Yesterday afternoon saw the culmination of our Harris Tweed Project competition, an island-wide challenge to local school children to design an official distillery tweed.
This celebration of Hebridean craft and creativity has been ongoing since late last year with the support of Harris Tweed Hebrides, the leading producer of this historic cloth and the Harris Tweed Authority the industry’s governing body.
A special award ceremony was held in the upper gallery of the distillery, with the young winners, friends and family in attendance along with key project partners.
Each winner received an oak-framed certificate mounted alongside a sample of Harris Tweed, woven by pattern designer Roddy Martin from Harris Tweed Hebrides, based on their designs.
The awards were presented by our founder Anderson “Burr’ Bakewell who individually praised the imagination and inspiration behind each child’s work.
Burr, who made the final decision, described the winning design as…
“A most interesting, understated but powerful design that captured something fundamental of the islands’ character, over the dark ‘ground’ colour of the peats Scott has overlaid subtle hues of blue and orange, reflecting the fire, the seas (and the gin bottle!)”
He went on to say…
“It is truly a tweed of the island and a reminder to us all for years to come that the future of the distillery lies in the young people of the island and their appreciation of the natural world which surrounds them.”
The winners also received a gift voucher donated by the Harris Tweed Authority with a further donation made by the distillery to their school art departments to help fund new materials and equipment.
Margaret Ann Macleod, director at Harris Tweed Hebrides, said…
“Roddy, our designer, was delighted to see the quality and creativity of the entries from the local schools. The standard of all the projects submitted, particularly from the category finalists, was exceptionally high which bodes well for the future of our industry in the Outer Hebrides."
Lorna Macaulay, CEO of the Harris Tweed Authority, added…
"It should come as some comfort to us in the Harris Tweed industry that young Islanders are coming through who clearly have the skill and interest to continue in their generation what those 150 years ahead of us started. I'm looking forward to seeing the outcome of the next stage of this interesting journey.”
We are so pleased to have brought our community and young people together over the past few months in this way, exploring our shared connections with environment, history and culture.
These awards mark the end of the first part of our Harris Tweed Project, and we now look forward to sharing the story of Scott’s pattern as it becomes genuine Harris Tweed, dyed, spun and woven by hand here in the Outer Hebrides.
The winning pattern will now be produced by the award-winning Harris Tweed Hebrides based in Shawbost. The weaving of the cloth will be done by weaver Stephen Passmore from Rodel in Harris who also works at the distillery and will go on to be used in a series of collaborations and exclusive products over the coming months and years.