Studio 405

A new address! Same building, but my looms have climbed back up to the fourth floor.

Dundee’s situation – a steep hill (the Law) overlooking an estuary (the Firth of Tay) – means that it is pretty hard to find a place anywhere in town that doesn’t have a view. However, in the fifteen years I have been weaving, this is the first time my looms have been exposed to such distractions. Will they be able to concentrate, I wonder?

Looking east I can see almost the whole history of the city’s industry, including both jute and journalism (if not jam), as well as the current specialism of oil rig maintenance and decommissioning.

Things are looking pretty good inside the studio too, in spite of a very hasty moving process. More of that later: right now, I have to get it ready for a workshop tomorrow.

Studio 405” was posted by Cally on 8 March 2018 at

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Visual Artist and Craft Maker Award

Although I am in a state of complete exhaustion after the last few weeks of making and marketing, and have several more pre-Christmas tasks still to go, I have some good news I really want to share. I’m excited to let you know that I have been granted an award from the VACMA: Dundee programme to develop some new work next year.

VACMA stands for Visual Artist and Craft Maker Award, as per the post title, though I keep having to check whether there are any plurals in it. It’s a scheme run jointly by Creative Scotland and local organisations – in my case that’s Leisure & Culture Dundee – to support, you guessed it, artists and makers in Scotland on all kinds of projects. My project will entail creating more work along these lines:

and these:

These are a couple of the pieces I made earlier this year using warps painted with natural dyes. Both pieces have two warp layers: one has an interleaved threading and the other is turned summer and winter. In both cases, though for slightly different reasons, I struggled to manage the two warps because my Megado has only one warp beam. I worked around it, because that is what weavers do, but it made the process slow, awkward and error-prone so it was far from ideal.

The award from VACMA: Dundee will fix that by helping me to purchase a second warp beam as well as the materials for a new collection, so I can really dive into this way of working with natural dyes for weaving. I can’t wait to get started!

Visual Artist and Craft Maker Award” was posted by Cally on 10 Dec 2018 at

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Christmas markets

While not quite believing that December is almost upon us, I’ve nonetheless been getting myself organised for a couple of festive Christmas markets.

First on the calendar is CRAFTED at Dundee Contemporary Arts tomorrow (1 December) from 11:30 – 17:30. It’s one-day-only so seize the moment! (And if you are in town at the DCA, you might also pop along to WASPS where Dundee’s Etsy Made Local market is taking place. Many of my artist and designer neighbours will be taking part.)

Then next weekend I will be down in St Monans at Bowhouse for the Tea Green Festive Market. That’s a fabulous market with lots of amazing food as well as lovely handmade work, and it is on both Saturday and Sunday (8 & 9 December) from 10:00 – 16:00. Yes, I’ll need to be up early to get there and set up!

I have some lovely new purses and cowls for these occasions, but I confess that I have a soft spot for the pieces I haven’t woven at all… these thrums, all naturally dyed blends of wool and silk, made up into little bundles. They are just the right length for embroidery, or for keeping.

Christmas markets” was posted by Cally on 30 November 2018 at

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