Our second Bothy Stores Weekend was held on the Isle of Eigg, exploring the materials and techniques involved in the production of our commissioned products for Sweeney’s Bothy. The weekend was an opportunity to meet with designer and weaver Kirsty McDougall, and artists James Rigler and Virginia Hutchison. Rigler and Hutchison are developing cast iron cookware, and McDougall is working on a woven, wearable blanket for The Pioneers.
Hutchison and Rigler lead a metal casting workshop. Collecting polystyrene foam washed up on the beaches the workshop focused on designing and carving cooking utensils that were cast in aluminium using a lost foam metal casting technique. The workshop took place in the byre at Laig Farm, next to the iconic Laig Bay, using a flat-pack mobile furnace designed and built by Hutchison.
The weaving workshop with Kirsty McDougall used a variety of looms with participants exploring the environment of Sweeney’s Bothy on Eigg as a starting point to produce a hand-woven sampler. Working with wools from Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and beach drift as inspiration, the workshop explored tapestry and weave through their historic and local connections, in a relaxed and creative environment.
Virginia Hutchison lives and works in Glasgow. She graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2004 with an MA in Sculpture and currently sits on the board of directors at Glasgow Sculpture Studios. Her practice negotiates ecologies of space through the medium of text, film, performance and object making and forms one half of the artist duo In the Shadow of the Hand, with Sarah Forrest
Based in Glasgow, James Rigler studied Architecture and Craft before graduating from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Ceramics and Glass in 2007. His sculptural work in ceramics and various materials is inspired by architecture folly and the language of functional form, distorting purpose and meaning through scale and material, toying with the viewers notions of grandeur, taste, and the uncanny.
Born on the Isle of Lewis and based in London, Kirsty McDougall has over ten years experience working with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, Erdem, Louis Vuitton and Nike. She is co-founder of Dashing Tweed producing tweed for men’s tailored suits on Saville Row. Her studio offers services including fabric research, colour consultancy, and the production of hand-woven couture lengths to industrial scale mill production.
Lucy Conway of Eigg Box for hosting the weekend . Maggie Fyffe for telling the story of the Eigg buy out. Saira and Katrin of Eiggy Bread for the catering. Eigg Organics and Lageorna for the accommodation. George, Saira & Maggie of Laig Farm for providing the byre for the casting workshop and Pascal and Catherine of All About Willow for the use of their willow studio for the weaving workshop. Glasgow School of Art for the use of their looms and Bute Fabrics for supplying the yarns.