Huge crowds at craft fair

Shetland’s annual Christmas craft fair was launched at Clickimin on Friday with stalls cramming both the bowls hall and main hall.

Crowds poured in to find high quality and unusual handcrafted gifts, and on Saturday it appeared to be the only show in town with no space in the car park or for some distance around.

The show comprised items from artwork and photography to jewellery, knitwear, beeswax candles, leather goods, pokerwork, wall hangings, glass work, pottery and clothing, in fact the whole range of crafts right through to greetings cards and seagrass sculptures.

The “best in show” award went jointly to Lottie’s Laft, run by Missy Mullay from Tingwall and named after her granny, whose vintage furniture which sparked the idea of upcycling, and Tedwina & Friends.
This was teddy bear artist Lauren Doughton’s stall, and featured handmade heirloom bears made from traditional materials, every one different.

North Isles exhibitors were out in force, in spite of Friday’s disruption to ferry sailings.

Julia Smith from Yell had a selection of handbags made from fabric from pure Shetland tweed and Fair Isle panels, sourced from Jamieson’s mill in Sandness. Every bag, large or small, with or without a knitted insert is unique – hence her stall’s name, Oonique.

Mrs Smith said: “Shetland has a wealth of tradition and it needs to be kept going. I’m proud of my Shetland heritage.” She added that she could not do it without the help of her husband Marshall, who made the display cases.

Whalsay lass Julie Williamson’s display featured her own textiles with hand drawn designs displayed lampshades, tea cosies, book covers and bags. There were even quirky limited edition reindeer heads made of scrap fabric. “Every year I make a limited edition,” she said, and added: “I like to make designs from [Shetland] scenes.” Thus she had pictures from the shore when she caught fish with her dad, and another of Bressay lighthouse.

Metal work was on display at Marshall Wishart’s Wish-Art stall. Handmade shoals of mackerel which appeared to be swimming, a galley for an outdoors fire, candle holders in the form of seaweed and dramatic filigree metal clocks “tested [for appearance] against the kitchen wall”.

He said Saturday had been a “crazy day” as he had been so busy. Most of the exhibitors said the same, and the fact that the pop-up cafe ran out of food and people were leaving with huge bags of goods proved the show’s success.


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