an artists' view

an artists' view

Monday, 5 September 2011

Autumn and Holidays

Who knows where the time goes? as Sandy Denny once asked!

Jon and I went to the Isle of Islay in Scotland, in the middle of August; so that was exciting, as well as very restful. Campervan Blanche did us proud.

Finlaggan is the place on Islay known as the site where 'The Lord Of The Isles' were based, though they moved around their kingdom, rather like the Medieval and Tudor kings did in England. Above is the standing stone at Finlaggan, which overlooks the visitors centre. Growing on it, is some remarkable lichen. Around here is where I found the sheep-fleece.

Finlaggan sits out in the loch, an ancient site built on man-made islands (crannogs). Like all the islands in Scotland, sky and water dominate. In gullies white froth sits atop peat coloured water, creating patterns.

And the crannog reaches further into the water, where once there was a pavement from one island to the next. Now underwater, you can glimpse the rocks falling away into the depths.

I found another of those neolithic carved balls that I keep finding in various museums (Museum of Islay Life). We camped on the beach and watched fantastic sunsets; and also saw a couple of gorgeous moon-rises!

We walked round the magical Walled Garden, where we bought some seasonal veg.

I did quite a few drawings, that I'm now looking at re-making into textile pieces; AND I took some fabric, which I made bundles of, and soaked, dyed, and tied.
They are currently soaking in a bowl full of tea (!); for the tannin, to help with the mordanting.

A piece of fabric I'd left soaking in onion skin water whilst I went away, has been removed, dried, and is now ready for use. The first of my plant-dyed fabrics!

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