Creating the Northern Isles Collection

Images of Okinami Orkney, inspired by the Scottish landscape at dawn.

Okinami Orkney, inspired by modern artworks depicting seascapes at dawn on the Northern Isles of Scotland.

I had returned to the family home, a log cabin in Fife, where Mike spends most of his time working on Oscha designs (amongst other things!). We had decided we wished to create a sunset fade of colours specifically for weaving with Okinami. We spent a long time playing about with colours and built a very bright sunset scene, but neither of us were feeling particularly satisfied about it. It felt too close to our Hawaii sunset warp, with a tropical look.

 

We both decided to take a break and accompany the rest of the family for a visit to the annual Pittenweem Arts Festival. This village in the East Neuk of Fife comes alive with the Scottish art scene for one week in August, when you can find tiny little pop-up galleries emerge everywhere, from resident’s front rooms and garages to tents in the gardens!

 

Whilst we wandered in and out of the tiny make-shift galleries, many filled with paintings of Scottish seascapes, and along the sea front which the village clings to, a new pallet of colours began to emerge. On our return we decided that it was at last time to begin the Northern Isles Collection, we used images of fine & modern artworks depicting seascapes, and more subtle yet radiant dawn light, in the Northern Isles to build a fade of colours that felt both more mature and interesting.

Okinami Orkney, showing the dawn warp colour way.

Okinami Orkney, showing the dawn warp.

The Northern Lights, or Merry Dancers warp came simply through the fun of playing with our new multi-colour warp technology. We hit on the lively range of colours and were reminded of the Northern Lights.

 

Shortly afterwards I went to a local Fèis, where young musicians from up North played and sang beautiful, traditional folk music, and there was a cèilidh. This brought to mind a competition entrant who had suggested a Collection theme to us – ‘the Merrie Dancers’ – which is the local term in Orkney and Shetland for the aurora borealis. I could immediately see a parallel between the music, dance and the movement of the local Gaelic music scene and the vivid lights in the night sky, which are so visible in the Northern Isles.

Image of Tjimkje playing the fiddle in the Eire Fairy Ring wrap.

Tjimkje playing the fiddle in an Eire Fairy Ring wrap. Bringing together the Northern Lights warp with folk music and dance.

Pulling these two warps together we felt we had a nice beginning to the new collection and in time we hope to come back, adding a Part 2, with more Shetland-inspired colours and designs.

 

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