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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

OFP's Sheffield gift guide

Show Sheffield's creative community some love after a rough year and shop for presents the independent way this December. The city's home to tons of great independent artists, authors, makers and small businesses, offering plenty of potential presents. OFP contributors have picked out just a few gift tips to help get you started this festive season.

Samantha Groom's 'flat pack' angels
I recommend Sheffield printmaker Sam Groom’s stylish angels. These linocut printed Byzantine-esque angels are part of her range of ‘flat pack’ prints and would grace any festive display. Each one is printed onto wood in gold or blue. They come with their own matching slot-on plinth so each angel can stand on a shelf, table or windowsill.
Shop on Etsy
Samantha's website

– Sean Williams

Angels by Sam Groom

Safe Metamorphosis by Otis Mensah
Powered by explosive vulnerability, Safe Metamorphosis presents 27 rhythm-assisted poems about time, cities, and what makes and breaks humans (I also believe they cure snobs and empower critical thinkers). Never preachy yet canonical, Otis’s innovatory written verse could be described as emotional philosophy bowing at the shrine of Hip-Hop. Get ready to feel, question, get angry and refuel your dreams.
Buy from La Biblioteka

The Storm by Akeem Balogun
Akeem Balogun’s The Storm is for the infrequent readers and those yet to discover books as entertainment. I would even recommend it to the prose-averse. Evocative yet accessible, Akeem’s debut book is comprised of thirteen short stories of relatable characters and captivating circumstances. The narrative balances third- and first-person storytelling, dialogue and description, and imagery that lifts words off the paper as you read them to enact scenes that could animate screens.
Buy from Okapi Books
Read our Meet the Locals interview with Akeem

– Raluca De Soleil

[Raluca's own poetry book is on sale as part of the online Winter Art Fair organised by Birmingham's Eastside Projects]

Safe Metamorphosis by Otis Mensah

The Storm by Akeem Balogun

Sheffield record shops
Not just for the music lover in your life, vinyl releases today encompass a more special affair. With everything from special edition coloured vinyl film scores to limited edition video game soundtracks, alongside your favourite artists – the tangible, physical release of music on vinyl both sounds and looks better. And it isn't just Record Store Day where you can support our invaluable independent music outlets – every day is record store day. For inspiration see the Top 100 Independent Albums of the Year selected by record stores, from the Love Record Stores campaign. Visit or shop online from Sheffield's independent record shops:
Spinning Discs
Bear Tree Records
Tonearm Vinyl
LP Record Store
Record Collector
Record Junkee

– Joe Harris

Record Collector. Photo by Gemma Thorpe

Haarkon Adventures
The Haarkon Adventures series is the brain-child of photographers India Hobson and Magnus Edmonson, who created as a platform for documenting their journeys made whilst on assignment. So far they have self-published three titles: Cornwall, Scotland and Japan. Beautifully designed by Sheffield-based graphic design studio Totally Okay, these are as much photo-essays as guide books, guaranteed to transport you to far-off places – a perfect present at a time when physical travel is limited.
Order online
£15 each or a bundle of all 3 for £36

– Clare Nadal

Haarkon Adventures: Cornwall

Sheffield queer culture heroes Andro and Eve rose to the challenge of bringing communities together during the pandemic this year. They took drag digital with online workshops and performances and also went analogue with CENTRE, a zine made with artist Okocha Obasi and featuring the voices of northern LGBTQ+ folks. CENTRE features personal accounts of everything from discovering gender non-conformity through Boy George to finding pride in being working class, Black and queer, and feeling the still-looming legacy of Section 28. There’s poetry, a recipe, colouring-in, and an interview with someone who found a sense of home in Sheffield thanks to LASS (Lesbian Asylum Support Sheffield). It’s a beautiful anthology of vulnerability, solidarity, love and joy. 50% of all profits go to Racial Justice Network.
Buy from Andro and Eve – there's a bunch of merch in their shop too, including badges, postcards, tees and totes

Jack de Aguilar prints
For just a tenner you can buy one of Jack’s ace analogue photography prints and support his fundraising for the fantastic Broomhall Homework Club. The Homework Club is a safe, sociable space for children and young people in Broomhall, providing tutoring, group activities, revision support, access to the internet and more. During lockdown it’s continued to offer educational and emotional support online. Jack’s prints feature a mix of black and white and colour photos, with quiet everyday scenes like buying bread, drying laundry or sitting on a tram, and moments of people/animals at peace with their surroundings. They’re all shot on various 35mm film, printed at 8”x6”.
Order online – orders close Monday 14th December

– Kat Hall

CENTRE by Andro and Eve

Fisherman by Jack de Aguilar

I recommend the newly opened Portuguese/Brazilian shop in Darnall called Recanto. It's a family run business that is bringing the flavours of Portugal, Brazil and Angola to Sheffield, through their snacks, cooking ingredients and baked goods. They are also offering a festive menu for Christmas, which could be something different and exciting for people in Sheffield to try. Email by 15 December to order their traditional Portuguese Christmas cakes and pastries.
Follow on social media: Instagram / Facebook

Thoughts Make Things artwork
We have such wonderful creatives in Sheffield. One talented professional, in my opinion, is Lydia Lapinski. She has a lovely print shop called Thoughts Make Things on Etsy. There you can find cute A4 and A5 illustration art prints for £10 or £15, all printed on recycled paper. A great gift that would make someone smile this Christmas!
Shop on Etsy
Follow on Instagram

– Livia Barreira


Thoughts Make Things

Vouchers for Sheffield independent cafes
Sheffield's independent cafe game is strong, so why not purchase a gift voucher for your favourite spot and invite the recipient to try it out in 2021? My favourites include Marmaduke’s in the city centre and S17 Coffee Shop and Bistro in Bradway, and both offer a £10 gift voucher that can be used for sit in or takeaway purchases.

– Emma Liasides

Marmadukes. Photo by Nigel Barker

Sarah Abbott artwork
Artist/illustrator Sarah Abbott’s artwork is really vibrant, fun and pleasing on the eye. She takes really simple things and makes them look beautiful – whether it’s pasta shapes, people, plants or buildings. I have a mushroom print by her hanging in my kitchen and I bought her animal A-Z print for my niece last Christmas which she loves.
Shop on Etsy

Brown Reclaimed carpentry
Calum at Brown Reclaimed makes bespoke, made to measure furnishings from reclaimed wood. Take a look at his Instagram page and be prepared to spend hours scrolling through extremely satisfying pictures of perfectly crafted mirrors, toy boxes, shelves and more.
Shop on Etsy

​​​​​​​– Tom Roper

Sarah Abbott

Brown Reclaimed

There are lots of other Sheffield-made treats out there that are sure to bring joy to your loved ones. Visit Handmade for Christmas at Millennium Gallery and the Seasonal Ceramics Shop at Yorkshire Artspace for creations by Sheffield-based artists and craftspeople. Or browse these online shops dedicated to local makers and independent producers:
Sheffield Makers Shop
This is Sheffield Shop
Sheffield Made
The Famous Sheffield Shop

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