NEW YEAR NEW BOOK January 28 2024My debut novel The Liberation of Bella McCaa is out in the world and the reviews on Amazon have made this new writer extremely happy. If you've bought the book and if you've left a review, it's much appreciated and has spurred me on to write book two - Just One Weekend
CHANGE IS COMING... October 16 2023Change is coming - guess what's happening next.
COBURG SUMMER OPEN STUDIOS July 21 2023
Not long until our Summer Open Studios at Coburg House. To whet your appetite I've selected some of the talented tenants whose doors will be open that weekend.
One of my absolute faves is resin jewellery designer Kaz Robertson - I can never resist treating myself to something from her collection.
Wangle Bangles from Kaz are just gorgeous in their juicy colours and cheerful design. You'll find Kaz in the Loft.
Next is Kittie Jones artist and screen printer - I bought a beautiful screenprint of a Moorhen last open studios. Kittie is on the second floor.
On the Gallery Floor is Mette Fruergaard - who creates the most wonderful range of boxes made from a selection of woods and metals. She's not added a collection of handles and candle sticks too, each one entirely unique.
That's only three out of more than 50 artists and makers who will be exhibiting that weekend. It's a don't miss- details in the flyers below. Hope to see you there. I'm in studio 35. There's also a delicious cafe to refresh you as you browse - supplied by Domenica's of Leith.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY...TO ME! June 25 2023That might seem rather self-centred but it is indeed twenty years since I started making accessories. It all began by making a couple of bags to take to the Cannes Film Festival for my business partner and I. Didn't do us much good trying to finance the particular film, but I did come back with orders for the bags.
COMING SOON! April 02 2023
It's been a very busy year so far catching up with Bespoke orders from pre and post Christmas. There's been so many that I've decided to have a hiatus from that for a while, as the website gets restocked - because at the moment, there really is no accessories available. Catching up with the backlog after having an extended bout of Covid over Christmas and New Year really slowed the output down - apologies for inconvenience but the bespoke facility will be back later in the summer.
And I hope the lack of stock hasn't put people off coming back to the store - normal service will be resumed as very shortly - it's the joy of everything being handmade in the studio in Edinburgh. It all takes times to craft the designs and because of the time and care that goes into it, we hope you appreciate it even more when it arrives in the post.
What's coming? Well, this year is a big year for Catherine Aitken brand - it's been twenty years since I created the first collection. Ican barely believe it. Look out for various styles that have been popular over the years as they make a come back in way of celebration - more on that later.
A new Zero Waste Collection will be available, and a new recycled Renaissance range, as well as the classic styles that you will have seen over the years.
So do come back - we're looking at a post Easter launch. If you want to know exactly when the new stock will be available, then why now join the mailing list?
COMING SOON! March 02 2023
Very slow start to the year and I can't believe it's now March. Covid wiped me out over Christmas and New Year and it took a long while to get up to speed again. Then there was only time to fulfill the bespoke orders - and so no new stock. The trials and tribulations of being a one woman designer maker band. But! It's all going to change this month and by the end of it, there'll be new designs - from Harris Tweed and Waxed Cottons and a mix of the two. Zero Waste will be back full strength as I still have suitcases full of scraps to be used up. There's also going to be a bit of recycling going on - something that I started out doing and because this year is a special anniversary - I'm going to do more. News on that later.
In the meantime, apologies for the lack of stock on the website but please do call back at the end of March, or join the mailing list to get first dibs on the new designs as soon as they appear.
In the meantime, there's Giclee Prints of my collage work back in stock and a new collection of those will be coming soon - and possibly some other accessories inspired by them. So lots to do.
Back to the Studio.
SOMETHING NEW! November 09 2022
You can probably guess from the Zero Waste Collection I enjoy collage work. It's a hobby I've had for a long time and recently I made them available to sell at Open Studios and they went down really well. So much so that I decided to get some prints made to put online and promote in the Coburg Gallery.
Collage is such fun to do, and quite therapeutic after a busy day, to sit down and cut out all these different images and colours and then find ways for them to connect and tell a story.
I also love using die cut scraps, the kind of thing I played with as a child and I'm working on a collection using them just now. But for the moment, the ones that drew most attention at Open Studios are the ones available online. These are top quality giclee prints on high quality paper and the tones and textures have come out beautifully.
You can view the ones currently available by clicking on Daisy below...
