In today's MEET THE MAKER post we are delighted to be introducing you to Rosemary McCartney - the creative genius behind Simply Spun. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of seeing her work then you will be in for a treat if you visit our next event as she will be exhibiting at The Spring Into Summer Vintage & Handmade Fair at Belfast Castle on Sunday 2nd April. But for now, why not make yourself a nice cup of tea and sit down to enjoy what goes on behind the scenes at Simply Spun..........
So Rosemary, how did Simply Spun begin?
My Mum taught me to knit and sew as a child. As part of my job at the Ulster Folk Museum I learned to weave and spin. Work and family commitments meant that it was not till I left the Museum in 2009 that I started to think about producing work for sale. My other love is teaching and I believe that our traditional crafts/skills still have a place today and should be passed on to others.
So in 2010 Simply Spun was set up. At first it was just spinning yarns to produce knit wear to sell at craft fairs. Then I got a loom with the help of an Individual Artist grant from the Arts Council NI / National Lottery. This meant I could combine yarn spinning and weaving to make a shawl which was displayed at the RDS Dublin show. A different shawl was also displayed the following year. So I have now added woven scarves to my range.
And where do you get inspiration for your designs?
I get my inspiration for ideas and colours from my love of nature, the outdoors, walking and gardening and because of this I use natural materials in my work.
What is next for Simply Spun?
In the last eighteen months I have been weaving tapestry pictures. My next project idea is for a woven piece that can by displayed in the garden for my entry in an upcoming competition.
Rosemary also undertakes commissions and welcomes enquires for weaving and spinning lessons, demonstrations or group workshops. For more information visit Simply Spun on Facebook.
You can also catch Rosemary at Belfast Castle this Sunday where she will be exhibiting as part of The Spring Into Summer Vintage & Handmade Fair.
COMPETITION ALERT!! One lucky person will also soon be able to win a beautiful pair of Simply Spun handmade wrist warmers as part of our April Prize Package on Sunday 2nd April at Belfast Castle!