A Beauty Forged in the Heart of these Islands

Ortak are renowned for their fabulous range of jewellery… creations inspired by a wild landscape imbued with history

After crossing the rugged highland scenery of the North of Scotland, a sea crossing brings you to the soft countryside of Orkney. There is an overall feeling here of the immensity of time, perhaps due to the prevalence of so much history. Indeed, the Orkney Islands have been described by the famous Orcadian author George Mackay Brown as ‘like sleeping whales… beside an ocean of time’. This remarkable location is the home and inspiration for Ortak, makers of handmade silver and gold jewellery.

Orkney consists of a group of more than 70 islands and skerries of which about 20 are presently inhabited. The islands lie six miles off the Scottish north coast. The story of the islands stretches back more than 6000 years, with a wealth of archaeological sites and remains that allow deep insights into the past. This sense of heritage and the modern life of the island has been a valuable influence in the designer jewellery crafted by Ortak. With its diverse economy, it is a busy place and yet, at the same time, unspoilt, quiet and relaxing. The old and the new, the natural environment and the geographical location all merge to give the islands their uniquely attractive sense of place.

The natural environment of Orkney has been formed by the interaction of the land, sea and ice.

Each island is different, resulting in a wide variety of scenery and habitat in a small place. Having been heavily glaciated during the last Ice Age, the landscape is of smooth rolling hills and shallow sounds and bays. Since the Ice Age, the rising sea level has flooded the area to form the present green and blue landscape of islands and water. The colours and shapes of Orkney are reflected in Ortak’s range of jewellery.

Their Maeshowe collection is inspired by an astonishing example of prehistoric architecture at the heart of Neolithic Orkney, beautifully designed to reflect the passage of time and the symbolism of the winter solstice. Their necklaces are inspired by the rural surroundings, climate and coastal locations of the region. This month’s WeeBox includes a specially commissioned sterling silver charm from their Orkney islands workshop where experts have been creating jewellery in the Scottish tradition for more than 50 years.

Discount code: use WEEBOX for 20% off anything on the Ortak website.