ZERO WASTE COLLECTION October 23 2022
Over the years I've gathered so many scraps of fabric and I could never throw anything out. For each collection there's often new zips, fittings, linings and it becomes a huge stash of materials. As many of you will know, I started my work as a designer with a recycled collection and have continued that through the years so it seemed an easy decision to make to create a Zero Waste Collection - where we can have fun putting everything together to create original and sustainable designs without any waste. It means we can offer something that is completely unique - no one else will have an accessory like yours anywhere on the planet. More will follow, but it is a time consuming delight, so it may be a while...
SUMMER OPEN STUDIOS July 31 2022Summer Coburg Open Studios is next weekend...
MONTAGE - GROUP EXHIBITION May 14 2022
Coming soon! Based in Edinburgh? Why not come along and see this exhibition - a fabulous selection of work from a variety of artists and makers in Coburg Studios and I'm delighted to be part of it. Expect some new designs from me! Saturday and Sunday 28th/29th May and 5th/6th June.
HOLIDAY TIME! April 30 2022Off to the beach to recharge those batteries and work on some new ideas! Sorry for any inconvenience. Back on Monday 16th May.
NOT LONG NOW... February 11 2022...until the clocks change. Well, it's about six weeks. I don't know about you, but I always find this time of year really difficult.
HAPPY 2022 - IT'S SALE TIME! January 14 2022
We're having a sale! While a new collection is being created we're making way for it with a sale. A post Christmas treat for yourself? Check what's on sale here:
WELCOME BACK! October 02 2021
Welcome back to my online boutique. Earlier in the year I'd decided to take a few months off to spend some time thinking about what I want to do next. Well, it took me much longer to get back to things as I was waylaid by a few different projects while learning some new skills along the way.
TIME FOR CHANGE IN 2021 December 17 2020This has been some year for everyone, all across the world. And it also seems to have been a time for reassessment, change and new directions.
COBURG CRAFT WEEK November 06 2020Coburg Studios is having an exhibition
COBURG OPEN STUDIOS - THE SAFE WAY! September 08 2020Coburg House Open Studios – the Safe Way! Saturday and Sunday 19th and 20th September 10am until 5pm.
CLOTH#20 - ONLINE August 12 2020SAVE THE DATE: On the 22nd & 23rd August - the fabulous Cloth Show that we've had in Edinburgh the last few years is taking place online this year...
SUSTAINABLE STYLE - GREY FOX FEATURE June 01 2020
The fabulous fashion writer www.greyfoxblog.com has featured our Renaissance Collection and the Bespoke service! Read all about it HERE
FACE MASKS - OUR CHANGING WORLD May 06 2020Who would have thought at the beginning of the year, as we all celebrated a new decade, that this worldwide tragedy was around the corner.
RECYCLING YOUR WARDROBE! March 24 2020In this very strange situation we find ourselves in I know people will be looking for projects to do, perhaps dusting off that sewing machine and thinking - what can I make?
SCOTTISH FIELD REVIEWS ARTISAN EDINBURGH! January 27 2020
By Bethany Ferguson - 8th January 2020
DESIGNS ON SUCCESS IN CREATIVE EDINBURGH
With its beautiful architecture, world heritage status, and world-class art galleries and museums, Edinburgh is a city which is truly steeped in creative history.
Although a walk through the Georgian splendour of the New Town or the winding, medieval streets of the Old Town makes the city’s charm evident, what is not so obvious is the city’s burgeoning creative communities studiously working away behind closed doors.
As a Leith-based accessories designer herself, Catherine Aitken uses her wealth of knowledge to unveil the craftsmen and women who are helping to cement Edinburgh’s place as a world-leader in revolutionary creative design.
The book is a true celebration of 24 highly skilled artisans across a variety of disciplines, including a kilt maker, furniture upholsterer and sign gilder.
The interviews with each artist gives an insight into how they got to this point in their careers, while the beautiful images makes the book an objet d’art in its own right. Perfect for display on a living room coffee table.
Some interviews do stand out from the rest, particularly the visit to the studio of award-winning Womenswear Fashion Designer Judy R. Clark. A previous intern of the late genius Alexander McQueen, Judy used this experience to create her own stunning collection of timeless designs featuring Harris Tweed, Scottish lace and antique fabrics, all of which are showcased to full effect in the book’s beautiful images.
Aitken gets the balance right between quirky anecdotes and more technical information about each individual’s complex artistic process. For example, we learn about silversmith Bryony Knox’s upbringing in Kenya which inspires her animal-shaped kinetic silver objects and earned her the appointment as Artist in Residence at Edinburgh Zoo.
