Shetland and all its textile heritage can be seen and touched here at Heartfelt Studio .
I am in awe at the talent of Mavis Clark who specialises and teaches this skill.
For 27 years Mavis has created a range of shetland and other native wool garments .Cobweb lace is a magical weave of fine wool , gossamer thin but strong and warm .
The shawls Mavis creates are definitely heirlooms and we are privileged to have a collection of her work here at the Studio.
Tradition patterns in specialist wools such as Foula Island shetland wool make for a very unique piece of wearable art .
During these changeable times and heading towards Autumn and a Winter of uncertainty ,wrapping a natural product around our bodies cocoons us .
From Mavis's delightfully warm mitts to scarves and the ultimate joy - her shawls .
For that heirloom gift of warmth and traditional Scottish culture why not come and see this wonderful work
Open Studio Event Artmap Argyll Friday 21 August to Monday 24 August and the weekend of 29 August to 30 August.
Heartfelt Studio has always been a strong supporter of Artmapw Argyll.
We are on the edge of Argylls Artists trail map .
This year we are focusing on the Studios opening for these two weekends .
There will be demonstrations on the platform (exercising safe social distancing) on the covered platform outside the Studio .
If you have ever thought you might like to learn more about the art of felt making or using local wools and natural dyeing , come along and join us .
More details nearer to the event , please check the site or social media .
I often get asked "what's it like to live in a railway station ? " Pre lockdown I would have answered very differently but today gave a taste of how normal things can be with a bit of planning and consideration.
We did it , we managed a safe shoot , had lots of fun and you must agree the result is stunning .
Thank you to Sydney for her great capture of the girls and the textiles and her lovely easy going nature.
Thank you to the whole family who gave up their time to pose in hot woollen fleeces on a very hot day .
I think we have captured an essence of what i have been trying to achieve in my work .
The silk jersey tubular wraps are just so versatile and the imagination of the models really helped.
We had masks and tops , skirts and hairbands all possible with the sumptuous silk jersey printed and dyed with local plants.
The felted fleeces are washable and so much a part of the area we live in , all locally bred sheep .
Our online presence means we are here to help you choose any of our products which are always supported by our wide knowledge .
During this time of unease i am De- stressing by working through my stock of fleeces .
I have many Shetland fleeces both from our own sheep and a few other Scottish areas.
I love the versatility of them both of colour range and texture .
A fine footed sheep well suited to the Highlands and lowlands of Scotland.
The named colours can be quite an education .
11 different colours are accepted and many different markings with Shetland Island names like Yuglet ,Katmogget , Gulmogget and many more tongue twister names .
We have had Shetland sheep here at the station for many years and love the wiley nature of these delightful creatures.
With the amount of rain we get here in the Highlands often the fleeces we get are more suitable for felting than carding for spinning .
This week i have been working on both but have fallen in love with this Moorit fleece
I felted into a rug .
Its large for a Shetland and very fine .
I paired it up with some humbug coloured natural blue faced Leicester wool and then a couple of hearts in a brown Lincoln Longwool fleece .
So three different native wools merged together with soap water and love ...ahhhh
It may be a closed shop door but there is plenty of activity here at the Studio.
I suppose i am so lucky not to need to travel to my Studio as it is in the same building but living in an active railway station has its own considerations at this very different time of lockdown .
The rhythms of the day has not changed , fewer trains and almost no passengers but still people contacting me by email or phone requesting kits to allow them make felt in their own homes .
So by request i have put together 3 sizes of kits
our mini kit at just £8, the medium at £10 and just 3 of the deluxe 'rainbow' kits - why just three? we took delivery of some new coiled hoses for the polytunnel and the packaging was so beautiful i just HAD to use it . the rainbow shape looks magnificent with all the many colours of wool - well over 40 shades! i had fun creating them and i hope you have fun if you choose to purchase any of the kits . they come with everything you need - just add warm water and a towel and a world of fun awaits you .
People are changing the way they approach the outside of home world and many feel they are keeping themselves and their neighbourhood safe if they wear a fascial covering.
There is so much overwhelming information that it is hard to decipher , however it makes sense to me to help stop the spread of this virus by covering my mouth when outside the home .
it was when i was wearing one of my own creations and it was remarked how suitable the silk jersey wrap i wore was .
its not as scary as a surgical mask and more to the point it is environmental friendly as its so easy to hand wash as soon as you come home .
So i have to rely on myself as a model - apologies its hard to be serious when you are taking your own photo.
I have been wearing these soft and sensuous tubular wraps for a few years now and find them wonderful in midge infested spaces -so defiantly multi purpose .
See what you think ! I have a wide range of prints so please just ask if there is a specific colour or leaf you might like .
A lot of people who know me would be surprised to hear me say i was shy and probably if you met me one to one , that would not be true . However we are all relearning , we have not the possibility of having people present here so I am working on the pretence that the little screen i can barely see is an interested student. I don't know anything about the watcher, their experience, their fascial expressions i could possible read .
Their body language ! All of this information feedback is lost and any teacher, actor, singer or performer of any kind knows they need to interact with their audience so this is all a new learning for all of us . Visualisation has always been my strong point and so i imagine the person i am speaking with , sharing my knowledge and my passion.
A simple question asked from student and friend across the globe ...
"How do i wash and prepare a fleece i have been gifted ?"
Here is your answer.
Heartfelt Studio has had its doors closed to visitors for 3 weeks now and under lockdown it may be many months before there is a movement of people.
At Dalmally Railway Station our energies are given to the land itself and the sheep who are presently lambing. We have been developing our food resources for an uncertain future .
New skills will be honed and much renovation to this beautiful station.
Trains are still running like a ghost of their former self on a skeleton service where few dare to travel by public transport.
It is a time for reflection and vision for the future .
There are many people beginning to use their time learning new skills
and materials for felt making is what we provide.
Our online service will hopefully provide that need for those on lockdown.
Bear with us as we get our wools and tools up on our online shop to help provide material for felt making ,spinning and knitting wools .
We have a huge range so email us if what you need is not in the online shop presently.
I hope also to do some short videos of felt making techniques to share and help in your confinement.
None of us know what the future holds for us but we have today - a present.
We do know that expression through craft feeds the soul
In like a Lion and out like a lamb, a strange Spring but the flowers blossom and the lambing Has begun
A surreal time for most of us around the world but still the cycle of life goes on , the sun sets and the sunrises and the mountains look on having seen it all before . New life in lambing brings a sense of closeness to the natural world
A wonderful weekend event making normal of the turmoil of our present situation worldwide .
To escape to the stunning beaches and the delightful village of Dornoch on Scotlands North coast was wonderful but I was working too .
Luckily my work is also my pleasure and being a guest tutor at this friendly event was a delight .
I learned a lot too and especially about Sashiko- a Japanese form of stitching that i knew little about .
The Team who give up their time and energy to create this event each year made a lovely range of outdoor creations to brighten up the area for the visitors .
Even the flowers in the villages tubs were a blast of colour .
Ideal to inspire the students who took part and created so many lovely flowers over the two days of workshops .
I even escaped for a visit the church hall at the other end of the village to see all the other exhibitors .
It was such a busy social event also with a talk on the Friday evening on Sashiko textiles both traditional and modern and then on the Saturday evening a pot lunch supper with all the organisers , tutors and exhibitors.
I don't know of any other event that creates such an event .
Well done to the organisers and I look forward to see what great opportunities you weave into next years event.
Thank you to my lovely hosts too, I always enjoy my time in their company .