Submitted by Helen Robertson
The annual Clickimin Craft Fair has come a long way since it started in 1995.
It is still organized by the voluntary Shetland Arts and Crafts committee and is completely self-funded. This year of the 115 exhibitors taking part 27 folk are taking the plunge for the first time.
It’s a perfect opportunity to view and buy goods designed and produced in Shetland. As far as size goes it is bigger than many prestigious mainland shows with visitor numbers reaching over 4,000 last year.
Or to put it another way a fifth of Shetland’s population turned out last year for it. That’s the equivalent of 84,000 Edinburgh folk turning up to one in Edinburgh, unlikely!
The huge variety in design, craft used and price means there is something for everyone. It is an inclusive, non-selected show and so attracts a wide variety of exhibitors.
Last year an anonymous exhibitor survey revealed a total income of £230,000. That’s a lot of money far better in the pockets of Crafty Shetlanders than that of whoever it is that owns Amazon. And that was not including the associated revenue to the Clickimin Centre, local media for advertising, and local suppliers of equipment and raw materials.
Newcomers this year include Handwoven by Alicia, design led handwoven textiles, Bakka with their traditional Fair Isle in merino wool, Home is an Island is exhibiting woven scarves and home accessories while Makkin Loops are showing their lambswool textiles. There are even crocheted tiaras from Peerie Hooks.
Aiming to scent up your home are Candlecups with scented cup candles and Hunter Aromatherapy with a variety of scented products.
There are prints and paintings and mixed media pictures from from Cilla Robertson and Elaine Gilbertson and Pink Donkey
Three Young Enterprise Groups are launching their new products with Fancie Tins from the Brae Young Enterprise Group taking orders for their locally designed large Christmas tin. While the Anderson High School’s Bittersie have published their own stories and recipes in a book and Shetland inspired phone cases are on offer from Inside Connections.
Fair Isle and Foula primary school have also designed their own products and will be offering them for sale over the weekend.
There are new jewellery exhibitors too with Luna Hearth showing jewellery in their contemporary unique style while Shet-Lynn Jewels are offering gemstone jewellery and accessories. If Trows and Vikings are your thing then visit Trowie Knowe for clay trow figures or Peerie Vikings for wool based Vikings.
A range of knitted goods is available from Voxter Mixtermaxter and Sandra Williamson Textile Designs. Beach glass and shells feature in the work of Sea Shell’s Art and Marti Meszaros while Lubba Crafts have a variety of items in a Shetland theme.
You can find out about body casting at Keepsake Casting and if you’re still stuck for ideas then Mirrie Dancers Chocolatier can provide luxury chocolates
If you need a card to go with your present then head to Papir.
As well as these completely new exhibitors, there will be new products from the exhibitors who have been the backbone of the Craft Fair during the last 21 years. Burra Bears are launching a special Christmas Bear. Aamos Designs has new colours in her range as does Ninian and Nielanell while you can raise a toast using Glansin Glass’ new peerie nip glasses. You’re always guaranteed to find something new at Kit & Ewen Mowat’s stall and at Nan & Lindsay Smith’s and at Shetland Jewellery. While Journeyman Leather are showcasing Horsehair Jewellery by Celtic Horsehair Creations.
And still there are more new designs from ‘younger’ exhibitors R.A.M. Knitwear Designs are launching a new range of fine knitted ties while Oonique is offering Shetland Tweed scarves incorporating Shetland Lace. Cozee Crochet is introducing the intriguing crochet taxidermy. N-Graved Shetland are launching dialect Christmas Eve boxes while sisters Julie Williamson and Andrea Williamson have new mug, clock and bootee designs. Mary’s & May are offering something new and Love from Shetland have expanded their range of soap seven fold from last year while Vega Makes have new light designs. Pink Fish have new brooch shapes and Yala and Esme Wilcock have new jewellery designs.
I plan to spend a lot of time this weekend browsing through the stalls looking for interesting products and hearing some of the stories behind their design. I’m sure I’ll have finished my Christmas shopping by Sunday night and I will have a full report in next week’s Shetland Times.
The Fair runs on Friday 7-9pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm
Delicious food is available in 2 pop up Cafés in the Clickimin Centre during the event.