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Posts from the ‘shetland college’ Category

Shetland College Project 2021

Hello everyone, every year we work together with students at the Shetland College on the Contemporary Textiles and Fine Art courses on a project inspired by Jamieson & Smith and our yarns (in particular our worsted spun ranges) and ask them to create a piece of work in response. This past year has been a bit more tricky but we were still able to go ahead with the project and last week I (Ella) headed to the college to see the (as always, amazing) results:

Alana McGuiness used tapestry weaving for her piece of work:

This tapestry piece is based on a croft house on Bressay that has fascinated me for some time. I had been looking at the history behind Jamieson and Smith, and in particular their connection to the crofters and the strong traditional links between Shetlanders, the sheep and the heritage crafts. In the end I found what better could represent such history than a croft. Still surrounded by and sheltering Shetland sheep to this day, these ruins still play a part. The modern crofts are still the silent partners of Jamison & Smith. They rely on the crofters to produce the wool and the crofters rely on them to purchase the fleece.

I also intended to celebrate the Shetland wool, as Jamieson & Smith had done, in championing what was previously an at-risk heritage breed. I wanted to highlight the natural colours, textures and properties behind the wool. I used a mixture of J&S wool, roving, some handspun and some raw wool from a local croft. I wanted viewers to be able to see and feel the differences in the wool dependant on how it is processed and therefore its suitability for a variety of uses. I used a simple frame as my loom and a handspun warp to create a contemporary textile using traditional and simple techniques.

Hetty Mahon used weaving for her piece:

‘Based on the yarn shop and inspired by the shelves of coloured yarn which promise such potential!

I decided to combine elements of proposals 2 and 3 and create a woven piece in a grid pattern reflecting the wool shop shelves with the sheep colours incorporated or superimposed onto it.

A final decision was taken to use a combination of J and S heritage shades of dark fawn and light grey as the weft on snaa white warp. The combining of the weft yarns gave an attractive mottled appearance which worked better than the individual shades.

Two twill patterns were selected to be alternated between grid squares

Final piece: grid pattern woven in different twills in Jamieson and Smith Heritage yarns. Examples of the different colours of Shetland sheep created from natural wool roving.

Richard Mains weaving was inspired by the wool stalls:

‘My final proposal was inspired by the overwhelming presence of wool in the warehouse. Considering that even when the warehouse was empty there would still be tufts of raw wool sticking to the wire mesh enclosures which had housed the wool prior to collection.

I decided to focus my work on diamond mesh patterns with tufts of roving woven in at random intervals to simulate that aesthetic from a design perspective by having tidy pieces of roving hanging down instead of ragged pieces.’

Susan Pearsons work combined our Heritage Yarns and Combed Tops with sculpture.

‘The wrapping felt poignant; with connotations of protection. I thought of gutter’s hands, of wrapped footwear, wrapping shawls and swaddling babies.

I used second-hand pieces of knitting, and 8 undyed Shetland Heritage yarns and mixed undyed wool roving to wrap around the abstract figures.

For the faces, I made moulds and cast them with plaster of paris. The faces seemed too white with the natural yarn, so I painted them but did not add detail because that detracted from the main body of the piece.

The pallet used as a plinth is a nod to the more industrialside of the business. A reminder of the work that goes into the products.’

We also had a video animation piece by Clair Davenport which you can see above.

‘I wanted to respond to the fact that Shetland sheep neared extinction in the seventies and were thus crossed. But I also wanted to create something imaginative and fictional.

I started to note down plot points and here and there designed props. I tried to make lots of separate parts that could be joined with a pin to ensure movement. I made scenic backgrounds using splashes of ink and drawing. Some of these were also joined with pins to ensure their movement, like the sea. I gathered materials from the hillside, such as this heather that had been uprooted.

There were snags along the way. How do I create standing and moving props without somebody’s assistance? I can’t feasibly crop hands out of hundreds of pictures? I tried to make heads that would observe the sheep, like totems, out of plaster and paper eyelids and eyes but unfortunately the DIY plaster I bought was too brittle. I wanted the protagonist to go on a long journey. This was probably the best prop, using screws as legs. I studied legs in motion and after a few drawings was able to create a credible movement.

I enjoyed looking at how I could weave the sheep in and out of the landscape, cutting its body into parts as it went behind a tree. The Magic Egg. The egg came about fairly accidentally as I wondered how I could make a contracting and expanding structure out of paper either as an egg or a time machine.

