A modern tradition

Much like anCnoc, Kate is a modern traditionalist. In a fresh take on an old classic, she folds paper using geometric forms to create innovative and sculptural work, giving new life to an art that’s been practiced for centuries.  Just like our whisky, where we craft a modern tasting single malt Scotch whisky in a traditional way, that's hardly changed in 125 years. 

For the 125th anniversary of our distillery home, we’re teaming up with like-minded artists to create something one-of-a-kind, in a fusion of old meets new. Something that can live in our distillery for the next 125 years! 

Glasgow-based Kate is interested in the three-dimensional form, colour, tonal variations and shadow, and she uses her work as a vehicle to explore how they interact with one another – the interplay between light and shade.  Kate’s range of unique, modern designs are created through intricate hand scoring and folding techniques, inspired by the ancient art of origami, and when illuminated, their appearance is radically transformed: folds, creases and angles become emphasised while an intensity of colour is brilliantly revealed. 

Her work isn’t what you’d expect. Which is why we had to have her on board.



I have huge respect for anCnoc, they’re taking traditions and really making an effort to make them contemporary.

Kate Colin

A skill passed down through generations

And it’s a skill that’s been handed down from one generation to the next. Kate was initially drawn to work with 3D sculptures and paper folding after her dad, who was a mathematician, developed a hobby of making polyhedral models. He passed on this talent as well as a passion for geometry and precise angles.

He gave Kate an old mathematical book from the 60s, and the rest was history. She soon discovered that the possibilities were endless and became increasingly fascinated by how the slightest alteration in angle, fold or measurement could completely transform the final piece. 

She began her paper folding business in Glasgow after getting her first big break in 2013 with an exhibition at The Lighthouse, and primarily creates bespoke, eye-catching light fixtures – but for anCnoc, she’s doing something a little different! She hosts regular workshops throughout Scotland and the UK, helping those with an interest in paper folding to create a range of items for all levels – beginners to advanced – including geometric vase covers, homeware decorations and lampshades. She encourages them to use their new skills to create their own designs and products too. She believes that paper folding appeals to everyone - whether it is to marvel and the wondrous creations that can be made from a flat piece of paper or to try folding themselves.

On working with paper, Kate says: "There’s nothing like the feeling of taking out a brand new, clean sheet and being faced with possibilities of what it might become once folded. It’s such a versatile material and there are some amazing varieties, colours and textures on the market at the moment."

Being relatively inexpensive, it’s also a perfect material for experimentation and is accessible to everyone.

Kate Colin

An ancient art in today's form

Kate’s award-winning work has seen her exhibit at London Design Fair as part of the Craft Scotland Pavilion, and host her own solo shows at the Lighthouse in Glasgow and the Manchester Craft and Design Centre.

Today, her modern take on an ancient art has gone on to win a number of awards and was recently granted a QEST Scholarship to undertake formal training in folding and pleating, and to explore working with new materials. She was also accepted on to the Crafts Council Hothouse programme which helps small creative practices become sustainable businesses in 2016 – another value that’s close to our heart.

“I’ve really enjoyed working on this project – I’m really flattered to have been asked actually. I love whisky, and working with a Scottish brand that’s so forward-thinking and contemporary has been a fantastic opportunity to use my own skills to create something that’s new and original.” 

I love whisky, and working with a Scottish brand that’s so forward-thinking and contemporary.

Kate Colin