Creative Dundee

Spotlight: Makers Gift Guide 2023

For the festive season, we’ve put together a gift guide that makes supporting local makers even easier.

‘Tis the season to shop local and, as ever, it’s the perfect opportunity to support independent businesses and makers in whatever way we’re able to. We’ve pulled together another gift guide with a difference just in time for the festive and market season.

We’ve asked local makers and artists to tell us a bit about one of their products and who they think would love to discover it under their tree, alongside where you can find their work. Each maker has also given us a recommendation or two for other makers to shop with, to help spread the love.


Shop / Instagram

Highlighting: The Dens Road Market T-Shirt.

Who’ll love it? I would it recommend for any Dundonians who remember when the implication that getting an item of clothing (or indeed anything) at Dens Road Market was an insult, and those who love the iconic signage originally painted by Ernest Gauld!

Who else should we be shopping with? The Dundee-based makers I’d like to highlight are Josie Donald, Kate Scarlet, and Zoë Gibson!

Shop designs by SkeltMilk directly via their online shop.

Islay Spalding

Shop / Website / Instagram

Highlighting: My Echo Delta Ear Studs.

Who’ll love it? For lovers of geometric jewellery and folk with a fascination for triangles, the oxidised silver Echo Delta Ear Studs make a special Christmas gift. Part of the Delta Dundee collection inspired by Kengo Kuma’s V&A Dundee, these are also a great gift for Dundonians far and wide; a memento of the city.

Who else should we be shopping with? I would recommend one of my studio buddies The Candle Bothy and her Christmas collection of soy wax scented candles to keep your home smelling Christmassy, and also Tayberry Gallery in Perth, run by my sister and fellow jeweller Sarah Spalding, where she sells her work alongside around 50 other independent artists and makers.

Shop Islay’s work via her online shop or find her at the V&A Dundee Festive Design Market, Fri 24–Sun 26 Nov, and the Double Door Studios Festive Boutique, on various dates between Sat 9–Sun 24 Dec. 



Highlighting: My bubble cups!

Who’ll love them? Someone who loves a hot drink! The cup has a tactile aspect to it, so it would be ideal for those who love to spend time with their cuppa chatting with friends, journaling or even just reflecting!

Who else should we be shopping with? melankólia by Zsófia Jakab! She is also a ceramic artist based in Dundee who creates stunning and elegant marbled cups using slip casting techniques. 

You can browse Clay4Clarity’s work in EH9 Espresso on Perth Road when you order coffee in-house, or drop by DCA’s CRAFTED Festive Market on Sat 25 Nov! Clay4Clarity is also taking Christmas pre-orders through her Instagram.


Etsy / Website / Instagram

Highlighting: My traditional Appalachian broomcorn brushes. Handmade using a foot loom to bind the plant fibres into a usable shape.

Who’ll love them? Anyone would find the decorative brush useful as it serves as a functional item. Often used for cleaning a hearth, basting meat, or used as a whisk. Traditionally given as a wedding gift to a couple in many humanistic rituals to help bring harmony and good luck to the marriage.

Who else should we be shopping with? Linda Sinclair Jewellery!

Steve recently won the Purchase Prize at the ANGUSalive Meffan Winter Show for his willow sculpture ‘Absorbere’, which will be on show until January 2024. Buy directly from Hadenmade via their Etsy, or find them at DCA’s CRAFTED Festive Market, Sat 25–Sun 26 Nov, and The Yard Market throughout December.

CHIP Collective

Website / Instagram / Twitter

Highlighting: Working In: The Arts.

Who’ll love them? Working In: The Arts is a fantastic gift for anyone interested in creative fields, especially young people who have a keen interest in being creative and may want to pursue it as a career option. Working In: The Arts is suitable for all! From games design to animation, fashion and textiles to illustration, photography to jewellery design, there are hundreds of creative fields and hundreds more journeys to forming a career from them.

Who else should we be shopping with? At CHIP we are huge fans of the work Quindrie Press does. An Edinburgh based independent comics publisher they focus on publishing stories from marginalised creators and donate a portion of sales to charities that support marginalised communities.

Buy books from CHIP Collective in print or digital direct from their website, or catch them at their last event of the year at TAGS Fest in Edinburgh, Sat 2 Dec.

Aoife Cawley

Website / Instagram / TikTok

Highlighting: Brat Bríde Scarves.

