We are really enjoying our series of participant stories and learning more about the people and projects that have been a part of Fun A Day Dundee in previous years. Are you feeling inspired for 2021 yet? Today we’re chatting with Shona Mason about her FADD experiences.
Please tell us a little about yourself and your creative work/hobbies…
I am a dentist of 30 years who has been a maker since I could hold scissors. Most of my projects involve hand knitting, but I also weave, crochet, do dress making, dabble in embroidery – textiles are my thing. I love to make my own designs and blend the different crafts. I really enjoy sourcing local wool with full provenance and showing off its marvellous qualities.
How did you hear about Fun A Day Dundee?
I can’t actually remember where I first heard about it – social media probably or maybe Pecha Kucha. Anyway, I went to the 2018 exhibition and loved it. I loved the variety of displays, the age, talent and skill range of the contributors and how welcoming and cheerful the event was. I decided then that I would join in the following year. It really does feel like a big family exhibition rather than an ‘art’ exhibition and the connotations that might have. It was a fun event celebrating whatever creativity people wanted to offer.
Please tell us a little about projects you’ve made as part of FADD in previous years…
My 2019 project was a knitted cardigan made with 31 different british sheep breed wools. I knitted a stripe a day for the 31 days and had fun choosing which wool to use each day. Some days the stripes were large, some days they were very small. Some were plain, some were patterned. One of my daughters also drew each sheep breed involved so we could make a poster explaining which wool was in each stripe. I still love wearing this cardigan.
This year I continued with the wool theme but this time with weaving. I used a small pin loom to weave squares using the 25 british breed wools which are classified as rare by the Rare Breed Survival Trust. It was fun sourcing the wools, especially making contact with shepherdesses via social media and then working with wool from their favourite sheep. For the exhibition I wove a wall hanging using the rare North Ronaldsay (seaweed eating sheep from Orkney) as the warp and all the other rare breeds as the weft then sewed the individual squares on to that. I was really sad people weren’t able to see and feel all the different wool textures in the exhibition. The wall hanging is currently in Blend Coffee Lounge Dundee (unyil Jan 21), but I wouldn’t encourage touching it now either, what with ‘you know what’ still hanging around.
What are your favourite things about FADD?
My favourite things about Fun A Day are, looking forward to and planning a project for January, seeing everyone else’s projects on social media, getting to know other creatives at the meet ups and then the excitement of the exhibition. It is so encouraging to see so many people taking part, from professional artists to children, each exploring a way of being creative. It was sad this year to not have the physical exhibition but Sam and the Team did a fantastic job of making an online exhibition which we could all enjoy.
What are you looking forward to about FAD2021?
I’ve been thinking about FADD2021 for a while now. I think we all need a distraction from everything and January is not the best month in the best of years. So I am looking forward to seeing what people come up with and share with us. I’m kind of thinking I should use some of the wools I have left over to make something wearable again. But I might go rogue and try something completely new. That’s the fun of Fun A Day, it can be anything!