Monday, 8 June 2009

Open Studios Week

I have just finished a successful week as part of Highland Open Studios. Sharing my garden, feltmaking studio and a couple of gazebos with my friend, jeweller Val Ford. Typically for Scottish weather we experienced all four seasons in the course of the week with temperatures ranging from single figures to high twenties. However, we ended on a dry sunny afternoon so were able to get the gazebos down dry and stored away for the next time we need them.
We had lots of visitors with a mix of people who had come as part of the Open Studios trail and others who had simply been in the area and seen the signs out on the street.
Val got lots of jewellery made. She makes a mix of beaded pieces, silver chain mail and polymer clay neckpieces. Her next event is a craft fair at the Strathpeffer Pavillion on 30th June and 1st July. You can see her here explaining the finer points of working with polymer clay to one of our visitors.

I had a productive week too - spinning, felting and stitching, but by the end of the week I was happy to get upstairs to my work room and get back to the main work of embroidery.

Some of our visitors "had a go". In this picture you see my neighbour who dropped in to do a bit of needlefelting as a way of disguising a repair on a favourite pair of slippers.

On Saturday afternoon I left Val holding the fort and went with a fellow felting enthusiast to visit the Wingham Wool Works sale in Ardross Village Hall - organised by the Highland Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers. They only come up to the Highlands about once every two years and it is a wonderful chance to choose colours and types of fibres. Their website is a great place to choose fibres, but however sophisitcated the internet gets, we can't "feel" and the colours are never the same as they are in real life. My friend Eileen was rather more restrained than me, but she mostly makes small scale jewellery pieces so doesn't go through quite the same quantity of fleece as me. I needed to stock up because I have a couple of workshops coming up soon. At the beginning of July I am off to Portsoy to work with a the primary school children making a felt "sail" for the Portsoy Boat Festival, then in the middle of the month I will be leading a class as part of the Merkinch Arts Festival.
The rest of the time, it is hard at it on the sewing machine - see my main website for all the things we make.