Sunday 15 April We had a day of snow showers for our workshop at the rural setting of the studio at Touched By Scotland in Oyne.
Robin and Jan have studio space for classes, in addition to their large gallery full of metal, jewelry, paper, fiber, painting, glass, ceramics, wood, and artwork all made by UK artists.http://www.touchedbyscotland.com/
I always provide a workshop on the tour. Since many of the travelers are makers, it allows us to take a break from traveling and enjoy a day of creativity.
Elaine Lindsey is a local artist who has worked for the past 27 years reviving the Scottish forms of straw work. Today we soaked in the history and learned some technique of Scottish straw work from her. http://www.somethingcorny.co.uk/
|Carol learning how to make a proper bow that stays flat|
array of traditional and contemporary work she produces. Elaine uses wheat for most of her work, although traditionally, straw was used in Scotland for the traditional "corn dollie" work. Elaine's wheat, the "Maris Widgeon variety, is grown in the midlands in England.
|Bob working away|
Corn Dollie doesn't necessary mean a doll made out of straw. A corn dollie just means that it is straw work that still has the "ears" or heads of the grain incorporated in the piece. "Dollie" comes from the word "idol". There are many different stories about the significance of the last sheaf of corn (corn is the word used for grain in the UK) harvested from the field. In Scotland the last sheaf, the "cliach", hung in the farm kitchen. The seeds of this were the first planted the next year. It was good luck to have a dollie in the house. You don't need fancy tools to work with straw, just your hands, scissors, straw and cotton string.
|Items made by students|
|One of Eileen's creations|
They sing songs about the sea, fishing, and teach us the chorus to their famous haggis song... "how many legs have a haggis, and how high do they fly...!" Their stories and banter interspersed between songs kept us all smiling and laughing and singing along. T Gaye and Trish have made 3 recordings. You can hear their joyful sounds at http://www.shanty.co.uk/G&T/