The Bonhoga Open 2014

I had a great week home, it was so nice to be back!
I had some weaving to finish so spent the first week driving up and down to Yell. I always forget how weird it is when you go back to Shetland after being away because everything is just exactly the same.

Before I left Gala…I decided to submit a piece of work into the Bonhoga Open. As a first time exhibitor, I wasn’t sure what to put in, but because this year was the 20th anniversary ‘home’ was the theme…and since my final collection has taken inspiration from Shetland, then I came up with something to submit.

At the start of a project, I often create a number of artworks to get design idea’s for weaving. Over the last 4 or so years I have developed a way of working that works best for me, and these artworks are a major part which lead onto my fabrics.
I thought it might be nice to let people see my artworks for a change, instead of a fabric.

I usually start by wrapping yarn around pictures (love a yarn wrap!)….usually my own photographs, and this helps me to visualise how designs might work on the loom.
Normally I cut my pictures up into sections because I often work on a block draft repeat (sorry, weaver talk) when I am sampling. The sections which I cut resemble these different sections…some are larger, some smaller.
Below are pages from my sketchbook from last semester’s capsule collection which helps to illustrate my process.








DSCF4698 DSCF4699

For the piece I submitted to the Shetland Open, I wanted to use local wool from Shetland and have used Jamieson and Smiths lace weight yarn. It is so lovely and soft, it must be lovely to knit with.
The photo which I used was one I took down at ‘Da Sletts’ which is a rocky beach/pier just down in front of my house, in Lerwick.

We used to play down there when we were younger, and when the weather was nice we used to go in swimming. Every couple of years depending on the weather during the winter usually a sand bank appears near the rocks, and I remember a few summers being down there a lot when the weather was nice…..which also makes me wonder why it isn’t sunny like that anymore?

So the picture which features in my piece is this one, a close up of the rocks there:


This picture has featured heavily in my design work for my final collection, with hints of the colours and surface pattern coming in. (Will be revealing my final collection in a post very soon)
As the exhibition opened on the 26th of April, I was already back down on the mainland so I had to send my mam along to have a look for me.

DSCI1468It’s strange to see my work in a different context, as usually these stay hidden away in my weave design development books….but I am glad I decided to share this piece for the 20th anniversary of Bonhoga.

My two friends Ella and Vivian, who I went to Shetland College with and studied an NC in Art, Design and Craft, also submitted work. It’s nice to see that we all started in the same place, have gone on to do different things, yet still use Shetland, our home, as inspiration in our work.

I interviewed them both at the end of last year for my dissertation research, and you can read more                                                                   about them and their work methods here.

I am writing this as I watch the live broadcast from the Shetland Folk Festival Foy in Mareel, from the comfort of my bed in Galashiels. Hope you are all watching! It’s making me miss home.


2 thoughts on “The Bonhoga Open 2014

  1. I really love your final piece, and thanks for sharing your process leading up to it. I’ve never thought to try yarn wraps; it’s inspiring.

    (Incidentally, found you via Ella, via Kate Davies, via Ravelry. Just thought you might be curious where your readers come from!).

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