5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Edinburgh’s Artisans this Festival SeasonKatrina Rose Ellis-Borghino
Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival is back this month! As well as ticking the hottest shows off your must-see list, here’s 5 reasons why you should also pay a visit to our host of Artisans and Makers this season..
The Fringe is a world-renowned performing arts festival, this year celebrating its 75th anniversary in the capital. If you’re paying a visit this August, you’ll undoubtably have a checklist of shows, gigs and sightseeing musts whilst you’re in town.
But perhaps you’re looking to experience something a little different in-between scheduled performances. Look no further!
Edinburgh is home to a host of crafting folk, makers and skilled artisans, all working away all year round. And no street is crammed quite as tightly with creatives than St Mary’s Street. It’s a historical hub of tradition, talent and art. So what could be more fitting for the Festival!
Here’s 5 reasons why you should add a visit to Mackenzie and St. Mary’s Street to your Fringe Festival agenda this season…
1. Leather, Tartan and Bagpipes all in one street!
Get your fix of Scottish skill and barely walk more than a few steps. We really mean it when we say St Mary’s Street is packed with Artisans!
You will find tartan, kilts and highlandwear galore at family-run Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers. Traditional, hand-turned Bagpipes at Kilberry Bagpipes. And handcrafted, classic Leathergoods at our place, Mackenzie Leather Edinburgh.
All nestled next door to one another, and known collectively as St Mary’s Street Makers. It could not be easier to experience a taste of authentic Scottish talent, through some of our most renowned products of our culture.
If that wasn’t enough, the street itself is one of the oldest in the city. The foundation of the Flodden Wall, or old city wall, ran along our very shop fronts between 1514-60, known on ancient maps as St Mary’s Wynd.
Find out exactly where you can visit our historic street below:
2. We’re endangered..
In 2021 the art of Sporran Making was added to the Red List of Endangered Crafts by the Heritage Arts Association. As one of fewer than 10 professionals continuing to make Sporrans in the UK today, we’re somewhat of a rarity!
Mackenzie’s collection of handcrafted Day Sporrans are an exquisite take on tradition. We use the finest leather hides, like our exclusive Oak Sporran, crafted from 100% British Oak Bark Shoulder hide.
Visit our shop to see these endangered Sporrans for yourself! And perhaps invest in your own piece of handcrafted tradition..
3. We make music too!
Alongside theatre, dance, spoken word and comedy – music plays a large part in the Festival.
Back in June we released Mackenzie’s musical debut with a video showcasing the sounds that ring through our workshop each day. It just goes to show there’s more to craftsmanship than the finished product. And the work that goes on behind the scenes in our trade is somewhat rhythmic!
Watch The Sound of Mackenzie below, and be sure to pop in store for the live version..
4. Just like the Royal Military Tattoo, we’re steeped in tradition
Chances are when you think of the Festival, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo comes to mind. With staging that looms over the Castle entrance and dominates the skyline each year, it’s easy to feel the weight of tradition behind this mighty endeavour.
Well, just like the annual festival Tattoo event, our business is rooted deeply in heritage and tradition. Our shop offers a rare and nostalgic taste of retail in days gone by. With our workshop housed at the back of a modest showroom, every visitor has the chance to see how each product is made. Always by hand, and often using traditional tools that outlive the maker using them!
Leathercraft is a skill as old as time. And we’re proud to be offering visitors the chance to really experience the history our trade during their time in our extraordinary city.
5. Admission is free..
Last but absolutely not least – there’s no entrance fee! Visitors are welcome throughout the Fringe Festival season (05th – 29th August 2022) and beyond. Nothing beats being able to experience our goods in person. What’s more, our skilled craftsmen are always on hand to help with questions, tips and general knowledge about our daily show – the world of handcrafted leather!