A bloggers highlights of International Jewellery London

Ortak had a successful few days exhibiting at IJL in London early in September, meeting new and existing customers and showcasing our latest designs.

We were delighted to be mentioned in the highlights of blogger 'The curious Crow in the Opal Moon'  to read what they had to say click here


  • Hazel Ortak

Poppies Weeping Window Visits Kirkwall

Here in Kirkwall where we make all the jewellery by hand, we are delighted to welcome the Poppies Weeping Window as part of the 14-18 Now project to our Cathedral until the 12th June. Installation took place last week and to mark the occasion, we have taken out our own range of poppy jewellery, with a donation from every sale going to charity.

This year sees a lot of events in Orkney, the visit of the Poppy Weeping Window co-insides with the commemoration of the Battle of Jutland, the most pivotal naval engagement of the First World War.

A service will be held in St Magnus Cathedral on the morning of 31 May 2016 and at the Lyness Royal Naval cemetery in the afternoon, which will run in conjunction with the service being held at sea at the Jutland Bank.


This is just one of many events in Orkney this year and we will keep you posted on other upcoming events on our blog.


  • Alison Firth

Hayley's Blog

" “Drag out your crayons!!!! Now is your chance to design your own unique piece of jewellery……….” - this is where the Tulip necklace began.

Ortak was holding a competition. All I had to do now was try to draw something that people would like, have it shortlisted into the top three designs, get the most public votes and hope it could be made into a lovely piece of jewellery.

I’m astonished to say that all of this did actually happen. A few days after receiving the necklace they made for me I began to think… Would it not be awesome if this could be made to sell for charity? One day I turned up at the Ortak Jewellery workshop and proposed the idea to Mike. I babbled for a bit about my idea and said if he agreed I would like it to go towards a multiple sclerosis charity. He did indeed agree. With the Orkney Islands having the highest prevalence on MS in the world, we all know somebody who has been diagnosed with MS.

I am disappointed to say that I only learned about the disease after being diagnosed myself when I was 21 years old. I had been feeling various symptoms since the summer of 2011 but when the possibility of MS was mentioned I decided not to look it up until I knew for sure. So, on 10th February 2012 after my neurologist phoned me at home out of the blue and gave me the diagnosis, I did what most folk would do these days; I simply typed “MS” into Google. The first search result was the Multiple Sclerosis Trust. The whole evening was spent lying in my bed reading EVERYTHING on the website. I felt shocked by what I was reading but also strangely relieved just to finally have a diagnosis.

The MS Trust is a UK charity, providing information for anyone affected by multiple sclerosis, education programmes for health professionals, funding for practical research and campaigning for specialist multiple sclerosis services.

For the next year I tried to understand MS and the way it affected me, often returning to the MS Trust for information. When 2013 arrived though I wanted to be able to help other people diagnosed with MS somehow and with the support of countless amazingly selfless people, some that I knew and some that I didn’t, the fundraising began. To fundraise over this period we gathered sponsorship for a Trek in Iceland and then a cycle from Vietnam to Cambodia, held events and asked celebrities to lend a hand too.

The Ortak Tulip necklace is the next fundraising venture. After Mike from Ortak agreed to make the necklace with 20% of all sales going to the MS Trust I turned up once again at the workshop, but this time with a box of caramel doughrings, and asked them very nicely if they could possibly remake the necklace more like what I had imagined. The staff were open to my caramel doughring coercion and that led to the beautiful Tulips collection you see today.

I would like to say a ginormous thank you to the MS Trust for helping me understand all things multiple sclerosis related and of course Ortak for making wonderful jewellery."

Hayley Budge - April 2016


  • Craig Gardens

Ortak to Visit Trade Shows early in 2016

It is all go once again at Ortak HQ.  Now the Christmas rush is over, our wholesale customers are getting ready for the new season including ourselves at Ortak.  The team at Ortak will be attending two trade shows at the start of the year.  

Our first is the Spring Fair in Glasgow, not only is this gift wear, it is also Scotland's Specialty Food Show. This event is held in the SECC Glasgow on 24-26 January 2016.  Ortak are at stand E69.

Our second event is the Jewellery and Watch Show at NEC Birmingham.  This event runs from Saturday, 7th February to the 11th February.  We are at stand 17Q42.  This is the first time we will visit this show as exhibitors and are really looking forward to it. 


We will be launching some new and exciting jewellery at these shows, these will be available on our website shortly for you all to see.

More news on the new designs to follow shortly.



  • Alison Firth

The Ortak Ring Size Finder

This ring size graph will help you get the correct size for your finger size before you purchase one of the lovely Ortak rings.

  • Alison Firth

Ortaks Japanese Adventure, Part 1

It started with an Email never thought it would come to this, no this isn`t a hot chocolate song (if you're under forty, ask your mum), but after a few phone calls and several visits by agents from British Life Tokyo, and Hankyu`s British fair team came to Orkney on a cold day in February and then even colder days in June, I find myself (Michael Gardens) on a 2 day flight plan, time goes forward going so I lost a whole Monday (result!), landing in one of the most densely populated areas on the planet Tokyo and then onto Fukuoka .

Week one; Fukuoka - the Hankyu Hakata store.  This retail fair is held on one floor of the department store that we were informed that, this newer show of only 4 years is a smaller more intimate show, well, on day one I saw more people than live on our island....... Armed with my map, blank pieces silver and some boxes of the delightful Orkney Fudge, I demonstrated, explained jewellery for hours upon hours, and did the tourist board out of a job (in a good way) it was amazing how many folk thought Scotland ended at Edinburgh...... and could not believe I had travelled 6000 miles to be at the show. When the week, which flew past, was done we packed up and headed of on the absolutely amazing Bullet Train, 300km per hour through some amazing landscapes and interesting towns and cities.  Now a confession, people at work who know me or have travelled with me, hassle me about being a cat .....yes  .. I slept through the whole trip!!!!  GUTTED . 

Weeks two and three; Osaka - Hankyu Umeda store.  Nothing prepared me for this BIG but beautiful building, 13 floors above ground, 2 below links to subway, streets and hotels.  A city block of retail under one roof. I could leave the New Hankyu Hotel at 8am walk through the subway go to work, leave work eat and shop go home and never be outside!!! The show, well people que in Osaka so when the doors open there is a mad rush for.... guess ...... yes you got it English cream tea`s - The Bridge End café.  By one minute past opening time would have a line of people equivalent to a three hour wait!! They sold several thousand scones per day (poor Grace) you did well!!

The amount of people per hour we saw was unreal, the one Saturday over 150 000 people entered the store!! Frankies Fish and Chip shop from Shetland did over 1000 fish suppers per day!

Part 2 next week