Today we leave Blönduos after our months residency here at Textílsetur. We have met interesting people and made new friends, who are mostly taking their leave today but hopefully we will see them again, we shall certainly follow their progress.

It has been a wonderful month and my thoughts move from my discovered ‘leavings’ to what I am leaving behind.

Firstly, the birds. A wonderful surprise to have such a wide variety of birds arriving here during the month from all over the globe for the breeding season.( I counted 43 different species) I leave them to raise their young, to then start their long return journeys at the end of the summer. There are already a number of goslings being escorted by their parents on the river Blanda.

As we head for Reykjavík today we leave behind the landscape that has so influenced our work, in all it’s wide, expansive, rugged glory, the spring flowers erupting and grasses turning to green as the sheep and their young are sent out on to the hillsides for the summer.

I also have left behind some warp that I used for my Leavings III piece, tied up and ready for the next interested resident to make something of.

I leave the mesmeric view from my window which changes day by day, often hour by hour and has become part of a piece of work yet to be completed.

In passing through this wonderful place, I will be leaving nothing of myself, I have been no more than a shadow as it passes in the changing of light, but I am taking a very small collection of the smooth dark stones that made up a nearby beach. I had picked up a handful and arranged them in order of size on the studio table, as their shadows, thrown by the very bright evening sun appeared I was moved to make some photographs, inspiration for a new project. The arrangement, like me, was just passing through,

the stones were returned to the beach and I like the shadows they made, are no longer there.

What is still there, however, is one of my favourite gloves, which I must have dropped yesterday afternoon, if anyone finds it do let me know.

Jennifer Jones



My intentions for this residency had been to be absorbed by the Icelandic culture and be inspired by these new surroundings. I wasn’t prepared for the impact this would eventually have on me.

It didn’t take long to settle in to the Textile Centre in Blonduos, our new home for one month and it didn’t take long for me to become inspired. Although initially my motivation came from the incredible land formations it became clear I had a need to reflect the feelings I was experiencing. The astounding feeling of space with the spectacular endless landscape had to be expressed. I set to work on a piece that reflected this continuous impression. I wanted to involve all the colours around me, the volcanic sand and sea, glacial rivers and valleys, lava fields, mountains, farmlands and plant life.

During my stay I read the book ‘Burial Rites’ by Hannah Kent about the last woman to be put to death in Iceland after being accused of murder. It was a very haunting and descriptive book on rural life in north Iceland in the 1800’s. This furthered my understanding of the Icelandic culture and the changing nature of the landscape throughout the seasons.

From all this inspiration I created ‘Continual’, a piece using a wrapping technique with mostly Icelandic materials, including fish leather, horse hair, sheep fleece and many balls of Icelandic wool.

I felt I needed to take this piece to the beach where my feelings of space had been reinforced. So, on our last day after exhibiting it as a vertical hanging I stretched it out along the shoreline and took lots of photographs. Both these ways of displaying it were in contrast to each other but both expressed this feeling of a never ending space.

Unfortunately, Just as I am working out how to express my thoughts it is time to go home and I can’t help feeling I need more time. The work will obviously continue and hopefully develop from my memories of this unforgettable place. I have discovered a new appreciation for nature and am very excited to expand my knowledge, particularly with natural plant dyeing experiments to help express the essence of the landscape.

Tara Kennedy




With just a few days to go before we leave thoughts have already been turning to home – back to the familiar, the usual everyday.  Back to family, warm weather, dark nights and noise from outside the home that isn’t just birds or wind.  Back to a world that is more closely wrapped around us, where streets and houses exist in constricted spaces unlike here where the view from wherever you are is of miles and miles of land, sky, sea, mountains.  We expand our lungs to breathe in this pure air and we expand our vision so that we have begun to feel completely at ease with the space around us, aware and in awe of our small presence in this seemingly endless landscape.

Leaving here is inevitable but Iceland won’t be leaving us so easily.

Delia Salter


The inspiring and dramatic beaches at Blönduós

The process of looping allowed me to carry the linen yarn with me as we travelled and continue to make on the journeys. After a visit to the Herring Era Museum in Siglufjörður, I became interested in the way the fishing nets and ropes were tied in lengths, coiled and stacked. I began to think of the looped baskets as sacks and how their shape can be defined by what they contain.

Using linen, cotton and jute yarn and string, I made a looped basket from the the odds and ends left by others from past residencies. Deliberately leaving the joins visible to indicate the odd lengths of the left over or cut off yarn.

Once made it needed to be filled with something. I took it down to a local beach to fill it with black pebbles, but then realized the black sand would be so much better. I could see how the sand could represent the Icelandic sea salt produced with geothermal energy originally in the 18th century and revived in the present day.  The recent popularity of flavoured sea salt and the addition of charcoal to resemble lava to some brands only added to the analogy.

Once filled it begged to be returned to the sea.

I recovered the battered ‘sack’ and brought it back to the studio to dry out naturally. The sand gradually fell through the holes of the looping as it dried and the linen became matted with the wetness and salt of the sea. Its form has continued to change and sag as the sand settled and dried.

To further develop this piece, with the help of  Kurt Gardella, also at the centre. I have added a small amount of Icelandic raw clay at the base to fill the holes and contain the sand. This is an area for further development back home in the rich clay soil of Hampshire.

I am so pleased with this piece as it seems to demonstrate how being here over this month has presented me with the opportunity to slow my thinking and allow things to seep into my consciousness in unexpected ways. I feel I have gradually settled into this place and it has shown me how making is profoundly affected by place.

I made a companion piece and the two will be shown in  The Latch String Is Always Open at Textillistamidstod, Bonduous  on 29th May 2019. This exhibition will include finished work and work in progress of the May Artists in Residence at the Icelandic Textile Centre.

Annette Mills


An interesting diversion, came about today as I was investigating the potential for making coffee. I located a filter coffee maker on the top of the kitchen cupboards. It was a little dusty but I figured if it worked it would clean up. I was however, a little surprised to find the filter paper still full of grouts in the machine, it was in working order though and so it was scrubbed up and put into action.

Later I rescued the old filter paper from the bin and emptied it out. It struck me it was another trace of previous visitors to the centre and I thought I would incorporate it into my work.

Filter paper before cutting

I decided to use the monofilament warp for this piece, it wouldn’t detract form the stains on the paper and interspaced it with a white cotton that slipped against the monofilament making a contoured lines.

I really like the marks left by the coffee, water and grouts left on the paper. Its a pleasing piece.

Coffee filter piece

Coffee filter piece detail

Jennifer Jones