  • Tea Green Market

How do you keep up your anti-capitalist principles in the face of the most wonderful and consumerist time of the year? For starters, put down that gold-painted candlestick, or Cath Kidston mug, or whatever else you found in TK Maxx’s Miscellaneous/Cookery section. Maybe there’s not time for everyone to look up where their nearest independent makers’ arts and crafts fairs are. Scratch that, there’s definitely no time in December for this level of research. That’s exactly why it’s been pooled here for your perusal. Get in loser, we’re going shopping.

Grey Wolf Studios are getting in on the makers’ fairs with their own Christmas Sale on Thursday 7 December. Keenly avoiding the weekend, they’ve set up an evening of shopping where there will be plenty of designers, makers and crafters on hand to provide you with some gift inspiration. There will be some folks that exhibited in one of The Skinny’s favourite pop-ups of the past year, the Local Heroes shop. Ruth Mitchell, whose scarf featured in the Local Heroes line-up, will be bringing her distinctive abstract and colourful style to the Christmas Sale.

Always worthy of mention, there’s the Tea Green Festive Market, with its last two dates this year on 8 and 9 December. Going strong since 2014, the enterprise itself was set up by jewellery designer Joanne MacFadyen; since graduating, she’s made a concerted effort to meet and bring together the most talented makers from around Scotland to exhibit and sell their work in her variety of events and pop-up markets throughout the year. The Christmas Tea Green comes with a few seasonal bells and whistles, along with unique gifts that support the best emerging local art and design talent. There are two all-day markets across the weekend in the beautiful surroundings of Kibble Palace at Glasgow Botanic Gardens. 

After its first outing in 2016, the 16 Nicholson Street Christmas Fundraising Auction returns on 14 December and is even bigger than before. As well as the sale, there will now be a week-long exhibition of all the works, so there’s plenty of time to assess the wares and choose one to bid for when the silent auction begins at 7pm. After it ends at 9pm, the successful bidders will be announced at 10pm. The works can also be bid for online until 6pm on 14 December, with images and information being posted on 16 Nicholson Street’s Facebook, Instagram and website. More than 20 artists are already confirmed to include work, with each of them having shown or associated with the space over the last couple of years. Artists interested in donating can request the auction document by email, and can drop off works from Wednesday to Sunday 11am-6pm until 8 December.

From an insider’s perspective, Glasgow Southside area Mount Florida has been slowly been embellished with  a few excellent independent cafes and eateries – special mention to Cornerstore Cafe and Mala Carne. Helping along this transition from Mount Florida to MoFlo, there’s the Mount Florida Gallery and Studios. And there’s no better time to go and visit than during its Christmas Design Market this year, which will be on Saturday 15 December from 11am-6pm. Like many of the events here, this makers' market is run by a contemporary practicing designer, so promises to represent the cutting edge of local talent.

Everyone is an artist, even if most of the world is a bit out of practice. Draw out the sculptor in your nearest lapsed creative pal with the help of the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. There’s a whole menu of courses that are coming up in the new year, but if you’re a bit overwhelmed by the choices, you can always purchase a gift voucher and leave the choosing to the giftee. For the Glasgow folks, keep an eye on Glasgow Sculpture Studio for when it releases details of its own course catalogue for 2019.

Glasgow School of Art was hardly out of the news over the summer after the destructive fire that spread through the main building, which has caused a lot of disruption for the students and staff alike. So it’s especially welcome to be able to mention some brighter news about the GSA, as it has recently opened its well-established store in Glasgow City Centre’s fanciest mall: Princes Square. Among Vivienne Westwood, COS and Radley, GSA is selling the work of former students and other makers from around the city, as well as a range of nifty Mackintosh and GSA merchandise.

For similar homeware, jewellery and other uniquely nice items, see also Welcome Home in CCA. Just like GSA, they have an open source style of stock acquisition, so will represent at any one time a diversity of different styles and techniques of making.

Also sharing the same building and street address as 16 Nicholson Street, the Glasgow Zine Library has also launched its own retail shop. Having only opened a couple of months ago, the Glasgow Zine Library evolved from the well-loved Glasgow Zine Fest that brings together all the best zinemakers who sell their work for one weekend in the CCA. Open Tuesday to Sunday, the Library offers folks free access to hundreds of zines, as well as a warm place to read and a soft couch to enjoy with a hot cup of tea. Bringing some of the creative energy of the makers they collect, they’ve started a retail shop that stocks totes, badges, stickers, cards, prints, wrapping paper, and more. The funds raised will be used to keep the Glasgow Zine Library open and free to visitors.