From the Tay Bridge to a Wool BnB (via Skipton)
Posted on 23 October 2016
So I know I always start a blog by apologising for not writing sooner as I've been really busy. Well this time it has been the busiest couple of months I've had for a very long time and I've finally got a chance to tell you all about it.
Tay Bridge Collection
Back in January at Scotlands Trade Fair I met the lovely Joyce McGlone at Gallery Q. She asked if I wanted to have some of my work in her gallery in Dundee and I jumped at the chance.
Dundee holds a very special place for me as it is where my mum's side of the family lives. We moved about a lot when I was a child as my dad changed jobs every couple of years, so Dundee and Edinburgh (where my dad's family lives) have always been the main anchor points in my life. It's always a comforting sight to see Dundee from the A9 as you drive in from Perth, and even better is the drive along the side of the river into the city centre where you can see the Tay rail and road bridges and over to Fife where I was born.
Having the chance to have my first show of work in a gallery and it being in Dundee was really exciting and I knew that I wanted to do a mini-collection for it. The obvious choice was to create some handwoven pieces that were based on the Tay Rail Bridge as it has always fascinated me.
In April, team Weft Blown went up and I had a chance to visit the Gallery to get an idea of the space, and on the way home I stopped and got some photos and the one above was the winner for the inspiration of the day. It was a blustery showery afternoon and I loved the shades of blue against the steelwork of the bridge and the cumulus clouds blowing by.
I wanted to make a full range of pieces and include some new things too.
My work was hung up alongside beautiful paintings of landscapes and it all worked brilliantly together. I created my first textile jewellery pieces for the exhibition which consisted of necklace and cuff bracelets. These were great fun to make and I will definitely be making more before Christmas in my usual sunsets and showers themes. Also in the Tay Bridge collection was a blanket and large scarf which I loved weaving. I haven't woven a blanket since college and I love how this one has turned out and I have ideas for more in a similar vein. This mega-scarf has given me new ideas for a different type of scarf from normal and again there will be more playing on the loom for some of these in the next month or so.
It was fantastic to see my work on show at Gallery Q and even better there were some sales too. There is some work staying up there in the run up to Christmas, which is all the jewellery pieces, badges and a couple of scarves. The large pieces have come back to West Kilbride and can be seen in my studio and online at the Tay Bridge Collection page.
After I got everything sorted for the exhibition the next focus for Weft Blown was Yarndale.
It was the first time any of us had been and we had a fantastic time meeting lots of new people as well as old friends.
I did also buy some yarn (surprise!) for new projects and also got some fun stuff for Weft Boy as he was a great help all weekend. Weftbeard was rewarded with beer and food from the brilliant farm shop next door.
Thanks for everyone that came by our stand as you really did make it a brilliant weekend.
After Yarndale things were meant to quieten down as I knew that I would have time to catch up with weaving in time for Christmas. However, on our way back to Scotland I got an email from Campaign for Wool asking if I'd like to be involved in something during Wool Week.
Campaign for Wool had already visited me earlier in September as part of their Wool Tour of Scotland and I was really touched that they had included me on this. So when they asked if i wanted to be part of something for Wool Week I said "yes".
It was then I found out that they were creating the first ever fully Wool BnB that would be kitted out in as many things as possible made of wool. I was really excited to have been asked for some of my work and my friend Mia at All Fankled Up who I'd worked with earlier in the summer when she created these cool Turks Head Knots paperweights. So in the space of 2 days our work made its way down to London and was included in the amazing Wool BnB.
I was then invited down to the preview evening for the makers involved and thought I can't miss this chance to see it. So I had a crazy 22 hour trip down to London and back to see it.
It was worth it to see my work alongside other companies and designers that I've followed and admired for years including Hilary Grant, Angie Parker Textiles, Melin Tregwynt, Warped Textiles, Wallace Sewell, Rowenna Masson, to name just a few of the great designers that were there. The attention to detail in the curating of it by Karina Garrick was amazing and I really wished that I could have spent a full weekend there to enjoy it all.
All the travelling has been great, but I am really glad I've now got the next couple of months to get things woven in time for Christmas, and also work on lots of new things for 2017.