Julie Williamson News
June 2021 – Well this past year has been quite interesting to say the least haha, so I will start off telling from the beginning of lockdown last year. Just when lockdown happened last spring I was about to start my annual lampshade workshops, so as not to disappoint people and also I thought it would be nice to give people something to do to help beat the boredom I created ‘make your own lampshade kits’ which included a 20cm drum ring sets and pvc back instructions and one of my fabric designs now to keep it fun I only let the customer choose a colour and I stick in a surprise design with their chosen colours. The kits actually turned out to be my best selling product last year and I actually sold out in 3 days when I first listed them I have had great feed back from people about them and now offer 2 different ring sizes and different colour / design options.
Now moving on to summer time during lockdown, as we were allowed to go out walking I took my 2 young girls (2yr & 4yrs at the time) out for lots of walks down around the seaside and beach which is only a 5min walk from our house, it was during an evening after our walk when my daughters asked me to tell them a bedtime story which is what led to this design story… Tirricks Diving At Da Hoab Inspiration for this design came one night when my daughter asked me to tell her a bed time story, earlier dat day we had been doon at da hoab which is one of my favourite places in Whalsay, I told her about how her auld Da (my dad) used to take me there for walks when I was peerie but in da simmer we had to avoid the tirricks nesting as they love to dive bomb your heid so Da used to take wild flooers usually dockens or hogweed and waved it abun his heid for da diving tirricks to attack instead of trying to peck da tap of his heid. Then once the kids got to sleep went and started sketching down the images I had in my head from telling this story, once I felt I had enough images gathered from my memories I then put them onto photoshop to help create the drawings into the designs I was imaging within my head.
I also discovered a more defined style of drawing from that I am now carrying forward with other designs, while also just keeping the colours simple black and white to really let the illustration and story be the main focus. I also feel that black and white has quite a nostalgic feel to it, and as my designs are all nostalgic memories they fit together quite nicely. I also developed a new product range of China Mugs and Plates with the new designs on them which has recently been shown through HandMade in Britain’s Virtual fair (march 2021) and also did my first ever online talk telling the story about the design in my own Shetland dialect.