You may have noticed a new addition to our website this week in the form of our first ever online shop but you won’t find our usual paving, building stone or hearth products here because this shop has been built specifically for our brand new product range: THE HIGHLAND COLLECTION.
Made and hand finished in our quarries using only the finest Caithness flagstone, THE HIGHLAND COLLECTION is a premium range of Scottish homewares which provides a stunning focal point in any home. What really makes our products stand out are the highland inspired images which have been both designed and then lasered onto each individual piece by the Norse Stone team.
When our team began looking at possible design ideas, we decided to keep a strong connection to the Highlands and, especially, Caithness. Often, when people think of Caithness, images of a vast flat wilderness with skies that go on forever are conjured up but, with this predominantly flat landscape, a group of hills can be seen huddled together. Morven’s summit, standing at 706meters, is the highest point in Caithness and is surrounded by the hills of Maiden’s Pap, Smean and Scarraben. Regular visitors to those hills are the majestic herds of dear who live in the local area. With two such prominent images often seen together, it seemed to be the obvious first design to add to THE HIGHLAND COLLECTION.
Legend says that Viking invaders, approaching from the coast, planned to ambush sleeping Scots during the night. So that they could move silently, the Vikings removed their shoes and began to make their way across the field towards the Scots however they hadn’t realised the field was covered with thistles and, upon standing on their spikes, the Vikings shouted out in agony. The commotion wakened the sleeping Scots which allowed them to chase the invaders away. Today the thistle is known as the national flower and iconic symbol of Scotland. It can be found growing all over the Scottish countryside and even finds its way in and around our very own quarries.
SETT IN STONE
Another symbol often associated with Scotland is that of kilts and tartan. Known for its different colours and patterns for each of the different Scottish clans, the “pattern of a tartan is called a sett. The sett is made up of a series of woven threads which cross at right angles” (source link). After checking out some of the tartans associated with our Norse Stone team, we decided on a simple tartan design but, if you look closely, created the image to look like the woven threads rather than just solid lines that cross over.
Last but not least, a common site around the Northern Scottish county of Caithness are our drystone dyke walling which surrounds both homes and fields alike. Meanwhile, barely a stones throw from either of our quarries, the unmistakable sight of a small herd of Highland coos (cows) can be found roaming their field. These two images are a match made in, well, Caithness! As with many, we love our highland coos and, not that we are biased, love our flagstone walling as well so couldn’t possibly leave them out.
Now you know the stories and connections behind our HIGHLAND COLLECTION designs, we would love to hear your thoughts on them and find out which is your favourite! Let us know by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn. Also, make sure to visit our online shop to see the full range of products and their designs.