Craftswomen from Inverness-shire chosen to represent Scotland in France
Two women from Strathglass have been working flat out to get ready for the Montbeliard Christmas market, in Eastern France. Each year, Montbeliard hosts a month-long Christmas market and invites craftsmen of a new country as ‘guests of honour’ to sell their wares and give the town a taste of their traditional Christmas.
Ele and Rosie are delighted to be selected as one of the eleven craftspeople to represent Scotland. They are excited to head off to France with their families for the month of December.
Their business, Wild Rose Makes, specialises in naturally dyed products using silk and locally sourced fleece.For the Christmas market they will be offering beautiful scarves made from local alpaca fleece and silk scarves printed using an unusual technique known as ‘ecoprinting’, using natural dyes from foraged leaves and flowers. They also use their naturally dyed fleece to create earrings, brooches and decorative birds. And for customers who want to ‘give it a go’ themselves, they sell easy-to-follow needle felting kits to make cute bird sculptures.
Ele and Rosie are neighbours, living in a hundred-acre woodland above Cannich, looking out over Glen Affric. It’s here that Rosie runs her business Wild Rose Escapes, providing courses in natural dyeing, felting, spinning and other traditional crafts, including prehistoric cookery. The idea for Wild Rose Makes came about from the long winters and a desire to start a cottage industry to provide flexible, companionable work out of season.
It’s not been entirely easy getting ready for the market. Rosie and Ele both have young children, and have often had to make their products with their babies on their backs while teaching the older ones how to felt. Now that the building work on Rosie’s house has finished for the season and friends and family have mustered round to help, things have moved on quickly and they’re now ready to travel south on the first leg of their French adventure.