Mackintosh Building Fire

Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh Building taken 24/05/2014
Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh Building taken 24/05/2014

Yesterday I could smell the smoke and hear the sirens before I learned what was happening: the Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Building was on fire.

Last night, the Scottish Fire Service issued a statement saying that the building was largely structurally intact, and that the majority of the content was also saved: a much better outcome than had perhaps been expected. This afternoon, the GSA released a statement by Muriel Gray on the state of the Mackintosh Building updating that information:

Bad news first is that we have lost the iconic and unique Mackintosh library. This is an enormous blow and we are understandably devastated.
But the most amazing, almost miraculous news is that the majority of the building is still intact. Due to one of the most astonishingly intelligent and professional pieces of strategy by the fire services, they succeeded in protecting the vast majority of the building, apparently by forming a human wall of fire-fighters up the west end of the main staircase and containing the fire.Also after ensuring no lives were in peril they displayed an impressive understanding of the precious nature of the building, and due to their careful and meticulous handling of each developing situation the damage is considerably less than we dreaded. We have run out of words with which to thank them, but the school has most certainly gained a new gallery of heroes.

Tragically many students have lost some or all of their work, but many others have had theirs preserved, and curators and academic staff can expect to be allowed to enter the building in the next few days to try and assess what can be salvaged.

The joy that our archives are safe combines with the delight in seeing most of our beloved building bruised and battered but most certainly not destroyed.

As for the library, Mackintosh was not famous for working in precious materials. It was his vision that was precious and we are confident that we can recreate what was lost as faithfully as possible.
Our main concern right now is the welfare of the students and the impending graduation and everyone is working hard together to achieve the best outcome for all.

I don’t think I have ever been prouder of being part of the institution over these last two days. I’s not just been the amazing team work, professionalism and support that everyone involved with GSA have demonstrated, but the warmth of support and help from the wider public and all our friends across the world has astonished us. We ‘d like to thank everyone from the depths of our hearts.

GSA have set up a fund in response to many enquiries about donations. Anyone who wishes to offer practical assistance can find out who to contact on this page.

This is going to be a difficult few days for the GSA students whilst they wait to find out what has happened to their work, and unfortunately, some students will have lost everything. It’s not much consolation, but our thoughts are with them. The Mackintosh Building has been damaged, but the creativity, vision and passion of the people of the GSA is still intact, and the school, its students and graduates will continue to flourish.

Shop Local!

You might have seen various calls this Christmas urging you to shop local and support local and independent businesses (Shop Local Saturday this year is taking place on December 7th.) If you’re around the West End of Glasgow, there are loads of opportunities to do this. The area has just won the Great Neighbourhood award from the Academy of Urbanism, praised in part for its community spirit and the wealth of creativity in the area.

It’s no surprise then that independent retailers, bars, restaurants and designer-makers and artists across the West End are banding together to put on Christmas events to give residents the opportunity to shop local, support independent businesses and have a great time! Here’s a quick round-up of the events we know about; they’re all on different dates so you can go to all of them if you so choose!

Yuletide at Cushion and Cake

First up, quite shamelessly, is an event we’re involved with: Yuletide at Cushion & Cake. It takes places on November 28th from 6-9pm and will be in the Cushion & Cake tearoom and across the road at the new Cushion & Cake Too function room (where the C&C Crafternoons are hosted). Sellers who’ll be joining us include Glasgow Craft Mafia alumni Pumpkin Sputnik, Ding Dong Designs and Make Stuff With Us, as well as A Canny Squirrel, Jill Kirkham and loads more! Keep an eye on the Cushion & Cake website and Facebook pages for details of more sellers as they are confirmed.

