I was delighted to finally make it to Garvald Edinburgh. We had talked about it a couple of years prior, but with life happening as it does I didn't get to book a trip until this June 2019. And then I made it into a lovely two night jaunt, revisiting student-hood dorm times in a hostel, paying just 75p for breakfast!
It was Thursday and I had the whole day rolling ahead, with a few gems on my hit list - the Dovecot (where I was pleased to see a fine selection of Arthouse Unlimited products), the National Gallery of Modern Art, Chez Jules (an amazing French bistro that brings you the most mustardy of dressed lettuce leaves while you wait!) and various purveyors of Sicilian cannoli dotted around the city.
By night, I went to the lovely Summerhall, joining their film club to watch 'The Price of Everything', a truly fascinating film about the perception of value within the arts, showing Jeff Koons at his very worst.
Friday came and I took a winding stroll over to Dalry to visit Garvald. They have a tall, sweeping building with huge windows that drench the workshops in light, the weavery is a calm, creative space, soft with sunlight. Caroline shows me around and tells me of the Steiner principles at Garvald's core. I am introduced to the weavers and share their coffee break with them, one woman is busy making needle felted flowers to give to her boyfriend, another is knitting a beautiful pair of ribbed socks and someone else tells us a story recalling a snowy Scottish winter where she got stuck at home, as her house is atop a very steep hill.
The weavers - who each have learning disabilities - make work of exceedingly high quality, and are proud to show me their work. Someone has taken inspiration from the recent Anni Albers exhibition at the Tate Modern and had begun a complex double-weave style cloth in homage to Anni's work. Someone else was working on their first ever herringbone piece, which was looking very fine in autumnal colours.
Joseph was also busy at the loom, weaving a wide blanket in Lanark Wool. It was Joseph's blankets that I selected for the Craft Unit. They are beautiful, soft blankets woven with an expertise honed through years of weaving. He also mixes colours just wonderfully, as you will see.
I also selected Cat's cat and frog brooches, which you can see here - her passion for animals shines through in her carefully stitched work. She wasn't there this time, so I can only imagine what she might be like and enjoy thinking about the symmetry of Cat sewing her cats.
Already looking forward to my next foray north of the border - thanks to everyone at the Garvald weavery!
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