We visited Journeyman Leather in Shetland, who make functional leather goods. Generally fabricating belts, collars, leads, bags or in bridlework, the skill and quality of work is fantastic. Individuals are also able to send a sketch or drawing of a bespoke item too and have it prototypes or made up and shipped to the main land.
We got carried away visiting Jamieson's of Shetland at the beginning of August. After travelling down a single track road in the middle of nowhere (Sandness, on the west coast of Shetland to be exact) , you come across a tiny signpost towards 'Jamieson's'. Turn into the left, and you find a fantastic family run, purpose built spinning mill. Sheep on one side, Fair Isle's coming out the other.
Now run by Peter and his son, Garry, the mill was one of the most interesting and exciting we have seen to date. From the unique dying process, to the capabilities of their knitwear department the morning was absolutely fantastic. In one sense they are a material supplier, and you can purchase their hand knitting yarns in a variety of locations worldwide. They also produce woven throws and a huge variety of knitwear (both machine and hand knitted) - which, if anyone has seen us lately, is now a standard part of the Make Works Team 'uniform'! It was really brilliant to see this type of facility operating in one of the more remote parts of the country and exporting internationally, whilst employing local people, and using local materials.
Thanks to Garry for showing us around and letting us explore.
We spent the weekend in Thurso and Wick, before heading over to Orkney. Highlights included picking up our first artist in residence, Janine Matheson, and enjoying some epic breakfasts!