FRIENDS OF THE GUILD

The White Rose Guild works collaboratively with people who are driven by their craft and their Scottish heritage. These pioneers of local craftmanship are continuing traditional methods used throughout generations of Scottish people. They represent the true essence and heart of Scotland, as artisans of living history. We believe Scotland should not lose these skills and invest in their future indefinitely.

Our themed experience tours deliver the opportunity for our guests to meet the craftsmen. The White Rose Guild cares deeply about their skillset and wants to help maintain traditional craftmanship in Scotland. Guests can enjoy a hands-on experience of their art, with the chance to chat to them face to face and learn about what it means to live on craftmanship in this modern era. Discover their fascinating lifestyles and stories. 

Bryony Knox

SILVERSMITH

I am a Silversmith, based in Edinburgh, with a unique, stylish and sometimes humorous approach to my hand-crafted silverware. I’ve been working in metal for over 20 years and I make a huge variety of silver sculptures and functional items.

I’ve always been hands-on in my craft and I slowly moved to working with silver, after using other materials like cooper and brass. As soon as I found this metal, I knew it was the material for me. It’s so malleable in your hands, when it’s hot or cold. I love the way it starts to take shape as I hammer it.

I love stories and world myths and often they are the catalysts for my ideas to create new objects. Many also have dual functionality and the magic and stories behind them provide great inspiration and delight amongst tourists in Scotland.

Michael Job

BLACKSMITH

I am an Artist Blacksmith, designing and creating work through the process of forging metal. My roots are the Scottish Highlands and Quebec, which inspire and focus my work through their culture and environment.

Creativity, problem solving, physicality, design and craft all go into each piece from a simple fire tool to large public sculpture.

While the work process is mostly shaping steel with heat and hammer, I use many different techniques both old and modern to get the desired result. Exploring and using different materials gives variety and a wider scope of work for myself and the customer.

Copper, stainless steel, bronze and aluminium are some of the metals while hard and soft woods can often be used to complement the final piece.

Barry Grove

STONE CARVER

I am a traditional stone carver based in the Scottish Highlands. With over 20 years’ experience, I am considered one of the finest in my field.

As a sculptor I prefer the revealing aspect of stone, actually having the raw material in my hand. For example, the sandstone I use is 350 million years and the granite is half a billon years old. I feel honoured to use the material and a sense of responsibility to make something unique.

Stone carving is an ancient craft and the process hasn’t changed in a millennia. With a mallet and a chisel, I can produce ornate, beautiful pieces of work. However, it takes patience as it’s such a long process but day by day I make progress and eventually it all comes together after working on individual sections.

I take pride in the longevity of my work and the human influence. A sculpture may be passed down through families and generations will inherit the piece, may be even in 300-400 years’ time.

Gordon Nicolson

KILTMAKER

GORDON NICOLSON

Kiltmaker

Hand-woven

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I am the chief proprietor of Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers in Edinburgh and I am passionate about preserving traditional heritage in a unique and fun manner.

I have had a long career in authentic highland wear and opened my own shop in 2009. I am passionate about making kilts to a high standard in the industry and to safeguard traditions moving forward. This was the inspiration for setting up the Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy, which has trained over 95 students to ensure they are using the correct traditional methods in kiltmaking.

Our materials come from Scottish mills and each kilt is hand-sewn, custom made with the exact size dimensions for each customer. We design tartans and corporate tartan too. I’ve always felt connect to Scottish heritage through my work and kiltmaking is internationally renowned.

Dougie Cunningham

PHOTOGRAPHER

My name is Dougie Cunningham and I’m a local, Scottish photographer. I will be one of the first people many of you meet as you start your journey through Scotland with the Guild. I have the pleasure not only of showing you some of the highlights of our beautiful capital city, but also of giving you some hints and tips and a little tuition to help you take some great photographs of your own as you tour Scotland.

Much of my photography work is landscape or location based. I am a regular contributor for one of the country’s leading Outdoor magazines, photographing walkers and adventurers in the mountains of the Highlands. I also recently published the best-selling guidebook, Photographing Scotland, written primarily for landscape photographers. When I’m not out in the hills, I photograph weddings and events, amongst other things, and I’ve just started working on a city guidebook to Edinburgh, also aimed at photographers.

