Sunday, 10 August 2014

What’s Your Sma’ Shot?

I recently visited the local museum in my home town of Paisley.  Walking through those high glass doors and up the steps past the room where I used to attend Saturday Morning Art Classes there was a touch of nostalgia reinforced further by Buddy the Lion. The reason for this visit was to see the Story of the Paisley Shawl and the Weaving Gallery.
(he was much scarier and I’m sure much bigger when I used to make weekly visits)
I was born and brought up in Paisley, and spent most of my teenage years planning my escape.  I never truly appreciated the history of this beautiful  town and the many treasures to be found here.  I’ve been working on creating some pieces around the Paisley Pattern and thought a trip to the museum would bring some additional inspiration.  And I was not left disappointed.

The story of the Paisley Pattern, the Paisley Shawl collection and the Weaving Gallery were well worth the visit.  Whilst there was much to learn about the shawls there was a wealth of knowledge to be gained regarding the spirit and resilience of the Paisley People.  Whilst Paisley was a highly industrialised town, I’m sure this was as much a product of the highly skilled and hard working people as the wealthy industrialists that also called the town home.

As you enter the Weaving Gallery there is a short video presentation showing the restoration of the Sma’ Shot Cottages, further instilling a pride in Paisley’s Past and the pride Paisley’s people have in their town.  This is also where I learnt what a ‘Sma’ Shot’ was/is.  Every so often, as weavers wove the cloth on the loom an extra weft was shot through the work in order to add strength to the fabric – this was the “sma’ shot”.

A sma’ shot was a balancing thread strengthening the fabric.  It struck me that the fabric of all our lives can benefit from a sma’ shot.  What do you weave into your life?  Art? Meditation? Journaling?  What’s your sma’ shot?



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