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Craft And Creativity
Posted on: 7th December, 2018
Earlier this year we began our Harris Tweed Project, setting out to explore the Outer Hebridean tradition of weaving and the story of this historic fabric.
We also decided we’d like to create a Harris Tweed cloth of our own and invited school children from all over the Western Isles to join us in learning more about this important local industry and try their hand at designing a pattern for us.
To help them along, we enlisted the talented team at Harris Tweed Hebrides to lend a hand and with the assistance of the lovely people at the Harris Tweed Authority we ran a series of fun but informative practical workshops.
Over the autumn pupils from across the islands came along to the Sgeulachd a' Chlò Mhòir brand room in Stornoway to see weaving demonstrations and learn how wool is transformed through dyeing, spinning and weaving into the final warp and weft of Harris Tweed.
They also spent time getting hands on with art materials to explore their creative side before continuing their work back in the classroom with teachers and our specially created competition support materials.
We’re delighted to say over 150 pupils submitted designs by the time the November closing date was reached, and we recently gathered to undertake the first round of judging. Our task was to shortlist the wonderfully diverse range of entrants to a shortlist of around 30.
It was no easy job and everyone involved was impressed with the level of imagination and work which had gone into the designs. But, after a long afternoon of discussion and assessment, we finally managed to narrow down the field to 33 young people across three age groups.
Their designs are now displayed at the Isle of Harris Distillery on the upper level, and if you’re nearby we invite you to come along to view their handiwork and let us know your opinion. There are herringbones and tartans, bright blues and green twills, burnt oranges and brown barleycorns…something for eveyone!
In January, our Chairman and Managing Director will narrow the field down further and we’ll announce an overall winner and the highly commended entries at a ceremony in the distillery shortly after. The lucky winner will then join us on a journey to watch their design come to life as a real length of this iconic cloth.
Meantime, we’d like to thank everyone who took part in the competition, particularly the teachers and members of the local education services who supported our plans throughout. But most of all we thank all the children for their incredible efforts.
It’s been heartening to witness the high level of craft and creativity from our local young people and judging by the quality of their work in this competition we’re confident the Harris Tweed industry will be in safe hands as the generations go by.
Full list of shortlisted entries via: www.harrisdistillery.com/harristweedproject.