I was pleased with my egg and its mechanism – short and longer tears and clips on each segment to help it contract and expand – but in future it would be better to use a textile and thread or something more durable. I enjoyed searching free sound.org for suitable clips. Using fade ins and outs on premiere pro helped temper the sound effects from frame to frame. Using templates I made heads and bodies and joined them with a double-ended pin. I would like to expand on character making next year with more movable parts that are joined by clips or pins. Plasticine for gestures and expressions can be very messy and tear the paper.

I was very pleased with the rain and its simplicity – long vertical cuts in the paper letting the strip slide up and down at will.’

So for another year that’s our work with the students of the Shetland College, we really enjoy supporting them and every year we are so impressed with the quality of work – and this year for the project to have still been able to go ahead is quite remarkable so we are extra pleased!

Happy knitting 🙂

Shetland College Project 2020

Hello everyone,

You may know that every year we work with the Shetland College and their Fine Art and Contemporary Textiles students on a project in which the students create a piece of work inspired by J&S and its buildings and yarns, even though things have been very different this year we did manage to have the usual visits with the students at the beginning of the year before everything shut down so they were able to continue the project and last week I (Ella) headed to the college to see the results of the project.

As always we will go through the students work and I’ll write a little bit about their inspirations:

Shannon Leslie

Shannon was inspired from her visit to us and hearing Oliver speak about the importance of Shetland sheep and their colours, marking and existence – She created this collection of beautiful ‘lugs’ – ears in Shetland dialect from raw wool and combed tops.

She said ‘We never want these ears to become mere ‘specimens’ of what ‘once was’’. I found the ears very tactile and cute, and I could see links to Museums and Taxidermy which was very effective.

Elouise Spooner

Elouise was inspired by the markings on the floor in the Woolstore and the colours and textures in the woolstore from the walls, floors and wool. She worked into a sheet using sewing, painting and distressing.

She said: ‘The phrase ‘Common Land’ took a whole different meaning when put into the context of today, as before it just meant a field used by many crofters for sheep, but in the context of COVID-19 it stands for how people have had to come together in the ‘Common Land’ of the internet and how people have had to become more empathetic with each other as this virus affects everyone. This piece was not what I expected when I first stepped into Jamieson & Smith, but I’m very happy with the outcome.’

It was a really effective piece and I liked how it linked into the present as well as the every day in the Woolstore.

Jean Urquhart

Jean created a selection of sculptural pieces and painting in her work as well as small art book containing samples of fleece paintings which she then took out onto bigger scale wall pieces.

She was inspired by the textures and colours of the woolstore which I think translated well into her use of natural colours in the Heritage and Tops.

She said: ‘I really enjoyed discovering the wool shed, loved the untreated wool, the atmosphere, the history: found it inspirational. The natural yarn is very beautiufl and makes me want to learn to knit’

Elaine Thomason

Elaine was inspired by visiting J&S and its buildings to create a ‘Taatit Rug’ which incorporated lots of elements of what we do – including our logo and bannisters!

She said:

For the last sixty years, J&S have bought fleeces from the Shetland crofters…who graze their hardy peerie sheep on the stark hillsides. In the 1960s the old United Free Kirk was purchased to be used as a grading shed…it is now the Wool Shop. In the 1900s this part of Lerwick was a hive of activity with numerous fishing stations spread along its shores. The shore being the work-place of the Herring girl’s as they gutted and salted fish. The kirk was a place of worship and relaxation for them. The herring girls had a restroom and knitted in any free time. Marriages also took place and even a Post Office made use of the building. This colourful history inspired me. I thought of the poverty of material things and how nothing was wasted. From conception to creation the coming together of the Tattit rug, historical a wedding gift to the bride and groom from both families.’

I found Elaine’s rug really moving and could totally see all the inspiratrions and how they had translated into the piece.

Cilla Robertson

Cilla was inspired by the textures in the woolstore and decided to work with crochet and balls to represent the reach of Shetland Wool all over the world. She combined these into hanging almost ‘mobiles’

Shet said ‘I wanted my final work to highlight the environment that supports the production of wool. I used peat, clay, heather and rams’ horns.’

I loved the use of different materials withing the work and found them very beautiufl to look at and stand under.

Jane Ridland

 

Jane worked with audio and visuals to represent her visits to J&S and what that ignited within her and she made her film from a Grandaughters perspective.

She said ‘I used film to recreate the rhythmic movement and sound of my grandmother’s knitting needles and highlight the importance of yarn quality, and the essential knitting belt. Finally, to remember a small flock of twenty sheep.’

I think the work the students produced considering everything that’s happened this year was really great and it’s always amazing to see what is produced and how others see coming into J&S and we love seeing work from so many different perspectives.

To find out more about the creative courses at the Shetland College click here, we hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the students work.

