Friday, April 29, 2016

Brough Bay Association - BOTHY NIGHT 28th May 2016 FREE

 With music by Kleyne Klezmer From Edinburgh
 Supported by local musicians
5pm onwards Saturday 28th May
The Lighthouse Store
Brough Bay
Free Admission
(There will be a donation box in aid of BBA)
Refreshments provided
Feel free to bring your own bottle
The event is sponsored by “Spirit of Caithness” 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

There was music in Woody Point Newfoundland too!!!


Newfoundland - photos from my adventure!

Hover over the photo to see the arrows - there are over 400 photos to look at! Put the kettle on.Newfoundland 2016

And if you just want to look at the house 'move' - this set below is for you!

House 'move' Newfoundland 2016

I am delighted to have been selected as one of the craftsmen in residence for http://www.craftcouncil.nl.ca/   (crafts council of Newfoundland and Labrador) in partnership with Gros Morne National Park

Monday, April 25, 2016

Shhhh......can you hear the concentration? Botanical Illustration course at Kew Gardens London - with tutor, Lucy T Smith

Our class - botanical Illustration at Kew Gardens. Can you hear the concentration?
A constant theme of my work, I take  inspiration from our heritage, often with  scientific references.  As a result of my research on Robert Dick (Baker and Botanist of Thurso 1811-1866), and Angus MacPhee 'weaver of grass',  I was invited to give a presentation about my work for the Botanical Society for Scotland at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh.  One of my portable museums, the 'Mystery of the Magellan Daisy and Whalers, has been  exhibit in the John Hope Gateway Gallery at RBGE and at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther. 


Kew Gardens






The botanical illustration course at Kew Gardens gave  me the grounding I need  to be able to develop my botanical drawings with a scientific slant, I'd started drawing plants while on a two week residency in the Western Isles, outdoors, 'drawing between the midges and the rain'. Click here to see my drawings and read about the Suileachan  residency for An Lanntair and the Bhaltos Community Trust.











 An inspirational environment,  Kew archives contain 200,000 works of botanical art from centuries ago as well as by contemporary artists.
One of my drawings.
Our class - Botanical Illustration course at Kew Gardens, London. Tutor, Lucy T Smith took the photo.
Kew Gardens -  this was venue for our classroom
We learnt the importance of a botanical illustrator in the digital age - drawings and watercolour paintings are a more reliable document of a plants true colours.  Individual plant parts can be highlighted and shown in more details depending on the request and the botanists requirements. 
Working  directly from the plants, and also pressed herbarium sheets, with drawings taking weeks to complete rather than hours, a botanical illustrator takes time to document what they see, with no embellishments, painstakingly building up tones in pencil, pen and watercolour. Tutor for the week was Lucy T Smith.  Heres one of Lucy's adventures with her work:
" The Ship

In 2001, a BBC documentary team gave Lucy the amazing experience of travelling in a replica of the Endeavour for six weeks, sailing from North Queensland to Indonesia. She and the other volunteers onboard lived as eighteenth century sailors and explorers, re-tracing the route taken in 1768-1771 by Captain James Cook. Here are some of the paintings made by Lucy during the voyage. Many are unfinished, as they were when she left the ship in Oct 2001." Visit Lucy's  website for images of her botanical illustrations.  www.lucytsmith.com

Tutor, Lucy T Smith works on a leaf.
One of my watercolours.
Many of my projects take time to develop, before contemplating exhibition.  This is no exception, as I would need time to practice new techniques.

The week at Kew Gardens proved to be very inspiring.  Next week I go to Shetland to be artist in residence at Sumburgh Lighthouse. I intend to put into practice some of the techniques I learnt.
One of my drawings.





The mighty titan opened on our last day!
Its also known as  The Big Stink!
The mighty titan opened on our last day!
Its also known as  The Big Stink!



Tutor, Lucy T Smith works on a leaf.
 
Thank you to Kew Gardens, our tutor, Lucy T Smith and also:
Project supported by a Highland Visual Arts & Craft Award



 







Thursday, April 14, 2016

Intangible cultural heritage Newfoundland : Portable Museums of Curiosity and Wind Folklore podcast.

Podcast recorded in St.John's, Newfoundland.

