Bonhoga means place of my childhood in Shetland. The business is called this as I am often told, ‘I used to do crafts when I was a child’. And of course all creativity is magic.
Everyone from the Shetland Isles grows up surrounded by craft, it is inescapable. Shetland also gave an interest in the sea as well as buildings. Old Lerwick has houses built into the sea which were said to be used by smugglers. The imagination can’t do anything else but get carried away.
Working with groups is pure pleasure as people interpret instructions in different ways. Regular sessions in care homes is a source of stories (and sometimes a song) told by the residents which are a bit close to home at times!
Life is an ongoing learning experience and craft is certainly one area of constant learning. A City and Guilds course in Hand Embroidery produced two merits and two distinctions and skills are constantly updated and added to with a variety of courses.
Membership of the Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild in Edinburgh – www.wsd.org.uk – is the source of a wonderful pool of knowledge and experience. Weaving is on a 4 shaft table loom and various hand looms and spinning is with a drop spindle.
Textiles co-ordinator for Cloot, a group run by the Grassmarket Community Project in Edinburgh, brought involvement in the development of the Greyfriar’s tartan, which is now a registered tartan. Activities included collage, book making, needle felting, crochet and weaving. Participants thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the variety. Unfortunately funding ran out.
FDAMH (Falkirk and District Association for Mental Health): We explored textiles using several techniques, including sewing and painting.
Needle Felting for Purely Patchwork in Linlithgow and the Howden Centre in Livingston. Cirenian’s pop up shops’ meet the maker events brought all ages to try out needle felting with some surprising results, and a lesson from one wee girl on the size of a snowman’s nose!
The Bonnybridge Gala day saw youngsters decorating bags and being very creative with paint. Some of which usually comes home on clothes, but that was the adults, the kids wore aprons so mums didn’t have the hassle.