Tuesday, 20 August 2013

British Sheep Breeds

At the beginning of the month I headed along to the opening of the Craft Scotland Summer Show, showcasing the work of more than 30 Scottish-based designers and makers. One of the highlights of the show is a collection of work by Irish-born, Edinburgh-based textile designer Fiona Daly. Fiona and I studied together in Dublin but her work would have stood out from the rest of the show even if we hadn't :) Fiona's recent work is a collection called British Sheep Breeds which combines woven wool and screenprinted cotton to create beautiful functional items which also inform you about wool and its origins. Her collection of cushions are double-sided: one side is a particular wool woven in a simple pattern and the other side is organic cotton with the sheep the wool came from screenprinted on it (see Mr. Welsh Mountain as an example below). Accompanying the cushions is a range of sheep-themed (but not at all sheepish) screenprinted tote bags with the relevant wool woven to create a tag peeking out of the side (pictured at the bottom).

The range uses such a nice combination of techniques, textures and imagery that's all the more appealing for the story that it tells. Fiona's a big fan of promoting the use of natural, local wools. She believes it is important to connect the consumer with the origins of the product, educating them about the wool chain: from sheep through to end product, and this work does just that in a really clever and attractive way. The Craft Scotland Summer Show continues in White Stuff, George Street until 26 August so you can see British Sheep Breeds for yourself there and keep up to date on what Fiona's up to on fionadalyprojects.com.

Images of British Sheep Breed Collection (including Mr. Welsh Mountain above) courtesy of Fiona Daly