You’ll also be able to buy from Cushion & Cake’s lovely selection of regular suppliers, including Lovely Pidgeon, Cherith Harrison and Herb Lester. Local traders on Old Dumbarton Road have chipped in to sponsor the event, Duke’s Bar are hosting carol singers and serving mulled wine, and the Old Dumbarton Road Cake Club will be selling cakes in aid of Yorkhill Children’s Hospital.

festive finnieston logo

A week later, and a bit further down the road Festive Finnieston is happening (5th December). Artists and makers based in the Hidden Lane including Finch & Fouracre, Shona Jewellery and Pink Grapefruit will be taking part in a pop-up shop in the Hidden Lane tearoom, and other laners will be welcoming the public to an open studios event.There’ll be lots more happening; follow @festive_finnies on twitter to keep up to date.

The Shop of Interest is also participating in Festive Finnieston- but if you’re about this Sunday, 17th November, they’re hosting their annual birthday sale.

Up at Queen Margaret Drive, the Queen Margaret Drive Winter Festival will take place on Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December between 12 noon and 6pm. Queen Margaret Drive is home to lots of independent businesses, including Ae Fond Kiss, the Black Orchid florists and the North Star Cafe. There’ll be a brass band, DJs, stalls, and a whole lot of fun to be had.

Finally, we have to mention ethical fashion retailer Think Boutique and Rapa Nui Gallery, who are once again teaming up to open a festive Pop Up Shop on Byres Road from 21st November to 21st December.

We’ve only mentioned a few of the businesses involved here;  if you’re taking part in any of the above events, please leave a link to your business in the comments. Likewise we’ve listed West End events because that’s where we’re based. If there are any similar events happening elsewhere (Glasgow or other cities and towns), please stick a link in the comments.

Halloween Goodies

It’s a couple of weeks till Halloween. Here are some goodies to get you in the mood…

Handpainted Wooden Halloween Peg Doll by Lottie Lollipop
Handpainted Wooden Halloween Peg Doll by Lottie Lollipop

Handpainted Wooden Halloween Peg Doll by Lottie Lollipop

 

Halloween Party Tissue Decoration Pack by Pearl and Earl
Halloween Party Tissue Decoration Pack by Pearl and Earl

Halloween Party Tissue Decoration Pack by Pearl and Earl

 

Vintage Image Temporary Tattoos from Rowdy Roddy Vintage
Vintage Image Temporary Tattoos from Rowdy Roddy Vintage

Vintage Image Temporary Tattoos from Rowdy Roddy Vintage

 

Fondant Pumpkins by Green Calligo
Fondant Pumpkins by Green Calligo

Fondant Pumpkins by Green Calligo

 

Halloween Postcard Set by Lost Plots
Halloween Postcard Set by Lost Plots

Halloween Postcard Set by Lost Plots

 

Badge Set by Asking for Trouble
Badge Set by Asking for Trouble

Badge Set by Asking for Trouble

 

What next?

At the time of writing this, we have around 36 hours to go on our indiegogo campaign. We’re nearly at the end! We’ve been running this campaign since August 31st, which seems like ages ago.  You might be wondering what’s next on the horizon for Mimi and Will.  And, if you don’t reserve a t-shirt now, when will your next chance to buy come along?

Well, one of the key reasons for running the pre-order campaign was to help us build inventory in the most popular sizes and designs of our ethically-sourced t-shirts.  So for every design we sell now, we’ve ordered a bunch more in that size and design for our online shop, which is coming very soon to mimiandwill.com

We’re also liaising with the designers who have contributed designs for the rest of our first 12-shirt collection, these shirts will go on sale in the New Year – purchasers of our colouring book will get a sneak peek at these designs first!

Talks are also ongoing with a handful of carefully-selected independent boutiques to bring the new collection to a high street near you.  But if you can’t wait for that to happen, place your pre-order now!

Remember you can buy a colouring book, badge, single (earlybird price) t-shirt, or even a year’s worth!  If you’ve already reserved one or more t-shirts, we’re in the process of contacting buyers to reserve their preferred shirt size and design.  We’ll be sharing your 10% store discount with pre-orderers once our online shop is up and running, too.

If you’re a designer, maker, writer, shopkeeper, blogger or anything else-er who would like to work with us, please drop us a line using the ‘contact us’ form, DM us on Twitter or catch up with us on Facebook.  We’d love to hear from you!