All this means I have a pretty unique range of professional experience. No matter what sort of photographs you want to take home from your Guild tour, I’ll help get your creative juices flowing and give you some good advice as you start your journey.

I’m looking forward to meeting you in Edinburgh – Slàinte!

Jeremy Lavender

PHOTOGRAPHER

I am a passionate and highly qualified photographer. I am also internationally published, fluent in both English and French and a proud British Photography Awards Ambassador.

Full of energy, I have a creative approach to photography and excel in capturing poignant moments in a discreet way.

Photography has never been only a business for me, this is also my life passion and with over 35 years of professional practice under my belt, you can expect the job to be done and well done. Of course, there are hourly timings for the photographic sessions but, in a general way, be assured that most of the time I am very open and don’t mind a little extra time offered for free to customers. As per the usual limitation of photographs delivered to a photographer’s client, I dare to be different and strive to deliver as many processed photographs as possible. Final high resolution photographs will be digitally delivered promptly after your event and you will also receive, for free, all images in a web resolution to allow you to share by email or through social networks with family members and friends. I always tailor my services to different budgets and needs.

My motto is to provide a photographic service that is tailored to each and every customer’s needs.

David McCullough

QUAICH MAKER

I am a Quaich Maker in Scotland and believe in producing these artefacts in traditional methods in this country for true authenticity. Not only do I faithfully reproduce artefacts of the past but I focus on creating these artefacts for the future to ensure perpetual craft in this field.

I originally got started when I decided to make a small batch for my wedding. I got great satisfaction from making something with a strong symbolic purpose. I use traditional materials in a way that appeals to the purchaser for the modern home.

As quaiches are crafted as a two-handle bowl, they were traditionally used at clan gatherings. Designed to be shared, clans would come together to share a drink and they represented a show of trust between clan chiefs.

Chas Whitmore

VIDEOGRAPHER

I have been producing films for over ten years now and running my own production company for the last four. My passion for filmmaking comes from a love of cinema, visual story telling, travelling and photography. I have always enjoyed watching films but it wasn’t until 2007 when I saw ‘Children of Men’ that I really started questioning how films were made and the creative choices that went into each frame. Since then I have created documentaries, dramas, promotional and corporate films as well as Wedding and music videos. When I am not making films, I love spending time with my family and friends, exploring Scotland and the rest of the world, watching live music, cooking and going to the cinema.

Dominic Ibbotson

PHOTOGRAPHER

I have been a photographer for 26 years. I studied Photography and Film at Napier University and was a post graduate at Edinburgh College of Art. I have been a regular contributor for The Sunday Times, Financial Times and the Guardian Weekend magazine. I have exhibited in the Impressions Gallery, York and the Lighthouse Gallery, Glasgow and had private commissions in India, China and South East Asia.

Today, I work commercially as a successful wedding and portrait photographer based in Scotland, also travelling abroad.

Graeme Biggerstaff

TARGE MAKER

Based in Glasgow, Scotland, I am a self-taught Master leatherworker with a passion for arms and armour and Scottish history. Although still relatively young in my craft, I have already become a name synonymous with authentically crafted Scottish targes (round leather shields) which are of the highest degree of quality. I am internationally renowned for my craft and my targes have now found pride of place in homes in Europe, the USA and as far afield as Australia. Attention to detail means all to me, and my reproductions of original targes, especially those once held by Highland Clan chiefs and surviving examples from the Jacobite uprisings clearly demonstrate this. My passion for this craft is evidenced through targes which have the look and feel of those once carried by Scottish warriors.

I recall the first time I set eyes on Scottish targes as a youngster whilst visiting the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, I was captivated by the workmanship and practicality of what was one of the Highland Clansman’s main means of defence, along with the dirk and sword. My main inspiration and motivation for becoming a full time targe maker and craftsman came through reading ‘Culloden’ by author John Prebble. I was completely fascinated by the story of the Jacobite Cause and all the Clans who fought in the uprisings.

Over the last several years, I have been commissioned to craft unique, one of a kind targes, which are often a collaboration between himself and his customers. These commissions are highly personal to my customers and go beyond mere pieces to be hung in homes, but also highly valued heirlooms that are intended to be passed on through generations. An important element of the targe commissions are literally just that-the elements.

