Lights up on local venture as Artology lifts the High Street

A venture offering handcrafted gifts and art works is to host a special late open evening to coincide with the Christmas Lights switch-on in Fochabers.

Artology opened its doors for the first time in September as an outlet for the work of the Speyside Artisans, a local art and crafts group that has been working together in the area for six years.

Now stocked full of handcrafted gifts that have been locally sourced from throughout Moray and beyond, the outlet is hoping for a bumper Christmas as part of the growing trend in the region to boost High Street shopping with local outlets.

“The project is the result of a brainstorming session by a group of local artists, the Speyside Artisans,” shop manager Joy Mann said, adding: “The group has been working together since 2008, organising local craft events, temporary pop-ups and exhibitions within the area.

“Whilst driving by an empty shop in Fochabers a new idea soon sprung into action – and the landlord offered a week rent-free as a trial to run a pop-up shop during the very popular Speyfest Celtic Music Festival in July.

“The results were fantastic not only for local artisans but for visitors and local folk.

“Furnishing the shop with second hand, donated and skip finds, all lovingly cleaned and painted, our new project evolved and Artology was born.

“Local artisans were so enthusiastic about the possibility of showcasing their work (something that is lacking in the area) that the shop became fully stocked within two weeks of contacting them.

“We are delighted that we now have a permanent base for locally produced work and local support has been fantastic.”

Artology will be joining in the festivities at Fochabers when the Christmas lights are switched on this weekend, with the shop on 29 High Street remaining open until 8pm.

Joy added: “The stock regularly changes, made possible by all the artisans living locally, enabling them to rotate products, keeping the shop fresh with new gift ideas.

“As well as stocking a great range of fine art, we have skincare and beauty, textiles, wood, glass, tartan, including an onsite accredited kilt maker offering a kilt making service and clan genealogy.

“Like many shops by the sea, a few of the artists inspired by the River Spey and Moray Firth coastline are making gifts from driftwood, screen printed glass with ocean themes and coastal ceramic pieces.

“We also stock ‘Scottish’ inspired gifts, with a local maker creating home wares and gifts by upcycling vintage oak whisky barrels, locally sourced within Speyside to celtic-inspired

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