part 1 The beginnings of An Orkney Jumper. '40 years of comfort'.
|Colours of peat and heather. My dads 40 year old jumper, on Dunnet Head. Scars of old peat banks once cut by hand for fuel mark the landscape.|
Handed down to my husband Joe a few years ago, it was in need of repair.
In 2018, while maker in residence for the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador at The Old Cottage Hospital in Norris Point, I invited the public to bring me their woollen garments in for repair. I titled my residency project ‘On The Mend’. My dad turned me a wooden darning dolly to use during the residency, and to start things off, I brought 2 garments with me to mend – one was this 40 year old jumper.
|I'm in my 'mending room' in The Old Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital museum room, Norris Point, Newfoundland.|
Now, a few years on, this jumper, still a favourite, but beyond repair. Using only the wool from the jumper, I plan to make two hand muffs.
Hand muffs are a traditional garment in decline. In recent years they've had a resurgence, re-invented as a comforter for those with restless hands - a ‘twiddle muff’.
One of my muffs will be soft and fluffy inside like the Newfoundland thrummed mittens. The other, however, will have a different feel as I fill it with much stiffer strands reminiscent of heather roots. I've yet to decide construction method as I explore the possibilities but could might include wrapped stands or felted strands. The outside of each muff will be the same – the knitted pattern of the jumper and some of the decorative visible mending made while in Newfoundland, retained.
A new collaboration:
As well as the muffs, I'm delighted to be collaborating with one of the other exhibitors, Sarah Albu, singer/performer/vocal explorer/spinner of wool and knitter from Montreal, Quebec! Click here to listen Sarahs soundscapes from the Knit, Purl, Listen exhibition at the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, and click here to view the exhibition catalogue which includes stories compiled by Intangible Cultural Heritage and Folklore dept at Memorial University in St.Johns.
Going back in time before going forwards.
In my search for info about the Orkney knitter, I was interviewed by BBC Radio Orkney reporter, Huw Williams. This resulted in many enthusiastic responses from listeners who knew or once worked for Camilla. Many suggested she moved to Edinburgh and then possibly to Africa.
Click the link below to listen to the interview - the jumper features in the last 5 minutes of the programme.
A google search found this:
"... Mozambique: Camilla Eames has joined the Visual Arts School in Maputo as a Textiles Teacher..."
but the links are broken...............
|Dunnet Head Lighthouse and keepers cottages, Caithness,with the Pentland Firth and Orkney in the distance.|
|View from my home over Brough village on Dunnet Head with the Pentland Firth and Orkney beyond. Watching boats in the Pentland Firth and the changing light on the cliffs of the Orkney Island of Hoy, seem to make doing the washing up less of a chore!|
More about the exhibition at the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador gallery:
"Removing barriers is the way to create an environment that will give equal opportunities for the population as a whole. Integration, respect, adaptability and challenging stereotypical portrayals can and will generate a healthy change in attitudes. Accessible spaces and works early on the curatorial design process has been the primary focus of Sensorius: Where The Skin Meets The Eye. Every accessible program has the potential to inspire, welcome and develop a safe space for all public that will result in an open conversation about art and contemporary craft reducing the anxieties that stem from beginning a new experience in a “foreign” place "