With many of the featured artisans based in studios in Leith, some history into how this particular area of Edinburgh became such an artistic hub would have been welcome. However, Aitken succeeds in shining a much-needed spotlight on these vital communities.
SALE! Little treats for you in the New Year! December 24 2019We're having a little sale - not much stock left but there's a fabulous opportunity to purchase a handcrafted beauty at a special festive discount. Check out what's on offer here and very merry Christmas to you!
LAST POSTING DATES FOR CHRISTMAS... December 12 2019
...with just under two weeks to go until the big day, we thought we'd give you the dates you need to order by to make sure your gift reaches you or you the recipient in time for Christmas!
Last day for the US & Rest of World is Saturday 14th December! Europe is the 16th and UK 18th - that's the date we're closing up for Christmas, so last day to get your order in.
I hope enjoy browsing and if you need any help - as always, drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
NOT LONG NOW... November 15 2019Not long now until the biggest and best of Scotland's Open Studios - the Coburg House Christmas event.
OCH!TOBER! October 04 2019
Hoots Maun! It's Och!tober! Lots of exclamation marks there....
Och!tober is my take on a new exhibition that's coming up at Coburg Studios during the last weekend of the month and the first weekend in November. Inspired by 'Inktober' we decided to take the underlying ethos of producing one work of art per day and apply it to ourselves as we work through October. Everyone is taking a different inspiration instead of Ink(tober) - someone is doing Pinktober and another designer maker is doing Socktober - so it's going to be fun and something very different. I've chosen Och!tober - inspired by the fact that I use mostly Scottish materials in my designs and this month will be completely so. So expect to see Harris Tweed, Scottish Deerskin Leather, Waxed Cotton and Scottish Linen.
The first weekend may also show some designs in progress as we work feverishly towards creating something everyday for the whole month.
More information soon on the other participants soon.
The dates and times are:
Saturday and Sunday 26th and 27th October 11am until 4pm
Saturday and Sunday 2nd and 3rd November 11am until 4pm
I hope you can visit Och!tober!
ARTISAN EDINBURGH - A NEW BOOK June 22 2019Much of my time recently has been taking up working on a wonderful new project - Artisan Edinburgh.
COMING SOON - TRANSFORM March 24 2019Transform - an exhibition of Sustainable Art & Design will soon be on at Coburg Studios ...
A NEW WAY OF WORKING... February 19 2019There's a new collection online and it also reflects a new way of working for me. I've decided to concentrate entirely on small limited edition collections and bespoke.
NEW COLLECTION COMING SOON.... February 04 2019Sorry that our shelves are empty! We're currently creating new designs and they will be online very soon.
CHRISTMAS SALE December 18 2018
Our stock cupboards are almost bare... but we've got a few of our handcrafted beauties left that are still looking for a home for Christmas...
Check out our Seasonal Sale!
EXCLUSIVE CHRISTMAS PROMOTION December 09 2018Search for the Christmas Image! In the run up to Christmas we're doing a series of short term surprises and offers for our customers...
CHRISTMAS IS COMING AND THIS IS WHERE YOU'LL FIND US! October 28 2018Between now and Christmas is the busiest time of year for us. Bespoke orders come rushing in, the website is madly busy and we also take part in lots of events...
CARLOWRIE CASTLE - ISOBEL WYLIE HUTCHISON October 28 2018Isobel Wylie Hutchison has always been one of my inspirations. This amazing woman first started her expeditions in her early twenties by walking from Edinburgh to London, then from Innsbruck to Venice. Born in Carlowrie Castle in West Lothian in 1889 this was not a time when women were able to strike out on their own.
NOW STOCKED IN V&A DUNDEE September 23 2018Exciting news - our Hepburn Backpack is now stocked in the wonderful new V&A Dundee.
#CLOTH18 - NEW SHOW AT DOVECOT August 08 2018
With Open Studios just behind us, we're now working to get ready for #CLOTH18
WHERE TO FIND US THIS SUMMER... July 13 2018Our Summer Sale has just launched online and the studio is very hot and very busy at the moment as we get the new Autumn/Winter Collection ready. Besides our online shop, you can find our new designs at a few places if you're visiting Edinburgh this August so here's a little round up!