Shetland Wool Week Scarf Project

Hello everyone, happy Friday! Today we thought we’d share some images of a project we took part in during Shetland Wool Week which was coordinated by Faye Hackers of the Shetland College.

The project took inspiration from people known in the Shetland Textile industry who provided Faye with imagery and text about what they love about Shetland, this was then taken by Faye and designed into one-off scarfs which were auctioned off for charity during a silent auction at Wool Week.

Among the people asked were J&S’s own Oliver and Ella, former patrons Donna Smith, Elizabeth Johnston and Hazel Tindall. For more information see Fayes Instagram posts. We love how different each scarf was:

We were happy to donate all the yarn for the project meaning the scarves were knit in 2ply Jumper Weight or Shetland Heritage, in total the auction raised £1,776.00 of which 100% will be donated to charity as we provided the yarn for free. The charities chosen by the individuals were: Cancer Research UK, CLAN, Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal, Mind Your Head, GlobalYell, Lerwick Brass Band and Whalsay Heritage Centre.

All and all it was a great project!

Model and white photography: Faye Hackers

Museum Photos: John Hunter

Models: Akshay Borges and Alanah Young

Shetland College Project 2019

Every year for the last few years we have taken part in a Professional Practise module with the Textile Students and now also featuring the Fine Art students of the Shetland College. Last week me (Ella) and Oliver went over to the college to see this year’s final projects, there were six students work in total and as always we were impressed with the results.

Rebecca was inspired by the history of J&S and our former managers Eva and Jim Smith – she read into the history of the family and they’re interests from our book, Jamieson & Smith: A Shetland Story. She took inspiration from the photos of Jim with his plane and Evas jacket to adorn a Jacket featuring embroidery, crochet patches and felted applique which she also dyed and altered.

Tomas took his inspiration from the lines and textures of the Woolstore to create a range of knitwear to appeal to different and perhaps younger market. From his home country of Slovakia, he took colour and use inspiration forward in his hat, balaclava and headbands which can be worn in a mix and match way.

Rachel was inspired by elements in the Woolstore – the story, materials and abbreviations we use on Wool bags were some things she took forward into her art piece. There is a use of mixed media, screenprinting, felting and embroidery onto Hessian and use of the raw wool too.

Rosalynd took inspiration from the colour and texture of raw fleece into her garment, the panelling of different weights of yarn together with fringing which is reminiscent of the raw fleece. The large stitches also reminded us of the way bales are sewn together.

Kirsty was inspired by the lightness of the 1ply Shetland Supreme and with the idea of using the wool as a drawing tool. Knotting, tieing and draping the wool into words reminded her of fish nets – another strong shetland pastime, combined with photography of the croft she was interested in the journey of the wool and the process from croft to wool.

Sue took her inspiration from the Global reach of Shetland Wool week and how the history and culture of Shetland textiles bring so many people to us.  This led her to look into Navajo weaving and this is where she took her colour inspiration from along with the linear aspect and block patterns. Her final scarf included a textured weave with triangular and wavy motifs in the Shetland Heritage yarns.

Me and Oliver enjoyed our visit as always and it was inspiring to see the way the Students used our yarns in different and unusual ways. To see more work from the Shetland College you can follow both the Fine Art programme and Textiles course on Instagram.

Shetland College Vision 18

On Saturday after closing the shop I headed to the Shetland College to see this years end of year show titled Vision 18. This was a display of all the Textile and Fine Art students work over this year and as always it was an inspiring visit! As well as the Degree courses they also offer Vocational Pathway courses to students at high school and Eric Gray classes to students with disabilities and life long conditions. This makes for a very wide ranging and varied display.

We are big supporters of the College, two of us who work at J&S (Ella and Kharis) both studied textiles there and we have projects with them most years, so I thought I’d share some pictures of the displays.

This years project we were involved in was with some of the fine art students to create an artwork which could be used to promote J&S, you might have seen our picture on Instagram of one of the students work – which was the portrait of Oliver you can see below

There were two students graduating from the Contemporary Textiles BA Hons Degree so their work was in a room on its own, Rhea Kay (the first two pictures) and Megan Smith’s (the last two pictures) work was very different but its was so interesting how they were both inspired by growing up in Shetland and how this has inspired their final collections.

I think you can agree the quality and quantity of talented people in Shetland is quite amazing considering our small population. If you want more information about studying at Shetland College see the website here and you can follow the Textile department on instagram here

Shetland College Project 2017

Hello everyone, Happy weekend! On Wednesday myself (Ella) and Oliver headed to the Shetland College, every year for the past few years we have worked with the College on a project using our yarns. The students are given a brief to produce a garment or home interiors product using the Worsted Spun and Heritage yarns (Shetland Supreme Lace 1 and 2ply, Shetland Heritage Natural and Dyed, Shetland Aran Worsted and Shetland Chunky). This year also had two woven products which was very exciting!

