I was delighted when, in the spring of 2015, Elsie Normington invited me to visit Merkinch Community Centre to help the community make mosaic panels for the Skinner Room. I had run a project at the centre in 2011 and the experience had been joyous, so I jumped at this opportunity to return.
In every sense, this was a really satisfying project. Young and old worked together. Everyone, no matter their abilities or disabilities, enjoyed contributing, especially since they knew that their work would be on permanent display and that they would be able to share it with friends and family in the years to come.
The panels themselves are stunning. One reflects the community’s connection to the Moray Firth and features dolphins and the green lighthouse at the point. The other is a happy depiction of the surprising amount of flora and fauna to be found in the area: Merkinch even has its own nature reserve. Together they make a celebration of the healthy and happy spirit of community that pervades the centre and beyond.
To read more about this project visit the Merkinch Community Mosaic Project (2015)
I am rather excited to be preparing a large body of work for exhibition at the Ceilidh Place, Ullapool, in September of this year. Already I have been dyeing and print-making, laying down the first marks for another series of landscape-based work to be called Assynt Sutras.
And after a successful Christmas exhibition at the Macphail Centre, Ullapool last year, Chris and Fran are kindly allowing me to return for their 2015 Christmas exhibition. Once more, I will be joined by David Young, who utilises the natural curves and markings to be found in the wind-blown trees from his own garden to make intricately-patterned artefacts such as mirror frames and clocks. But more about this nearer the time.
To see a full list of exhibitions and dates, go to Textile Exhibitions.
From Rags to Riches - A Rag Rug Retreat
This retreat, which takes place on the idyllic Summer Isles, is specially designed to give you a completely stress-free break from the bustle of life. Working at a relaxed pace, you will learn this useful and satisfying traditional craft and how to convert it into all sorts of home furnishings. Join me for a few days of good company and good food and leave with new skills and, hopefully, a new hobby.
Visit the Rag Rug Retreat course page for more details.
Open Studio 2015
Jan's Studio in Elphin is open to visitors between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm on the following days:
Spring: 1st - 24th April
Summer: 1st July - 30th August
Visit the Open Studio / Location page for more details.