Monday, 30 September 2013

Artiness and Craftiness

For appreciators of arts and craft there was plenty on offer over the weekend.  Bute open studios trail allowed visitors to talk to 32 local artists, view their work and in some cases get involved with demonstrations.
Artists opened their studios around the island with information and directions to all the venues widely available.
Unfortunately due to other commitments I didn't manage to any of the studios this year but as a big supporter of talented designers and makers I hope this event will continue to grow.
Meanwhile another craft revolution was taking place around Rothesay town centre and if you were out and about it was impossible to miss the woollen clad lamp posts, railings, shops and even the Zavaroni ice cream had a makeover!

Zavaroni ice cream

Until a few weeks ago yarn bombing wasn't a term I was too familiar with.  Spotting a bicycle wearing a jumper in Tallinn, Estonia a couple of years ago and a recent article on the granny knitting mafia were my only clues that an underground craft scene was quietly taking hold.

It must get cold in Estonia if the bicycles need jumpers

Thanks to textile artist Angharad McLaren, Rothesay became the latest town to be 'graffited' by some colourful creations.
I must admit when I first read the article about the project I was a little skeptical, imagining a few pieces of wool sadly hanging from the town square trees. When I actually Googled 'yarn bombing' (also known as yarn storming, guerrilla knitting, urban knitting or graffiti knitting, thanks Wiki!!) I realised how wrong I was.
Image after image appeared of colourful, quirky, fun and beautiful designs decorating everything from phone boxes, staircases, bridges, trees and even a tank!
Intrigued as to what the Bute mafia knitters had created I headed into town to spy the woolly artwork around Guildford Square.  Some pieces were obvious but I loved the fact that other pieces were more subtle and fun to stumble upon.

As I was taking some photos I met the lovely Angharad who explained a bit about the project, she was even kind enough to pose for me!  With local knitters and schoolchildren creating little works of art and some late night/early hours designing, the project came together in time for the Saturday launch.

The lovely Angharad

This was a great addition to festivities and a talking point around town on a very busy weekend. With the amount of visitors taking photographs I'm sure the word of the Bute knitting revolution has already spread far and wide! Most of all it shows that with a little imagination, community contribution and support the place we live in can be that bit more fun and colourful.

If you enjoy travel, adventure and visiting Bute, I have a new twitter account with lots of tips, photos and updates on new blog posts, follow me at Buteiful Bute@SFArbuckle, thanks!

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