Arts, Crafts and Fairs
ARTS & CRAFTS ON RAASAY
A fantastic range of talents from weaving to jewellery making
Raasay has a thriving arts and crafts scene, with many talented artisans on the island. We have people who knit, crochet, weave, paint (several of them), turn wood, sew, make jewellery, make cards, make lampshades, work with fleeces – the list is extensive and impressively varied.
COMMUNITY ART PROJECT
In 2016, some of the crafters joined with the children of Bun Sgoil Ratharsair (Raasay Primary School) working to produce a community art project. They produced a stylised map of Raasay with individual items representing places on the island. The artwork also has the crest of the MacLeods of Raasay worked in cross stitch on a specially woven MacLeod of Raasay tartan background, and a big length of the new Isle of Raasay Tartan draped down one side. The large artwork can be seen hanging in the stairwell of the community hall.
THE ORIGINS OF THE RAASAY TARTAN
An off-shoot from the community art project was the design and official registration of our own ‘Isle of Raasay Tartan’. The rationale behind it was that, while the historical significance of the Macleods of Raasay is recognised, many of the present day islanders have no affiliation to the Clan MacLeod, and certainly the vast majority of visitors to the island have no connection with any clan. It was felt that having our own tartan would be useful in several areas of island life and would be a focus both for our crafters and for those who visit Raasay. While the art project was in progress, four different tartan patterns were designed, using six colours (six is the maximum number of colours recommended for tartan designs).
: a deep blue for the sea in summer;
: a pale blue for the evening sky;
: a dark green for the many conifers on the island;
: a pale green for the colour of the moorland much of the year;
: a purple for the heather in bloom in the early autumn… and finally
: sienna – the colour of the red deer which wander the island.
The four new patterns were presented to the islanders, put on display in the community shop, and over a period of three weeks a vote was taken. There was one overwhelming favourite – the predominantly dark green one – and a 4.5 m length of the tartan was woven here on the island and draped as part of the community art project.
For avid readers amongst you: also in the community hall, at the top of the stairs, is a bookcase with a wide range of books donated by members of the community.
They are there for you to sit and read or to take away and read. If you would like to take a book, please either replace it with one of your own, or put a donation into the box which sits on top of the bookcase.
All donations go towards the considerable upkeep of the hall and they are very gratefully received.
MADE IN RAASAY CRAFT FAIRS
Weaving, jewellery, woodwork, homeware, knitting and art from our talented crafters
‘Made in Raasay Craft Fairs are held each year in May, August and late November – the last one is great for buying distinctive Christmas presents.
The fairs are held in the community hall, which is within walking distance of the pier on a delightful waymarked path alongside a croft, with superb views over to Glamaig on Skye.
There are usually around 9 or 10 tables at each fair with a wide variety of crafts goods for sale, at a good range of prices. Visitors can see examples of jewellery, bags, embroidery, crochet, knitting, weaving, woodworking, paintings, handmade cards and all the items for sale are made here on the island.
Part of the hall is turned into a cafe, serving coffee, tea and lots of superb home-baking. The 2023 craft fair dates are Wednesday 2 August , with the Christmas one provisionally on Saturday 25 November.
ARTISTS & CRAFTERS ON RAASAY
Explore the talents of Raasay’s resident artists and crafters
The TINY ROOST
Lisa handmakes felted designs and tweed bags. Everything is created with a passion for sustaining rare breed animals, cruelty free and handmade with love.
TaigH nan CEARCAN
Kirsten paints on slate and driftwood as well as creating beautiful candles in vintage tea cups and much more. Her work is available in the craftavan Taigh nan Cearcan in Inverarish village.
The Raasay WEAVER
Lillian took up weaving in retirement and now has five different looms in her studio. Some of her scarves and stoles are available in Taigh nan Cearcan, and she always has a table the craft fairs, which she organises.
Exquisite pieces designed and hand-knitted by Caroline are available to buy from Taigh nan Cearcan in Inverarish village. Each piece is unique.
THE Linsay Mac Collection
Stunning knitwear pieces by Linsay are available to buy from Taigh nan Cearcan in Inverarish Village.
THE SILVER GRASSHOPPER
Fiona designs and makes her jewellery with a speciality in wedding ring creation. Fiona’s work is available via her website and The Exchange on Raasay.
Contemporary Scottish oil paintings. Gordon is a professional member of The Scottish Society of Artists.
Judy’s paintings of Raasay are available from The Raasay Gallery and her cards are available from Raasay Community Stores.
Exquisite drawings, mostly using graphite pencil, of well-known Raasay buildings by Trevor are available from The Raasay Gallery.
Art and photography by Calum Gillies is available to buy from The Exchange on Raasay
WOODWORK & CROCHET
Handmade on Raasay by Daryl and Elizabeth. Available exclusively at Raasay craft fairs.
SILVER TIDE JEWELLERY
Silver jewellery designed and made on the Isle of Raasay by Lesley.
THYME & TIDE
Bags, cushions, accessories and gifts handmade by Katherine on the Isle of Raasay using Raasay and Harris tweed.
COMMUNITY ARTS & CRAFTS GROUPS
Throughout the autumn/winter/spring seasons, two groups of crafters on the island meet weekly, in the community hall
On Monday afternoons between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., a small group – Arts & Crafts – run by Margaret McVicar, meet to chat and work on their crafts.
Thursday evenings, between 7.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m., sees a larger group – the Knitting Bee – getting together for similar convivial chat while working, not just on knitting, as other crafts are represented in this group too.
If you are interested in joining either of these groups, or just coming along once if you’re here for a week’s holiday, these are the contact details: Margaret McVicar (Arts & Crafts, Mondays) 01478 660353 and Sandra Smith (Knitting Bee, Thursdays) 01478 660202.