This weeks’ wall photo is of a fabric dry stone wall made from scraps of pure wool sweaters salvaged from a skip behind Peter Scott’s in Hawick, here in the Scottish Borders – if you can ever call the world’s finest cashmere and merino wool sweaters scrap!
The Wall is actually the back of a chair “decorated” by children from Burnfoot Primary School in Hawick. It is on show at the Tower House in Hawick and is called “the blue pool” – the seat is covered with hundreds of buttons and the grass on the front is made from sweater scraps too. The moss between the stones made me smile.
I was in Hawick delivering some of my hand made eco-friendly upcycled owls to the Tower House Gallery and Museum shop and I had time to wander around the exhibitions – and I just fell in love with the chair – what with my love of creative textile upcycling and my love of walls.
My owls are also made from upcycled pure wool tweeds and tartans and sometimes cotton fabrics. Their eyes and noses are also made from felted pieces of Scottish knitwear and their buttons are all salvaged. They are stuffed with pure lambswool and some rice in the bottom to make them sit nicely and to enable them to hold a few books up on the shelf. They can be purchased directly from me for £12 plus shipping or from local galleries for slightly more (commission!).
Hawick was, in it’s hey day, the largest producer of fine wool and cashmere knitwear in the world. Today it has only a very few small mills still in operation but they still produce the finest knitwear in the world. Chanel has recently taken over one of the last remaining mills and since knitwear is in fashion again, hopefully the last few jobs will be safeguarded. Hawick is to knitwear as Detroit is to cars – only a million times more beautiful!
The Borders is also world famous for it’s Tweed and Tartans fabrics. Border tweeds are, in my humble opinion, nicer than Harris Tweed – made on the Isle of Harris – they are so soft and subtle; but, unfortunately for the Borders, they don’t carry the kudos of Harris tweed. Tweed fabric, incidentally, gets it’s name from the mighty River Tweed that flows through the Borders.