I don't like to begin with sad news, but wanted to let you know that after much discussion, the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers has regretfully decided they must close their Textile Museum.
As many of you will know, they once occupied a wonderful space in a renovated mill at Weisdale. Unfortunately, their lease was just for ten years and the lease holder, Bonhoga Gallery refused to extend the Guild's occupancy. Last year we saw a much smaller exhibition, when the Museum occupied the Bod of Gremista, just outside Lerwick. For a number of reasons, this space proved to be unsuitable, plus too expensive to heat. The Guild found that the effort in keeping the Textile Museum in operation was monopolising too much of their time and energies to the detriment of other Guild activities. In the economic climate of the U.K., the funding required is virtually unavailable. I understand that the renovation of the manor house for their dreamed of/proposed Textile Working Museum has also been put in abeyance.
Another interesting article in the latest newsletter from The Centre for Creative Industries:
Nike does seem like something of a trail blazer, as it was the firm which recently revitalized the Harris tweed industry when they ordered a trainer made from tweed. Master weaver, Donald John Mackay said when he first read the order, he was sure that there had been a misprint in the number of yards ordered. Once he realized it was correct, he had to enlist the help of weavers on Harris and Lewis.
In the 2012 British Honours List, Donald John received an MBE--Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Those who have come on the Scottish Skeins & Skerries Tours, will remember Donald John from our visits to his tiny weaving shed, overlooking beautiful Luskentyre Beach on Harris. He is always very gracious and welcoming and eager to talk about weaving and answer our many questions--in fact, it is sometimes difficult to get him to leave the loom and sell us some tweed.
I have a subscription to the quarterly magazine, Wild Fibers and enjoy the articles and the stunning photographs. Recently I received two emails from them, one with the sad announcement of a fire at Earth Art Cashmere Farm in Marshville, Nova Scotia. The other was about a sale of woven articles which the publisher Linda Cortright bought in her travels. Have a look at: http://www.wildfibersmagazine.com/