Fraserburgh designer Fiona pops up at Aberdeen Art Gallery event

A Fraserburgh designer has been making final preparations for a pop-up event which gets underway at Aberdeen Art Gallery today (Thursday, December 2).

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 7:57 am
Fiona Thomson (front), of Candy Coated Designs, will be exhibiting her work at HAAN Design Pop-up in Aberdeen Art Gallery.

The HAAN Design Pop-up runs at the gallery – winner of the Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland award – until Sunday, December 5.

Delivered by Look Again at Gray’s School of Art and supported by Aberdeen City Council, the event brings together a bespoke collection of products from 23 designers and makers in the North-east and elsewhere in Scotland, making this year’s HAAN even bigger than last year’s event.

One of the designers at this year’s HAAN is textile designer Fiona Ross, from Candy Coated Accessories, whose designs are produced in her home studio in Fraserburgh.

Fiona loves to use vibrant, bold colours in her designs.

Fiona’s first job after leaving university was at Gray’s School of Art as a Constructed Textile Technician. She really enjoyed her time at Gray’s and only left to pursue a dream job as an accessory designer at Johnstons of Elgin.

Fiona said: “I have many fond memories of Grays and with Look Again’s HAAN Design pop up, I feel I'm at the start of my journey here again. This is the first show I've been personally involved in, but I have visited many of their exhibitions and events over the years. I’m really excited to see where this takes me.”

Fiona’s collection includes luxury knitted lambswool hats, headbands and scarves, as well as accessories for the home that draw on a mixture of modern design with traditional techniques. Her products use geometric patterns and vibrant colours, from the tiniest pom poms on her hot water bottle covers to the bold, all over jacquard knitted patterns on her scarves.

She says people are often surprised by her colour and pattern choices as they expect a Scottish knitter to take inspiration from their surroundings, but instead her work comes from a place of joy and playfulness.

As to what HAAN means for the region, Fiona said: “It is great that the Look Again team at Gray’s and Aberdeen Art Gallery are supporting independent designers such as myself and promoting culture in the North East of Scotland. HAAN is so important to small business owners like me as it gives us a platform to showcase our work to the public in a place where we otherwise might not be able to.

“We need world class design markets like this in Aberdeen so people can discover and access the wonderfully talented makers they have on their doorstep. It also helps us widen our customer bases and reach, helping us to build our brand and continue to work on what we are passionate about.”

As to what people can expect if they come to see HAAN, Fiona said: “A warm welcome from talented makers in the North-East and elsewhere in Scotland, selling lots of quality handcrafted products. Things you won’t find on the high street!”

Admission to HAAN is free and takes place at Aberdeen Art Gallery on Thursday, December 2, 5pm-8pm; Friday, December 3, and Saturday, December 4, 10am-5pm; and Sunday, December 5, 11am-4pm.

Visit lookagainaberdeen.co.uk/haan for more information on the designers.