53 Cresswell Street, Byres Road. 0141 334 4240
You’ll also find an extensive range of beautiful jewellery at Nancy Smillie Jewellery Studio
When I first discovered Nancy Smillie’s Shop it was a small pottery shop tucked away in Saltoun Street – nowadays Nancy has her great shop and gallery in Cresswell Street (at the corner of Cresswell Lane). I have yet to meet anyone who does not love the Nancy Smillie Shop which has the ambitious claim of offering: harmony, balance, comfort, space, light, shade and energy. These have been achieved but ‘temptation’ should be included within this list
When out and about in the West End I find it hard to resist a trip into the shop in Cresswell Street. It has long been one of my favourite places for browsing and buying. It’s a particularly good place for buying presents for others and giving yourself little (or big) treats. You get the feeling that, from the smallest piece of jewellery to the most substantial item of furniture, everything in the shop has been crafted with skill and selected with care.
It is a bonus to see Nancy’s own work on show – one of my favourites is her painting “Sleepy Holiday”. A graduate of the Glasgow School of Art, Nancy got her really big opportunity when she won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art in London. You can tell when speaking to her that the thrill and excitement of this achievemnet has never dimmed. It opened up all sorts of opportunities for her and her ceramic work became increasingly in demand by prestigious shops and galleries such as Conran’s and the British Design Centre.
Now it is Nancy’s turn to make those discerning choices and her natural enthusiasm for things that are beautiful is reflected in the fine array of items displayed within the West End shop and gallery. You really are spoiled for choice – with glorious ceramics, widely varied paintings, exquisite glassware, finely crafted mirrors, quirky and unusual gifts (like the very popular ‘light lines’), Glasgow Prints and a selection of stylish furniture. The list is endless and where else would you find yourself waxing lyrical over a computer cabinet?
Nancy’s main aim is to stock the work of very talented and mature craftsmen who are producing, what she sees as “the antiques of the future”. However, young and up and coming talent is also nurtured: you can see the work of the young company ‘First Glass’ displayed along the exquisite glasswork of Malcolm Sutcliffe and Catherine Hough’s delightful vases (copies by Elle). – All of these are among the many works of art exclusive to Nancy Smillie’s.
There is also a great display of lamps, china and jewellery. The Boabab Ceramics with their beautiful and unusually contrasting colours are wonderful and you will love the beaded boudoir lamps and the very simple, but striking, bedside lamps. There is lots of high class novelties and attractive trinkets which can translate into wonderful presents or quirky little gifts.
You get a very clear feeling that this is not a shop simply pushed along by mercurial drive. Rather the shop’s success and attraction rests on a “love and appreciation of things” shared by Nancy and her multi-talented team. Kirsten, Karen, Basia, Nancy and Sheena all have unique skills and attributes which they pull together to great effect. They put a whole new slant on the notion of ‘keeping shop’: apart from the business of buying and selling, they are encouraged to display and sell their own work, Basia sees her poetry in print and they also motivate and advise other artists. (Should she ever be looking for a new career Nancy has the makings of a Human Resource Manager and Team Building Consultant).
In the shop there is always a lot of buzz, busy-ness and excitement – the workers see it as: “not really a job – it’s a way of life”. It’s this way of life and of ‘doing things’ makes The Nancy Smillie Shop a special place to be – a place to browse, to buy and to admire works of art which are selected by artists.
Nancy Smillie designs.