FABULOUS EVENING AT EDINBURGH CASTLE June 10 2018
Craft Scotland kindly commissioned us to create individual gifts for their reception at Edinburgh Castle, hosting the World Craft Council's visit to the city and to launch the Craft Scotland Conference that took place over the next two days.
I've long been an admirer of Tessuti Scotland. The designer behind the label, Fiona McIntosh, worked with us to produce a range of fashion accessories. Read more...
WHERE TO BUY HARRIS TWEED? May 19 2018This is a question we get asked a lot! Harris Tweed is a stunning handwoven cloth - the only cloth to be protected by an Act of Parliament - woven on the islands of Harris and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Read more...
GORGEOUS NEW CLOTHS FROM CROTAL HARRIS TWEED March 01 2018Well, we all know we love Harris Tweed but it's even better when we know who the weaver is and see them at work. In the new collection there's two stunning cloths from Annie Mackay at Crotal Harris Tweed. Read more...
MAKER OF THE MONTH AT CONCRETE WARDROBE... November 05 2017Delighted to say that November we're Maker of the Month at the fabulous Concrete Wardrobe on Broughton Street Edinburgh! Read more...
THE HERALD FASHION AWARDS October 14 2017Delighted to have been nominated in two categories for The Herald Fashion Awards, taking place in Glasgow on the 5th November. Read more...
IT'S WOOL WEEK! October 08 2017
Campaign for Wool celebrates wool every year and this year the capstone event is Wool Fusion and it's wonderful that we were commissioned to create two bags to celebrate the event and our use of Harris Tweed. The details of the event, taking place this week in London, are below.
A Rambler Rucksack and a Hobo Handbag in gorgeous montage shades. What do you think?
IT'S NEW COLLECTION TIME! September 07 2017
Check out the new designs we have for you online and also the favourites in new colours and materials. This new season we've gone for vibrant reds, beautiful blues and rich burnt orange. We've also upped the level of Waxed Cotton, using a new Hybrid Aero from Halley Stevensons in Dundee, that's dry to the touch and just perfect for our climate - and more over, teams perfectly with our beloved Harris Tweed.
We hope you like it....
IT'S SALE TIME! July 16 2017
We're getting the new collection underway and thought we'd have a little sale of the stock we had left - hope you can take advantage of it! New designs are coming up and will be available at the Craft Scotland Summer Show in Edinburgh - absolutely delighted to have been selected to take part - and alongside a prestigious range of fabulous Scottish designers! Thank you Craft Scotland. Get the details here
Just the day after that launch we're having our 25th Biannual Open Weekend at Coburg Studios! Details here. I can't believe that I've had studio space all that time. I first got the space when I was still producing in the film and TV industry, so it all started as a part time venture that eventually turned into a new career - it's never too late so start something new it seems. My last production was in 2014 but just recently I've been musing on a special project that I may get involved in....never say never!
Another event and another opportunity to browse and buy gorgeous handmade and vintage designs will be at the Selvedge Fair at the Dovecot Textile Museum and Gallery in Infirmary Street in Edinburgh - the date for the diary is Saturday the 19th August and there's more details here.
Until then, it's pretty full on with orders for Glenfiddich Distillery, a new stockist in Germany (details soon), replenishing our retailers British Museum, Mull Pottery, Cranachan & Crowdie and Concrete Wardrobe, popping a little linen collection into SDX at Ocean Terminal, supplying new stockists Charisma in Dunblane and Winston & Potter in Swannage. In between of course doing bespoke pieces for lovely customers, dealing with online orders and helping set up the new Coburg Gallery Shop - and I need to find time to get out and about and enjoy the Edinburgh Festival!
It's all go. I can't thank you enough for your support as wonderful customers and clients, for commenting and liking and giving me your thoughts on social media. It's so heartening to see how many people love beautiful handcrafted products and I hope you'll like the new designs for the new season that will be launched very soon - my customers are my inspiration after all! Watch this space!
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DISCOUNT! June 06 2017
18th June isn't far away and we've got some fabulous gift ideas as well as a lovely 10% discount across the collection. Use Promo Code FATHER at the checkout to get 10% off your purchase. Available until 17th June midnight.
Have you seen our new Tetra Pouches? In Scottish Deerskin Leather, Suede or Harris Tweed - they're just the thing for storing charges, adapters, makeup, cash and cards - and in such style. Check out the selection online here.
Herald's Fashion Top 50 April 16 2017
And we're in! Very happy indeed to be among such illustrious names and talents. Thank you to The Herald for including us.
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