We headed north to Stirling Castle. The site of many famous battles, it rises out of the lowlands as the entrance gate into the highlands. The statue of Robert the Bruce you see here, stands outside the castle walls. I had not realized that many different buildings and fortifications have stood on this site since the 1200’s. The web is full of endless information about Stirling Castle. www.instirling.com/sight/castle.htm.
The wool yarn is all being acid dyed at the West Dean studio. Instead of silk, pearl cotton is being used for the shiny parts as it has longer color fastness. Historic Scotland requires that the materials being used in the tapestry hold up for 250 years. From there the loom is warped, the cartoon hung behind and the weaving begins. This process starts fall 2007 for the 5th tapestry. Weaving on it will commence in winter 2008. But reweaving the tapestries is not a matter of copying.
Getting this inside look at the current project was really special. The scope, historical accurateness, detail, and dedication is amazing. The sun came out while in Stirling and followed us to Edinburgh where the coach driver and I turned the travelers loose on the Royal Mile which lies between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrude Palace.
Their traditional and contemporary tunes and songs had varied and interesting arrangements. Cheyenne is an Alaskan who studied at the Royal Academy of Music and Drama and Seylan is still a student there. Although this combination of instruments in this up and coming group might sound a bit unusual, the styles, harmonies and rhythms can are reminiscent in the playing of Bachue Café, Ferentosh, and Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas. I would recommend listening to recordings by any of those artists.