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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Open Studios 2018

Can it really be Open Studio season again? A whole year has passed and it has been a crazy hectic one, starting with the move to my new space last November. Fortunately, it has turned out to be a very productive space and much weaving has been done since then. If you want to come and see it – space and weaving alike – now is your chance! We’re open 12 – 5 pm Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th October.

Tangible Sounds

One of the projects I have been working on this summer is now just about complete. The Aural Textiles collaboration began back in March and we have come a long way since then. I can’t wait to see the final pieces my co-conspirators have made: the glimpses on Instagram have been tantalising! Anyway, there is not long to go now: our exhibition opens on Monday 24 September and you are all invited.

As well as finished textile pieces – knitted, woven and screen printed – the exhibition will showcase the processes we have used to create our designs and feature samples in the different techniques. There are six of us, so we used six different sound recordings from the Scottish landscape – one made by each person – and swapped them around. If you can’t get to Forres (and I do realise it is a bit of a stretch for most!) then watch this space for digital content… and do read our blog too.

For the last week I have been beavering away on my own final piece and on getting all the documentation together: there’s a lot of it! Sound files, images, drafts, notes… All that remains now is to take the photos and package everything up. In the meantime, here are some sneaky peeks at Sound of the Sea: naturally dyed wool/silk yardage based on, you guessed it, the sound of the sea.

On the loom…

…and modelled by Doris:

Tangible Sounds” was posted by Cally on 6 September 2018 at

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Useful purses to put things in

Here are a few examples of the purses I have been making for the Craft Scotland Summer Show in Edinburgh. Because we all have different things we need to stash, I’ve made them in a variety of shapes and sizes…

These little guys with the clips are my favourite to make, because they are so cute when you turn them right side out at the end. (It’s a bit tricky to tell how large they are from these photos, but this wee chap is about 4″ square and one inch deep.)

I delivered these and their several brothers and sisters, along with a selection of scarves and cowls, to White Stuff on George Street this morning. The show opens on Friday and is then open every day until 26 August.

Useful purses to put things in” was posted by Cally on 30 July 2018 at

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