Who’ll love them? Anyone that is interested in folklore, celtic design, or just bright neon colours! St Brigid’s 1500 year anniversary is coming up soon and these scarves were designed to honour Ireland’s matron saint. A brat Bríde is a piece of fabric (or scarf) that is left out during the night on the eve of St Brigid’s day (1st of February). It is said that the saint comes in the night and blesses the scarf, giving it healing properties.

Who else should we be shopping with? Louise Mcfarlane does the funniest illustrations and prints ever. Yiz have to get onto her!!

Purchase Aoife’s work direct via her online shop, and give her a follow on Instagram and TikTok to see what she gets up to with her practice.

Louise Forbes

Website / Instagram

Highlighting: My wooden spoons, but particularly my Coffee Scoops.

Who’ll love it? Coffee lovers who make a ritual out of their morning routine. They get the joy of using a lovingly hand made spoon to scoop their fancy coffee with.

Who else should we be shopping with? Islay Spalding and the rest of the gang at Double Door Studio in Dundee (they are running their Festive Boutique this December selling lots of nice things) and Sarah Spalding, a jeweller who runs Tayberry Gallery in Perth, a beautiful shop that sells amazing handmade products.

Shop Louise’s designs at Tayberry Gallery or get in touch with her direct. You’ll also find Louise at the V&A Dundee Festive Design Market, Fri 24–Sun 26 Nov.

Scarlett Erskine

Website / Instagram / Facebook

Highlighting: The Sista Necklace.

Who’ll love them? A lover of meaningful everyday wear classic jewellery! With its mixed metals in Silver and 9ct Gold the Sista Necklace is the perfect piece to compliment your own jewellery style. Gifted to and from loved ones to remind you of that special bond whether it be your sista, husband and wife, best friend, or just a love of yourself! 

Who else should we be shopping with? By Rikki Handmade and Dreamland Clothing – their jewellery and clothes bring bright funkiness to my life and I think everyone needs some of that in their wardrobe! 

Shop Scarlett’s jewellery via her online shop and find her at the V&A Dundee Festive Design Market, Fri 24 & Sat 25 Nov

Ava G Knits

Website / Instagram / Facebook

Highlighting: The Checkered Love Sweater Vest.

Who’ll love them? The Checkered Love Sweater Vest is a fantastic choice for someone who wants comfort and warmth without compromising on style. Its timeless design and handmade craftsmanship make it a unique and cherished present for any fashion-conscious individual.

Who else should we be shopping with? Shop Kate Scarlet Harvey for colourful graphic print designs and Jo-AMI for cool, comfy and considered knitwear!

Shop Ava’s designs via her online shop or find her at the Dreamland Clothing Pop-Up at Dundee Design House, Thu 30 Nov–Fri 1 Dec, and Christmas at The McManus, Sat 2 Dec.

Melissa Latto, Nine Angels

Website / Instagram / Facebook

Highlighting: My Neon Marbled Jesmonite Desk Tidy & Phone Holder.

Who’ll love them? Perfect for stationery fans (and anyone with a messy desk who’s always misplacing their mobile!). 

Who else should we be shopping with? I would love to recommend the very talented and unique Metallium Jewellery. Karen does the most amazing commission works. Another favourite local brand is Andie the Label, with the cutest, comfiest everyday wear and unique Christmas outfits for kids (and big kids!).

Shop Melissa’s designs via her online shop or find her at Andie the Label’s Christmas Pop-Up at Creative Studios Dundee, Sat 9 & Sun 10 Dec.

Holly McAfee

Website / Instagram

Highlighting: My Lemon Thyme inspired stud earrings in recycled silver.

Who’ll love it? Someone who loves nature and delicately detailed, minimal design. And I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a pair of earrings as a gift for a jewellery lover!

Who else should we be shopping with? I’d recommend local makers Steph Liddle and Pamela Scott – I love Steph’s boldly patterned pots and Pamela’s black and white linocut prints.

Shop Holly’s jewellery directly via her online shop and find her at the Double Door Studios Festive Boutique, on various dates between Sat 9–Sun 24 Dec.

Check out our previous gift guides for 2022 and 2020 for even more local makers to support! Prefer to do your shopping in person? Head along to any one of the markets popping up across Dundee over the next month to find the perfect gift.

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