A more ‘visual’ diary of the Easter weekend when Casting the Net extended out from inland Borders town Selkirk to the coastal town of Eyemouth – there were so many good things happening it is difficult to write them all down!
Eribé Knitwear Design headed by Rosy Eribé and her team of hand knit designers Kristen Orme and Lizzy Knowles led the ‘Knitting, knotting and netting’ event over the weekend with Eyemouth local knitter, Fay Waddell and the Eyemouth Knit and Natter group working alongside. There were beautiful displays of contemporary knitwear from Eribé Knitwear Design and also some exquisitely knitted miniature samples from the local knitting group. Stories were swapped and photographs of the local town and fishing community reminisced over.
Eribé Knitwear Design led a continuous drop-in workshop in teaching knitting techniques in several clever ways (sometimes even without needles just hands!) and over the weekend knitted fish, pom poms and finger knit bangles appeared as a result of the patient coaching.
Eribé Knitwear Design were assisted by volunteers from Borders Textile College who enjoyed getting stuck into learning new techniques and exploring oversized yarn and needles.
A big thank you to the Eribé Knitwear Design team led by Rosy Eribé.
Eyemouth Knitters & Natterers with Liz Dickson who was actually knitting a Gansey on 5 needles over the weekend. Below is a photograph from Fay Waddell showing the display of Ganseys. Thank you very much to the Eyemouth ‘Knit & Natter’ group led by Fay Waddell and her team of locally skilled knitters.
Alec Thorburn, admiring one of the Gansey’s loaned to Fay Waddell from local Eyemouth fishing families for the exhibition – each one was labelled with its own story.
While the knitting workshops progressed local net maker Fiona Drewery (of Stuart Nets) set up her net making station and while making a net also had one for people to try out net making. The net being made was beautifully crafted and people trying to do it began to appreciate the skills required to consistently produce an evenly made and durable net.
On Saturday morning Casting the Net artist, Mark Timmins led a free workshop with Eyemouth Harbour’s Pocketful Kids run by Kerry Waddell and Sophie McNeil. In the workshop Mark explored with the kids the relationship of knotting and weaving with the fishing nets of Eyemouth, creating with the contribution of the children, a textile and embellished tapestry, which will now be donated to Eyemouth Primary School for them to display at the end of the weekend. The children who went along with their parents drew, cut, knotted and wove with a large piece of fishing net and some beautiful Lovat Tweed from Selkirk.
Upstairs in the Mission there was an exhibition of the work of the Casting the Net artists Sam Bain, Alice Francis, Mary Morrison, Kevin Peden and James Wyness. Each of the artists work related to the sea and/ or Eyemouth in very particular ways.
Sam Bains recent works Boatyard with Fifie, 2013 and Robina Inglis, 2013 related to her visits to Eyemouth and meeting Johnny Johnston who with his team of young people have restored an original Fifie sailing vessel.
Kevin Peden and James Wyness have also been inspired by their time spent in Eyemouth Harbour but in very different ways.
Kevin Peden set up his easel in Dickson’s Boatyard and was inspired by the work and volunteers working on the reconstruction of the Good Hope, Fifie sailing boat.
James spent his time in Eyemouth recording in the Ice House and on the fishing and sailing boats of Eyemouth, in Selkirk town square where the mobile fish van comes each week with fresh fish from Eyemouth and produced and mixed a sound piece which captured the essence of the coast and the town. James performed live in the Mission on Saturday afternoon to a relaxed audience who were knitting, knotting and netting- absorbing the sounds recorded locally.
Mary Morrisons abstract paintings above the almost technical paintings of Sam Bain sang of the sea and combined ‘a sense of place with layers of meaning suggested by annotation – of music, mapping, measuring. Grid references, staves, shipping charts and tide tables recur in (Mary’s) work, and there is often a focus on the transition between land and sea.’
Saturday was also the premiere of the film ‘Fish-out-of-water’ by Casting the Net artist, Alice Francis. Alice set out from Eyemouth to walk inland to Selkirk in her wonderfully constructed ‘Fish-out-of-water’ costume made from beach combed plastics and nets – while her intention was to walk the whole of the way she was hampered by the cold snap which hit the whole of the Borders the week before Casting the Net opened, even waking up to 5 inches of snow around her tent the first morning. In Alice’s own words; ‘An intrepid ‘Silver Darling’ retraces the routes of her ancestors by hiking inland along The Herring Walk. A humorous adventure in ichthyology!’
On Eyemouth Harbourside Johnny Johnston was out in the sunshine proudly showing off the beautifully restored Fifie, ‘Good Hope’, an original sailing vessel worked on by local volunteers and a group of local young people in Dickson’s Boatyard over seen by Johnny.
Eyemouth Museum was the final Casting the net venue in Eyemouth and they had set up a special exhibition on their first floor gallery of archive photographs of the local fishing industry, a selection of older Ganseys hung with three contemporary Ganseys made by Eribé and played a DVD about the history of the Gansey and also one made by Eribé Knitwear.
Teas, coffees and home-baking were provided in the Mission by the Eyemouth Community Trust – Anne McNeil and Sina Anderson effortlessly hosting the visitors to the workshops and exhibition upstairs in the Mission.
Thank you and well done to everyone involved in so many ways, friends made, skills, patterns and stories swapped – it was a lovely atmosphere and well attended. Even the sun shone for us on Saturday!