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Scotland Trip

Larry, I don’t know of any Jewelry attractions in the Glasgow area of
Scotland, but it sure is a great place. If you are interested in
things “mystical”, you should most definitely make the effort to visit
Rosslyn Chapel, a few miles south west of Edinburgh, right in the town
of “Roslin”. It is a very old, partly completed chapel that has
distinctly pagan symbolism and Knight’s Templar carvings, and has a
great history or story behind it. Also, it’s in a beautiful setting,
as most everywhere in Scotland is.

You may not get a chance to go this far north, but I also enjoyed

visiting the Orkney Isles when I was there last. They have an
affordable ferry/bus tour that is well worth taking, even if you
aren’t the tour type. In the small town of John O’ Goats, where the
ferry leaves from, at the northern-most tip of Scotland, there is a
small collection of artisan stores, including a glassmaker who makes
some very beautiful pieces, and ceramicist, and a candle maker. In
fact, they need a little jewelry shop up there… hmmm…

Have a good trip, I hope it doesn’t rain too much!

Andrew Horn
Fiodh Furniture Company
105 Seaview St.
Port Hueneme, CA 93041

I didn’t reply to Larry’s original posting, as the proposed visit to
Scotland was going to cover just Edinburgh and Glasgow - both great
cities with many fine general museums, galleries and stores of all
sorts. However, now that Drew has mentioned the Orkney Islands, I
feel honour bound to comment…

Orkney (situated off the north coast of Scotland) is known now as
’Scotland’s Jewellery Quarter’. There’s a history (supported by
archaeology) of jewellery making going back to Neolithic times, with
early industrial manufacture occurring in the Iron Age, and some
stunning Norse work surviving from the ‘golden age’ of Viking rule
about a thousand years ago. (Several of these pieces are in fact
stored in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.) But the
reason we’re known throughout the UK for jewellery now is because
since about 1960 a remarkable number of talented and dedicated
designers and makers have made their home here. Some have been born
and bred in the islands (pop. 19,000), others have ended up here,
drawn by a wonderful landscape, and a culture that values and
respects handcraft very highly.

I am biased, no doubt, in believing that my mother in law, Ola Gorie,
and the company she founded, make the most beautiful and well-crafted
jewellery around. But I have to admit that there are many others
doing good work too, e.g. Aurora, Celtian, Hrossey, Orkneyinga Silver,
Ortak, and West-ray Jewellery. And there are more…new individuals
and small companies spin off the bigger ones quite regularly, it

Many of the companies have websites, so have a look. Also check out, the tourist board site, and,
our local newspaper’s site, which is updated daily.

If any Orchidian jewellers want to meet some Orcadian jewellers,
you’ll have to go a long way north of the big cities. But we would
try our best to give you a warm welcome…

Duncan McLean
President, Orkney Jewellery Group