Joanne Kaar (@joannebkaar) lives in Dunnet, on Dunnet Head, Caithness, Scotland, only two miles from where she grew up in the village of Brough.  She has a BA in Textiles and Surface Decoration and an MA in Textiles from Manchester Metropolitan University. She has been self employed for over twenty years and has been exhibiting and working around the world as both participant and instigator of arts and heritage projects and collaborations.

In this interview Joanne talks about craft, the folklore around wind knots, research on local stories, herbariums, the development of her “Portable Museums of Curiosity,” and the mysterious link between the Magellan Daisy and world-travelling whalers. Recorded on 29 February 2016.



Click here to listen.  Recorded with Dale Jarvis

Intangible Cultural Heritage Development OfficerAt MUN Intangible Cultural Heritage ProgramHeritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I am delighted to have been selected as one of the craftsmen in residence for http://www.craftcouncil.nl.ca/   (crafts council of Newfoundland and Labrador) in partnership with Gros Morne National Park
 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Lobster mitt in the making.

I'm back in the UK, and continuing to make Newfoundland fishermen's knit inspired mitts, using fishing twine purchased in Woody Point, and using the ancient Norse viking technique of nalbinding.



Lobster mitt
The otiginal ones Would have been made twice the size of your hand, knitted in wool, and shrunk to fit while being used at sea. Felted knitted mitt.

I am delighted to have been selected as one of the craftsmen in residence for http://www.craftcouncil.nl.ca/   (crafts council of Newfoundland and Labrador) in partnership with Gros Morne National Park

Friday, April 8, 2016

Crafts AND Selvedge magazines - it's a double, my work features in both current issues!

I arrived in London in time to buy both current issues (March\April)  of Selvedge magazine and Crafts magazine to see my work featured in both!

Crafts magazine - Angus MacPhee replica grass shoes in the article 'outside edge' about outsider crafts and the exhibition Radical Crafts which opened last month at Pallant House in Chichester before touring.

Selvedge magazine - Baskets of the British Isles collection commissioned by the New Craftsmen gallery Mayfair London.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Woody Point Lighthouse.


Click here to hundreds of photos on flickr from my adventure.

Sadly this will be my last blog post from Newfoundland. We've had a fantastic time, and would love to come back if the opportunity ever arises. 6 weeks flew by too quickly. There is so much more to explore, stories we haven't yet heard and tunes to play.  We leave tomorrow. I've bought extra fishing twine to make more Newfoundland inspired fishermen's mitts ( I've started making a lobster mitt  -  that's s double sized mitt that shrink when worn by busy hands at sea, making the mitt thick with felted knitted wool).
Thank you all for the wonderful friendship and hospitality.

video

I am delighted to have been selected as one of the craftsmen in residence for http://www.craftcouncil.nl.ca/   (crafts council of Newfoundland and Labrador) in partnership with Gros Morne National Park

An afternoon trip with Austin & Molly White to yet another wonderful harbour, Trout River. Thanks(again)!!










I am delighted to have been selected as one of the craftsmen in residence for http://www.craftcouncil.nl.ca/   (crafts council of Newfoundland and Labrador) in partnership with Gros Morne National Park

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Saturday was movie night !

Apparently they used to show movies somewhere  in the village,but haven't for years.  A pop up cinema arrived last night, and it was a success with many bums on seats. They'd even made popcorn and brownies! And the film choice went down well too!  Here's what we watched, a Newfoundland film of course!


I am delighted to have been selected as one of the craftsmen in residence for http://www.craftcouncil.nl.ca/   (crafts council of Newfoundland and Labrador) in partnership with Gros Morne National Park

Friday, April 1, 2016

Newfoundland's fisherman's knitting - search for names of different knitted hand coverings.

Inspired by the knitted history of Newfoundland, I've made these base on descriptions and old photographs.  Mine are made from fishing twine and nalbound, so not traditional,  but inspired by the history of the island, combining the past with the present.

I need your help.
I'm interested to find out if the hand coverings below are known by other named in  dfferent locations around Newfoundland and Labrador or are they called the same?

I've numbered the 3 different coverings. Any info would be much appreciated.









I've also made these, a thrummed mitt, and a trigger mitt. Some also called trigger mitts jigg mitts, did you?



I am delighted to have been selected as one of the craftsmen in residence for http://www.craftcouncil.nl.ca/   (crafts council of Newfoundland and Labrador) in partnership with Gros Morne National Park