I have an amateur’s interest in textiles, and do a bit of weaving and handspinning, so I thought I would make contact with the Shetland Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers while I’m here. Not only did they invite me to their monthly meeting, and ask me to talk about the Sumburgh Head residency, but offered me a lift most of the way there and a fair way back in order to catch the Sumburgh-Lerwick-Sumburgh buses. Very, very kind; especially as the northward bus disgorged me at 8.15 in the morning.
Giving a talk at such an early stage of the project was a challenge, and made me think hard about what I’ve done or not done (yet). There isn’t any finished work, and that may not appear until I get into my own studio, but on gathering things together the night before the talk I was pleased to see that there is definitely a beginning. There are now four “walking” sketchbooks, and a written diary (I don’t normally keep a diary, but it’s invaluable as a record of a residency). The sketchbooks are assembled and dis-assembled as required and held together with paper clips “in the field”. I am adding to the pages as required, and eventually they should form a coherent record of activity. Cobbled together with thread, and given a mini dust jacket, they do look like evidence that Work has been Done.
The ladies of the Shetland Guild gave me a very friendly welcome, listened with interest, and asked some perceptive questions – and presented me with a copy of their extremely covetable book of Fair Isle patterns. Trust me – knitting patterns can be really, really interesting. And their own work? exquisite traditional and contemporary textiles, and real dedication to the fostering and promotion of traditional skills. Their Facebook page is at https://en-gb.facebook.com/SGSWD/ , and I am very grateful for their hospitality on a nasty wet day.
Sorry, I wasn’t going to mention the weather, but while we’re on the subject: today it is….