Have you ever been to the Isle of Skye? It’s rugged and irregular coastline with small beaches and gigantic cliffs are a constant source of inspiration to us.
This blog tells the story of two sets of three yellow sea shells, common flat periwinkles to be more precise. They are the starting point of a very exciting collaboration between four artists and makers working on the Isle of Skye. Their collection of naturally dyed shawls, specially designed brooches and original photographs have all been inspired by one of Skye’s smallest inhabitants – the periwinkle.
Phil Gorton is a fine art photographer who enjoys exploring the small and beautiful things on the Isle of Skye and other wild places. With his unusual perspectives and close-up photography he manages to capture colourful moments, intriguing shapes and dramatic light effects even on the most grey and monotone days.
Skye Weavers are weaving on a bicycle pedal-powered loom in the north of Skye, on the way to Neist Point. We are always trying to reflect Skye’s landscape in our weaving. Our special interest relates to what Phil is doing in his photography- we love looking at things in close-up!
Tony and Eva Lambert dyed the lambswool yarn for our shawls using a variety of plant dyes. Their recipes have been developed over many decades and Eva explains what is special about natural dyes: “If you magnify a chemical dye, you’ll only see one colour. If you magnify a natural dye, you will see that it is made up of a multitude of colours, which is what gives it its depth.”
Heather McDermott joined in the latter stages of development. She chose three special colours to apply to her Buoy Brooches that will accompany the shawls. Like Phil and us, she uses her surroundings, especially the shoreline of Skye, to inform her jewellery. The repeated shapes and geometric forms in her jewellery are a statement as well as a reflection of shapes and forms found along the shoreline.
SHELLS TO SHAWLS – The finished shawls and brooches as well as copies of Phil Gorton’s photographs will be available to buy in our online shop and on Heather’s website in May. Until then we will be using a Pinterest board to log the development of the collaboration. Images of our workshops, places of inspiration and the processes involved in creating the finished pieces will be released each week. Visit the board here: Periwinkle Shells.