The annual Sma’ Shot Day celebration, which is one of the world’s oldest worker festivals which celebrates the town’s weavers and mill workers, will take place on Saturday 7 July and will, for the second year running, include the Weave Festival – offering an enhanced and diverse programme of cultural events and activities on the day.
Celebrating the town’s weaving heritage visitors will have the chance to head along to a number of weaving demonstrations at the Sma’ Shot Cottages.
Weavers in Residence, Shielagh Tacey and Heather Shields, who are supported by the Paisley Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 (TH.CARS2), Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland, will run demonstrations throughout the afternoon. Ever wondered what Sma’ Shot actually means? Shielagh and Heather will tell visitors all about it and demonstrate this famous stitch on various weaving looms and there will even be a chance for participants to have a go themselves.
Visual art curator and weaver at Paisley Museum and Art Galleries, Dan Coughlin, will also run a number of weaving demonstrations at the cottages throughout the day. While at Paisley Museum watch award-winning textile designer and weaver Mariam Syed as she weaves beautiful contemporary patterns on a loom in Paisley Museum’s famous loom and shawl gallery.
One of the weaver’s in residence, Shielagh Tacey, said: “As part of our weaving residency in Paisley Heather Shields and I have been researching the term "Sma’ Shot". It is such an important part of Paisley’s weaving heritage and yet not many people actually understand what it is or looks like.
“This Sma' Shot Day and Weave Festival we will be based at the Sma’ Shot cottages, alongside their fantastic volunteers, demonstrating what a woven "Sma’ Shot" is and what it looks like using various looms.”
Carrying on the town’s tradition of making, there will be a series of free design and craft workshops taking place in Paisley Town Hall and Paisley Abbey on the day covering everything from bookbinding and artwork to paper craft.
Award winning architect and designers Krisztina and James McCulloch from KCD Designs will work with participants to create unique art work of Paisley’s historic buildings to take home. While JuJu Books will run a woven spine bookbinding workshop using Coats linen and a selection of high quality recycled paper and bookcloth, to allow participants to bind their own A6 book to take away. Iranian textile artist Paria Goodarzi will also host a series of block print workshops where people can learn how to print and use stamp/block printing.
Paria said: “I’m looking forward to experiencing the culture, history and community spirit of Paisley during the Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot event. I will be guiding the workshop participants and in the traditional technique of block printing. We will be exploring traditional patterns and coming up with our own designs, producing some colourful and fun tote bags that will be a great reminder of the day.”
There will also be a chance to explore the art of paper crafts and collaging with Louisa Winning, as well as learning simple techniques to mend and adapt clothing with designers from Re-Mode.
Additional workshops supported by TH.CARS2 include Dyed Turkey Red and Textiles Demonstrations at The Paisley Threadmill Museum.
Dyed Turkey Red at Weavolution Paisley Hub, where textile researcher Dr Julie Wertz will deliver a hands-on exploration of the history and processes involved in making and using dyed ‘Turkey red’ – a complex dyeing process which produces a bright, fast red colour.
While at The Paisley Threadmill Museum will see demonstrations delivered by Glasgow Clyde College as part of the Artisan Institute Project on traditional textile techniques focusing on weaving, and including spinning and dyeing.
In addition to the firm favourites visitors have come to expect from Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot Day such as the workshops, parade and Burning of the Cork, there will also be a new raft of activities to attract and entice the crowds. The town centre will be transformed into a seaside escape in keeping with this year’s theme ‘Doon the Watter’ complete with sandy beach, ice cream and candyfloss.
Visitors can also look forward to a raft of music, poetry and spoken word performances at the Dooslan Stane Stage or take part in the popular Tea Dance at Paisley Town Hall.
To find out more about the event including the full line up for the day and more detail on the workshops and demonstrations please visit: www.paisley.is.
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