A 12-week weaving project at a Borders crafting centre proves inspirational

Enthusiastic youngsters bounced back from lockdown this summer after they were encouraged to reach new heights of creativity at a Borders crafting centre.

By Paul Kelly
Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 10:31 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 10:33 am
Weave had a great summer. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Weave had a great summer. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

A 12-week project at Birkhill House in Earlston, in conjunction with the Beyond Earlston youth group, saw old trampolines converted into looms.

Created for P7 to S6 group pupils it was fully funded by Creative Scotland, Youth Borders and Scottish Borders Council.

Lara Armitage, director at Birkhill House, said: “The young people have worked so hard on this project. They have been creative in their approach to using the reclaimed items - mainly feed bags, balers' twine and other farm waste - and diligent in their effort to cover these massive trampoline frames, which have been refashioned into giant looms.

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Susan Law, manager at Beyond Earlston Youth group, Hannah Murray, Mackenzie Elliot and Cailib Campbell. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

"All of the skills they learned earlier in the summer have come to the fore and they have had masses of fun whilst doing, making new friends and spending time together out of doors - so important after such long, difficult months spent in lockdown. It has been a summer to remember.

"And the project won't end here! Born in Scotland director John Henderson has confirmed that he is happy to welcome the seven finished pieces. They will become part of a new art trail along the river walk there. The young people have been invited to contribute their thoughts and ideas with regard to placement of the pieces and also in developing a forward narrative for their artworks - essentially putting together a story to lead people through the art tour. We can't wait to get stuck into this onward phase. It's lovely that they will be able to share their work in such a public way."

Susan Law, manager with Beyond Earlston, added: "Working alongside Lara at Birkhill House on this exciting weaving project once again did not disappoint. Being asked to work in partnership with Lara and the other amazing artists has enabled our young people to meet new friends from different backgrounds and ages to learn new and traditional weaving skills in great surroundings.

“With the ending of the project being a full installation, the young people's work will be showcased to others, young and old, and show what can be achieved when young people are given the space and time to be creative. Overall, for everyone involved, it had been a truly great experience and we look forward to the next project at Birkhill."