Two designers are helping to continue Paisley’s rich textile story by delivering weaving workshops to school pupils.
Heather Shields and Shielagh Tacey have been appointed as weavers in residence to the Sma’ Shot Cottages as part of Renfrewshire Council’s Townscape Heritage Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 (TH.CARS 2) which aims to celebrate Paisley’s rich built heritage.
As part of the residency Heather and Shielagh will be delivering a series of workshops every Tuesday throughout November to more than 240 pupils from St Fergus PS, Glencoats PS, Lochwinnoch PS, St Mary’s PS, West PS, St Catherine’s PS, Johnstone HS and St Columba’s HS in Paisley Museum.
During these sessions the pupils will learn about linen, silk and cotton – the fibres which were historically woven in Paisley, explore the Museum’s shawl gallery and watch a loom in action. They will also discover how a weaver creates a motif design using point paper and work collaboratively to weave part of a colourful large scale artwork using a range of hand weaving techniques.
The residency aims to encourage people to get involved in weaving in addition to conducting a research project into Paisley’s rich textile heritage. The ethos of this project ties with Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.
The £4 million TH.CARS 2 project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council aims to make the area around the High Street a more attractive place to visit and invest while highlighting the significant role Paisley has played in the weaving and textile industry.
Commenting on the residency Heather said: “Paisley has such a rich heritage to explore and through this residency it would be a great chance to team up and learn more about a subject we are very interested in.
“This project will allow us to share our skills and knowledge with the local community and we are hoping that the school workshops will inspire young people in the town to consider opportunities in textiles and design.”
Renfrewshire Council Depute Leader, Cllr Jim Paterson, said: “The weaving workshops will not only help share the story of Paisley’s unique textile and design heritage that helped make it a globally recognised name, but will also help our young people build new skills and open them up to creative career opportunities.”
At the end of the project the weavers will deliver an exhibition and talk around the residency. The weaving residency will run until the end of 2018.