We were there to see the final items and hear the presentations from 3 students, Rhea Kay who’s Jumper we saw last year was also included in this module so if you want more information about her garment see last years post here. Andrea who was included with Rhea last year has moved onto another college on the Mainland so her poncho isn’t included but you can see more information about it too in that post. Rhea’s garment looked as good as we remembered it – it will be on display at the Whalsay Heritage Centre after the term ends at the college so keep an eye out for it there if you are visiting!

First up was Julia Nairn who covered a footstool in fabric made using the Shetland Heritage Natural yarns, she was inspired by the Houll Loch in Whalsay and took lots of photos of the scene. She finds it to be a timeless landscape and she was particularly inspired by the ripples in the water and the almost symmetry seen her her photos which she took through to her finished item. She used an undulating twill structure for her weaving and her main focus was to take the landscape into the home which is why she made a homeware product.

We loved the way the resulting fabric came out and found the footstool to be very effective, the heritage yarn is soft yet robust making it very suited to weaving.

Alicja Tyburska also used weaving in her project but decided to make a garment, in this case, a large wrap. She is a weaver but also extremely interested in History and Archaeology, in particular, Shetlands Natural Landscape and its features, and she took the inspiration from Brochs and other stone features in Shetland – mainly how they are seen from above in drone photography.

This gave her the inspiration for her weave structure and she combined different weights of yarns – the Shetland Aran, Heritage and Chunky together to give beautiful texture to her finished item. We loved the professional finish and texture of the wrap, and the chunky tassels just finished it off perfectly.

Marcia Galvin used knit in her project and made this lovely wrap cardigan in the Shetland Heritage yarn, she was inspired by the word ‘Heritage’ and what it means to her, although not a Shetlander she has been here for many years and was interested in how certain areas have changed architecturally in Lerwick in particular Hays Dock. The Shetland Museum and Archives and Mareel are examples of modern architecture that Marcia looked at and took inspiration from, she looked up the briefs the architects of these building had and looked at the lines and shapes of the buildings.

You can see in her finished garment how elements of these buildings came out in her motif and texture. The cardigan is oversized but can be closed a number of different ways and with a belt. We though the use of colour and inspiration were very successful.

The winner of the unit will be announced at the Degree Show in a few weeks but we think all the students did extremely well, it’s really important to us to support the local College – me and Kharis are both graduates of the Contemporary Textiles course and it gives students the skills to be able to work in the industry in Shetland, something which is quite difficult and we, as an industry, must be supportive of these students.

Happy Knitting!

PS. remember the Shetland Wool Week programme comes out on Tuesday the 16th of May, there are lots of things happening again at J&S and it looks to be another fabulous year!

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Shetland College Visit

Over the years we have done lots of projects with the Contemporary Textiles students at the Shetland College and yesterday we visited them again to see the results of our last brief with them. There were just two students taking part in this part of the unit this time but there was great quality to both the finished garments and they both were inspired by their own cultures in different ways.

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First up was Andrea Ordùna who was inspired by Ponchos from her native Chile and also the colours and stripes of flags in South America. There is a kind of poncho called a ‘Chomanto’ which is reversible and has a light and dark side and this also played into her design.

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Andrea was also inspired by Japanese designers like Rei Kawakubo of Comme De Garcons, this led to the asymmetrical aspects to the design and the unusual arm gap which added structure and shape to the Poncho, a traditionally shapeless garment. Andrea used 2ply Jumper Weight and Shetland Heritage together in the garment and machine knitted the 4 panels, the finishing was brilliant and so professional.

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Next up was Rhea Kay, Rhea is from Whalsay – one of Shetland Outer lying islands and she was inspired by the strong culture of Fair isle knitting in Whalsay.

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She looked at photos from her family members of traditional Fair Isle but also looked at the Shetland Nature for inspiration for colours. She did alot of swatching at looking at contemporary knitting brands like Gudrun & Gudrun.

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She eventually decided to make a cropped jumper featuring Fair Isle motif, modified by her to fit in with the aesthetic she was looking for. She used Shetland Supreme 2ply Lace and Shetland Heritage and made a beautiful cropped jumper, a very contemporary shape with traditional features. Again the finishing was really professional and I can imagine wearing it myself!

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As always it was a joy to visit the college and see how the students decided to work with our yarns, every year the standard gets better and better.

Speak soon!