What can you find at a typical ‘Made on Islay’ Craft Fair? Hand-crafted cards, hand-made jewellery, paintings, candles, An Gleann tablet, photographic cards, driftwood mirrors, cross-stitch gifts, pressed flower gifts, salt dough products, hand knitted garments, books by local authors and of course delicious lunches provided by the members of St John’s Church, Port Ellen. Craft Fairs spokesperson, Becky Williamson told the Ileach, "The ‘Made on Islay’ Crafts Association has seen some exciting changes during 2007. You just never know what you’re going to find when you step into one of our craft fairs! Members come and members go and this year has been no exception. We have welcomed Nikki who makes beautiful hand crafted crystal jewellery; Ernie, a water colour artist and Malcolm and Carol Ogilvie with their books and paintings. As well as new members, we also tried an additional venue this year - Bruichladdich Hall, where craft fairs were held every Tuesday, offering teas and Jane’s delicious home baking. Craft Fairs continued to be held every Thursday in the Columba Hall in Port Ellen.
The Islay Show was a huge success for the Association and we certainly felt the benefit of our new, huge marquee (once we’d fought the midges and finally got it up!) The marquee was also used at the Port Charlotte gala day and we hope to make more use of it in the future at similar events. A regular and popular new feature at both venues has been our ‘Christmas table’. We have discovered that people like to be prepared well in advance for the festive season, buying cards and decorations from the stall throughout the summer. Speaking of Christmas, we would like to encourage you all to support local trade by buying your Christmas gifts on Islay. There’s so much on offer here that there really is no need to be subjected to the hassle of Christmas shopping in Glasgow! Check out your local shops for beautiful cards, decorations and gifts; come to one of our special craft fairs – first one 17th November, Port Ellen; support local seasonal events. Be ethically responsible! Think Christmas - think Islay!"
This story was published with kind permission from the Ileach