The targes go beyond the raw materials used to craft them. The dyes I use to colour my targes actually contain the elements of soil, stone and water gathered from locations around Scotland. By grinding down and mixing these elements and adding them to his leather dyes, is in effect incorporating a piece of Scotland into his creations.

As a Master leatherworker, available for commission, I can produce a variety of finely crafted leather goods. Although best known for my targes, my other creations include authentic sword belts, sporran bags and wrist cuffs.

JOHN HARBOUR

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My full name is John Robert Mackay Harbour and you will see in the short video that I’m wearing the Mackay tartan kilt. Having retired from the Royal Navy 8 years ago, I set up a company providing tours all over Scotland. It was a new venture so although I knew Scotland very well and consider myself an amateur Scottish historian, I still decided to take the Scottish Tourist Guide Association professional qualification and become a Blue Badge Guide. My Tour Guiding values are centred around the client to ensure that they feel like personal guests on a personalised tour of Scotland where nothing is too much difficulty and their needs are catered for at every turn.

My professional life was at sea and as a Commander in the Royal Navy, I’ve seen the world. From Rio to Australia and from the USA to Japan, I’ve made great friends along the way. I’ve witnessed history in the making, seeing South Africa during and after apartheid, and Berlin before and after the fall of the Wall. I’ve even welcomed HRH Prince Charles aboard my ships, HMS CHARYBDIS and LEWISTON. More recently I worked in Brussels for the new European Union Military Staff, bringing my French to fluency and making great friends from all over Europe. In my final appointments I served as spokesman for the European Union Naval Forces off Somalia, commenting on anti-piracy issues and visiting Djibouti and Kenya to get close to the action.

I became a guide because I wanted to share my love of my country with visitors to Scotland and show them the amazing mix of history, art, culture and scenery. Although I knew a considerable amount of history of Scotland and had travelled extensively around the country, I chose to undergo the Professional Blue Badge course taking almost 2 years at Edinburgh university to hone my professional touring and guiding skills. In so doing, I signed up to the Scottish Tourist Guide Association code of ethics which include immaculate image and attire, excellent communication, self-discipline and utmost safety of the client.

Today I offer guided tours of Scotland for small groups of up to 7 people in a luxury V Class Mercedes or groups up to 19 in a Mercedes Tourer with a driver. I love to meet new people and my motto is to go anywhere you want to go, anytime. I have travelled all over Scotland from the Borders to the Highlands and the islands and I know my country extremely well and love to go off the beaten track to provide a special experience. I very much adapt sustainability rules within my business to ensure the protection and the reputation of tourism in my country by making every endeavour to ensure that guided groups treat with respect the environment, wildlife, sights and monuments, and also local customs and sensitivities. I offer private, bespoke tours tailored to the customers’ needs and look forward to welcoming you to Scotland.

JOHN SADLER

John Sadler BA (Hons), M.Phil, FRHistS, FSA (Scotl.) a successful author, lecturer, heritage consultant/historical interpreter, storyteller and battlefield tour guide. He has been telling stories, teaching, and writing about Scottish and border history for over forty years. a fellow of the Royal Historical Society; a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (Scotland); a graduate Holocaust Fellow of the Imperial War Museum and a member of Equity. For twenty years, since 1995 he was a staff lecturer at NECLL (now ‘Explore’), delivering usually two/three history courses per term. He regularly lectures at The National Army Museum, Imperial war Museum, RMA Sandhurst, Heriot Watt University, Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne, The Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle, Durham University, the DLI Museum & Art Gallery. He has a dozen  published works on Scottish historical non-fiction and fiction in print and has guided tour groups around many Scottish historical sites, castles and battlefields

EXPLORE SCOTLAND

INSPIRING - EXHILARATING - CRAFTMANSHIP

Dear Customer,

At The White Rose Guild safety is paramount for both our staff and visitors. 

For this reason we have made all necessary adjustments to ensure we comply fully with Government advice in relation to Covid-19. 

We have now been awarded the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark in partnership with The Tourist Organisation of Great Britain & Northern Ireland. 

This ensures we meet strict guidelines for safety and hygiene, meaning our business practises are safe and we are ready to welcome visitors once again.