A Greener Islay Christmas

Recycled crafts from Islay's discarded treasures

Many of you will know Becky Williamson, she is a keen photographer and craftsperson, designing pictures, small items of furniture and decorative items from recycled materials. She also works for the Islay Natural History Trust and takes people out on nature walks and shows them the beauty Islay has to offer. Becky also walked Islay's entire shoreline a few years ago. She contacted me recently because she is involved in something very special so please read on...

Becky wrote: "I moved to Islay in 2004 and have never felt more at home anywhere than I do here (despite being English!) I feel a deep affinity with the land and sea here and have set foot on nearly every grid square in the island - in fact I joke that if I don't manage to do so in my lifetime, I will leave instructions for my ashes to be scattered in the squares I did not manage to visit!"

"Walking is probably what I do best, and whilst doing so I am always conscious that I walk in the footsteps of those who have gone before, whether this is evident in the many ruins or archaeological features on the island or in the more disturbing plethora of flotsam and jetsam scattered on all of Islay's beaches. I loathe the destruction of our beautiful countryside; it disgusts me; it is testament to an ugly side of human nature that I wish could be transformed into something beautiful - hence the nature of my work. I take what has been carelessly discarded and attempt to give it new life and purpose. The result is hopefully something beautiful. Continue reading....

"The name of my business, Drifting By, encapsulates these thoughts. I have, and do, tend to drift through life taking notice of everything en route, and being aware of the continuity of life of which I am a small part. In my work I use a lot of driftwood and other items that 'drift' my way and those who read this have in fact 'drifted by' to do so. Each piece of work is lovingly crafted and, as such is unique. The time taken from collecting raw materials to the finished product is not reflected in the price - it couldn't possibly be. I try to give each piece an appropriate name and take great pleasure in doing so.

"A Greener Christmas The money spent on commercially-produced 'Christmas' trees shocks me. For many years now I have reconciled my love of tiny bright lights with my aversion to imported conifers by recycling discarded branches which I have decorated with natural ornaments and bright lights to create something unique and Islay-born. For the past two years I have been making Christmas trees from driftwood which has been cast ashore here. The end result is an attractive decoration which can be used time after time and either taken apart for storage or used as a non-festive decoration all year round.

"So, if you've started to think about a Christmas tree for your home or as a gift, and want to celebrate Christmas in a way which embraces the beautiful island on which you live instead of relying on the mainland to satisfy all your festive needs, give me a call. The trees stand at approximately 2 foot tall and come undecorated at a cost of £40. You can contact Drifting By on 01496 810 709 or 07967 205229"

Tag: christmas becky williamson