Galway Shawl

The inspiration for Galway Shawl began on my first visit to the city on St. Patrick’s Day 1999.

I was en route to the island of Inisbofin with a group of European women for a conference on New Opportunities for Women programme to promote work for island women through tourism & traditional skills.

On that first trip to Galway I didn’t realise that I would be returning on a regular basis over the next six years to work on other European exchange projects.

In the meantime my daughter and family moved there from the US, so the West of Ireland has become an important focus in my life.

At the end of the NOW project in 2000 I travelled to Inis Oirr on the Aran Islands for the final conference.

The hundreds of stone walls which give Inis Oirr its character reminded me of the stane dykes on Arran which people built to mark land boundaries and clear the land for cultivation. I felt at home.The time we spent there was bathed in sunshine. The mellow colours which I’ve reproduced with natural dyes provided inspiration for the design of the shawl.

The corks are from an old net which was used by Lochranza fishermen on the Isle of Arran.