Angels’ Share Glass Managing Director Karen Somerville worked closely with Clare Campbell, founder of Highlands-based Prickly Thistle, to come up with a design which would reflect the glassmakers’ story and complement its products.
Three designs were shortlisted and put to a public vote which led overwhelmingly to the choice of the teal blue and gold option - Whisky and Water.
Karen says: “As a proud Scottish business, it was only fitting that we would one day produce our very own tartan to reflect our heritage and the story of how our brand has developed since we launched eight years ago.
“We were delighted with the ideas generated by Prickly Thistle and loved all of the designs Clare developed - but we agree with our supporters and customers that the Whisky and Water design is the best fit for us.”
Prickly Thistle is the firm behind the creation of Outlander star Sam Heughan’s Sassenach tartan and designed the limited-edition tartan weaved for the National Trust for Scotland’s Save Our Scotland Appeal.
Clare says: “It was an absolute joy to work with Karen and hear the lovely stories behind Angels’ Share Glass.
“We worked together to create a flagship tartan using the iconic colours which reflect the brand and all the wonderful imagery and connections inspired by the colours of whisky and glass and by Karen’s father Tom Young’s glassmaking legacy.
“I’m thrilled that everyone loved the Whisky and Water design which was chosen and really enjoyed going on the journey with Karen and her team which led to the creation of the tartan which tells their story.”
Angels’ Share Glass specialises in creating whisky-based glass gifts, many of which include tartan in their presentation, and Karen had been considering producing a bespoke tartan for some time.
She says: “Customers would often ask us if we had our own design to include in the gift sets and staves where we use tartan and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do as a Scottish company which is proud of its heritage.
“Working with Clare to develop the perfect design was fantastic because she is so passionate about storytelling and was determined to find out all about us so she could weave our history and our stories into the design.”
Clare came up with a series of designs for the firm which the team narrowed down to three tartans - Whisky and Wood; Whisky and Water and Whisky and Nature.
These options were voted on by the firm’s many customers, supporters and social media fans with more than 1,000 people completing the survey and a massive 70% voting for Whisky and Water.
Those polled were also asked to put forward name ideas for the tartan before Karen decided on `Whisky and Water by Angels’ Share Glass’ as the perfect title.
She says: “The three designs were all wonderful with the Whisky and Wood colours representing the oak of the whisky barrel which is the wood we use for our staves and Whisky and Nature featuring the black and gold of the flames we use in glassmaking and the black fungus sometimes associated with The Angels’ Share.
“But the Whisky and Water design, representing our brand colours of teal and gold, was the standout winner and a great choice which all of us at Angels’ Share Glass agreed with.
“We’re grateful to all those who voted and quite overwhelmed by the positive response we received as well as some of the unusual entries which were suggested for the tartan names including Greedy Angels and Tartan McTartanFace.
“We’re now looking forward to having our very own tartan woven and using it to complement our products.”
The tartan will now be produced by the Prickly Thistle team at their tartan weaving mill and is expected to be completed by the summer.
It will be used in the presentation of existing products and packaging as well as for creating a range of new gifts including tartan napkins with handmade glass rings, a tartan flat cap and hipflask covers.
The tartan is registered with The Scottish Register of tartans ref: 13150
This tartan is for their company, representing the glass craftsmanship of their product collections and their inherent links to whisky and, its pairing partner, water.
The colours are associated with the Angels' Share Glass brand. The thread count represents the story of Angels' Share Glass; 82 and 14 threads in teal blue marking the 82 years of Tom's life and the age he began glassblowing.
The Angels' Share is a Scottish phrase associated with the evaporation process of whisky cask storage, and in 82 years anything from 56%-81% of whisky could have evaporated from a cask. These numbers are also incorporated in the design, with rich gold and black representing the whisky mystically being captured by the 'Angel'.
The white overchecks notes the partnership of Tom and Karen since 2012, which is also marked with 12 bright gold threads across the main brand colour of teal blue.