We make handmade up-cycled gifts in Scotland and wanted to feature some other makers and small businesses that are from Scotland too. This is our first small business to be featured in this blog series called Meet the Maker.
Knightingale Crafts is owned and run by Jamie Andrews who is based in Fife.
How did your business get started?
I got started in my current business after moving back to Scotland from Canada where I was farming fresh-cut flowers. During the winters in Canada, when the farm was under three feet of snow, I got into pyrography (decorating wood & leather with burn marks, also known as pokerwork).
So when the opportunity to take on an ‘open-studio’ workshop came along, I couldn’t resist. I started woodworking, making small items of furniture and pyrography artwork and house signs. Eventually I invested in a laser engraving machine in order to grow the business. I started experimenting with the cutting facility of the machine and one thing led to another and now 100% of my business is laser cutting decorative items.
Like a lot of people my inspiration comes from the natural world, mainly trees and animals, but anything fun and unusual gets me excited. I also love celtic, pictish and medieval artwork. I did start going down the Steampunk route but in the end had to put that on hold as it was so different from my main business I was getting pulled in too many different directions.
This photo was taken near Jamie's workshop in Fife
How do you make the products?
I start with initial drawings, photos and designs and then upload them onto the computer where I format and adjust so they can be used by the laser machines. I use FSC certified birch or poplar plywood, made specifically for laser cutting, and apply Danish oil. During the laser cutting there can be a lot of adjustment depending on the thickness and quality of the wood and the intricacy of the design. After engraving / cutting my designs I then hand finish them by sanding and adding painted highlights and any other final details.
What's your favourite product that you make?
I have two favourite products; ‘Scotland in Your Pocket’ which was fun to design and works great as a decoration, and the ‘Three-Hares’ wall hanging which has an ancient history but I really enjoyed playing with the design to make it my own and I love the simple beauty of it. Plus anything I get to add gold highlights to since I do like a bit of bling!
What part of Scotland are you based in? And what do you love about your local area?
I live in Fife which is great as I love the coastline and it’s wildlife, and am near the historic places of Dunfermline and Culross. I am also close to my family in the Scottish Borders, within easy travel of both Edinburgh and Glasgow, and also near Stirling – the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’, so completely spoilt for inspiration!
Check out Jamie's work by visiting his website: https://knightingalecrafts.com/