9th January 2019
During the last few years a number of artists have emerged who have contributed to a growing design culture in Scotland that celebrates and uses the Scots language. Indeed, something of a renaissance appears to be underway. As recently as the turn of the millennium it was difficult to find any design item or product that contained Scots beyond the yearly Yule Caird, but now there are a plethora of items often designed to order.
Looking around Scotland there are artists with some nice and original lines in Scots language products. For example, Aberdeen-based Gabrielle Reith, who is a graduate of Gray’s School of Art, combines pen and ink drawings with stories, as well as making cards, textiles and jewellery as part of her Small Stories brand. She has produced t-shirts and other items containing such well-known North East Scots words as ‘Fit like’, ‘loon’, ‘bosies’, ‘quine’ and ‘toonser’ and will soon be adding ‘nickum’ and ‘splooter’ as well. Then there is ceramic artist Susan McGill Designs based in Kirkcaldy who produces exquisite and intricate ceramic designs which incorporate texts in Scots, such as Rabbie Burns.
Further south, in Glasgow, is Gie It Laldy Patter Merchants who describe themselves as a gift brand “inspired by Scottish slang, culture and people.” Among the items they stock are t-shirts whish proclaim ‘Weegie’, ‘Wee wido’ or a mug that reads ‘Yer no deid yet’. There are also a number of other items with stronger language for the more discerning customer. Another, similar outlet is the Braw Wee Emporium based in The Barras, Glasgow, which stocks and sells a whole range of Scots language items produced by various artists and companies.
On the east coast is Indy Prints by artist Stewart Bremner, based in Leith, who has worked with the Scots Language Centre on a number of projects. Stewart has produced a range of Scots language works including the current 2019 calendar with Scots sayings, and cards and prints with well-known sayings like ‘Lang mey yer lum reek’ or ‘Yer bum’s oot the windae’, or his screen print of the moon with ‘It’s a braw bricht moonlit nicht the nicht.’
So if you’re looking for that special Scots language gift why not check out some of the artists and outlets above or drop the SLC a line and tell us how you are being creative with the language.