Bird Yarns. Mary Jane Lamond

Artist Diary - Flying in from Nova Scotia

11 June 2012

The drive home: safety first

Just a little news on the Cape Breton flock below…I drove down to Sydney  (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia)  yesterday to meet up with Janice MacKay and Kelly Krawchuk to pick up the Cape Breton flock of Arctic Terns. We met up in a pub and had a great visit, some food and beer all with the flock on the table  (it was a great conversation starter with other patrons of the pub, and so now lots more people know about the Bird Yarns project).

Thirsty birds

It’s a funny how many connections and re-connections I’ve made by putting out a simple request for some Cape Breton knitters to come on board for this project. I started by asking Carol Beaton of the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design (www.capebretoncraft.com) if she might know of anyone who would be interested in knitting a bird for this project. She suggested  Janice MacKay, who I got in touch with and it turns out that Janice sat in front of me in a first year Gaelic class at St Francis Xavier University (we’re not saying how many years ago that was) and had just attended a Gaelic workshop at the local library, looking to get back into learning the language, and on top of that, had just knitted a partridge (and a pear) at Christmas for her best friend.  Funny that, so lovely to  meet up with her again.

Kelly and Janice with the Cape Breton flock

Kelly Krawchuck and I met through the Gaelic community here and  a joint mentorship program for young people learning Gaelic put on by the Nova Scotia Culture Division and the Shambala Institute in Halifax. I knew she had been off to Scotland to the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and that she was a textile artist as well, but hadn’t heard from her for a some time, so I sleuthed and found her on Facebook and she wrote back that whe was willing and able to knit a tern. As it turns out, when she came back from Scotland,  she put her nose to the grindstone and finished her science degree, just graduated in May, and is now working for The Atlantic Coastal Action Program. So perfect, environmentalist, textile artist and Gaelic  learner too.

So much synchronicity.
I’m also bringing a bird made by local textile artist Janet Dawson (www.thebobbintree.com), and a friend of hers as well.
So I have the flock and all that remains is for me to get packed and ready to go myself. Looking forward to being at Bird Yarns, and  sending news from Mull to Cape Breton!

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