Farlin Project – Shetland Arts Trust – Bonhoga 2012

I got selected to take part in the Farlin project back in January. Craft makers of Shetland were paired with Poets from Fife and viceversa, the whole point in the project was the passing of information between each pair, to see what the end outcome would be, and how they would influence eachother.

I was excited to start this project because it was something I have never done before. Creating woven pieces but for an Art purpose. I was eager to begin!
My partner Andy Jackson, a fife poet, was interested in how I would weave, and we used the loom as a starting point.
We came up with the idea that it might be nice to combine words and weaving and that lines of the poem could create a check pattern on the fabric. Andy sent me some lines of the poem which he had started to put together.

First Idea’s – Sketchbook
Idea’s – Sketchbook

I like playing around with yarn as it helps me to realise potential designs and colour combinations for weaving. Im quite happy with the way I do this, as it my very own way of working out problems and solving them!

We swapped some more idea’s before Andy sent me the final poem, so that I could translate the words into my work.

Shetland Weaving Song

the cutting of the cotton
the rattle of the shuttle
the holding of the heddles
the folding of the fabric

the waters in the warping
the seasons in the setting
the summer in the shaping
the winter in the wearing

the stretching of the skyline
the shifting of the shoreline
the ringing of the rigging
the building of the biggin

the wheeling of the wadder
the braying of the bonxie
the birling of the brongie
the binding of the brolki

the creeling of the crayfish
the hauling of the herring
the longing for the landing
the filling of the farlin

the lighting of the longboat
the raiding of the ramparts
the althing and the aiving
the pawning of the people

the splicing of the stories
the stirring in their starting
the tension in their telling
the echoes in their ending

the silence in their speaking
the speaking in their silence
the wonder in their weaving
this poem in their passing

Andy Jackson

Then it was up to me to do some more work!

Possible colour combinations – Landscape Photos: Ella Gordon

I used colours from pictures that were taken from around Shetland. These were taken at Gulberwick beach, just 5 minutes away from Lerwick. It was a lovely calm summery night and the colours were lovely. Its nice to use your natural surroundings as inspiration. This is why I love Shetland, on another day if you go down to the beach, if it is windy or slightly bad weather everything looks completely different.

Warping up

Warp on the back beam

Drawing through: Each end is pulled through a heddle on a specific shaft in order
First samples

I then added the lines of the poem by hand. If we wanted to add the lines into the fabric, it would have to be woven on a jacquard loom, but a dobby loom does not have the potential to do that.

The cutting of the cotton

The exhibition at the Bonhoga Art Gallery in Shetland, was in the craft cabinet. All the participants had their work on display and it was a work in progress type thing to show what each pair had been up too.

Farlin Poster
Our section of the exhibition


Some of my friends made a trip out to the gallery to see me too!

So now, the project continues. We have started on new work for the end part of the project which will be displayed and is part of the wordplay stAnza event in Fife in March 2013.
New idea’s have been exchanged and we are on the way to creating new exciting work.
I will post exhibition details for this once I know them.


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