#UnwrapArt with Artists’ Tuck Shop

Our #Unwrap art campaign highlights how, in the lead up to the festive season, artists’ and makers’ markets, online retail spaces or visiting a gallery shop, can provide amazing opportunities to buy something handmade in Scotland with love. Here writer Chris Sharratt speaks to SCAN member David McDairmid of Artists’ Tuck Shop about his work in making artists’ editions available to the public.

Coral-shaped porcelain citrus juicers, dinner plates glazed with deer bone ash, hand-cast espresso coasters – just a few of the foodie-related gift ideas you’ll find at Artists’ Tuck Shop.

These and other tasty artist-made offerings have been specially commissioned by ATS, with all profits from sales going towards the shop’s ongoing mission to fund more artists’ work.

Founded in 2019 by Glasgow-based artist and curator David McDiarmid, artists keep 70% of the sale price, with any remaining profits going towards funding new commissions.

“I see Artists’ Tuck Shop as a vehicle to help other artists make some sales,” explains McDiarmid. “I wait until I get enough funds and then directly commission artists to create the new works.”

ATS sells most of its wares online through Etsy. But at this time of year, you’ll also find McDiarmid popping up at Christmas makers’ markets in Glasgow.

“This period is the busiest for the markets,” he explains, “and I love doing them, you get some interesting chats with people. But we’re more of an online operation really – particularly during the pandemic.”

Artists’ Tuck Shop began life as a pre-pandemic project for the 2019 Look Again festival in Aberdeen, with the aim of bringing together contemporary art and McDiarmid’s foodie interests.

For the festival, he created a flat-pack trolley as a way to transport items around the city from one venue to the next. “It was pretty rickety – you could hear it coming!” he says.

Because he’s been able to commission more artists – 12 so far – the trolley isn’t big enough anymore. “We’ll probably bring it out again at some point, but for the moment it’s more of a table set up that we’re using for the markets.”

Last Christmas, McDiarmid worked with 25 artists to create the ‘Make Bake Cook Book’, a collection of artists’ works and recipes. It’s been a great success and is still selling well today, generating much needed revenue for more commissions.

The latest of these, which should be available to order at the markets, is what McDiarmid describes as “a series of quite strange cushions” which will be made to order by artist Greer Pester and sell for just £40. “There’s a banana finger, a mushroom – the idea is to create a collage on your sofa.”

For more information, visit https://artiststuckshop.wordpress.com

Artists’ Tuck Shop will be popping up at the following markets in the lead up to Christmas:

 Sat 11 & Sun 12 Dec, Wasps Winter Artists and Makers Market ,The Briggait, Glasgow

 Thu 23 Dec, Alchemy Festive Artists & Makers Market, The Alchemy Experiment, Byres Road, Glasgow

Image: Handmade Coral Red Glazed porcelain slip cast lemon juicer by Glasgow-based artist Emma Rogers