Digging Deeper


digging deeperNew Work for 2020


The early months of 2020 will see me delving deeper into the techniques of rust printing, eco printing and natural dyeing.  An early example of the direction of the work is this eccentric portrait of a garden fork!  I expect the colours I work with will slowly shift as I become more expert in this field, but they will still follow the colours of the seasons.  And the subject of the work is still the landscape, and the flora and fauna to be observed when I go out for my daily walk (weather permitting!), though the acquisition of a metal detector may lead to more work like this garden fork, depending on what I dig up around our plot, which has beeen the site of a house for hundreds of years.


Although I do not have a solo or joint exhibition this year, I am taking part in two group exhibitions. The first is called "Trees Meet Sea", and is a mixture of visual art and poetry.  Mandy Haggith has recently been Poet in Residence at Inverewe Gardens, Wester Ross and she has invited artists working in a wide range of mediums to respond to one of her many poems on the theme of trees.  The work will then be exhibited, alongside the poems, at the Sawyer Gallery, Inverewe, starting on Wednesday the 29th of April 2020. This is a natural collaboration for me, since native trees already feature strongly in my work.  I am starting on the work now and looking forward to Mandy's response to whatever emerges.  The work might even generate a new poem by Mandy!


The second is called "50 at 50" and is a celebration of 50 years since the opening of The Ceilidh Place, which is at the centre of Ullapool's culture and cafe scene. 50 artists who have exhibited there in the past will submit one piece of work, making for a lively and varied show.  This opens on Friday 23rd of May 2020.


Lastly, I have added another gallery to the outlets that sell my work. The Alchemist Gallery, which is on the High Street in Dingwall, is a beautifully-converted old chemist's shop, with gifts downstairs and a lovely gallery upstairs.  I look forward to working with Hazel in helping to make her new venture a success.  Please do visit if you are in the area.


Join me for some Easy Eco-printing!


autumn brewIn all areas of life in the 21st century, great energy is going into finding ways of enjoying the bounty provided by our planet whilst at the same time looking after it for the future. In the world of textiles, one new way of working in harmony with the natural world is by Eco-printing - a method by which the natural colours and forms of plants are transferred onto fabric – and it is attracting the interest of novices and textile artists alike.

This introductory course will allow you to by-pass the years of apprenticeship I have put into learning this alchemy, so that you will produce great results from the very start.

In the course of the weekend, you will learn which are the most reliable plants for using and you will make your own prints onto cotton, linen, silk, wool and paper using the plants to be found in my one acre garden.

The weekend culminates in the revelation of a large, eco-printed silk scarf, covered in your own design and ready to wear straight away, followed by the quick and easy construction of a cushion cover, also made using your own printed cloth!

This is a relaxing and social process, and we end the first day by gathering around the bonfire, watching our parcels of cloth bubbling away inside giant pots, just letting time and trouble drift away.

So, put your busy life aside and join me for some easy eco-printing.  See the  Easy Eco-printing course page for more details.


A Journey Through Elphin is Revealed


Community wall hanging Elphin

What a great day we had at the unveiling! For a tiny village like ours, there was a huge crowd, including folk from Stoer, Lochinver and Ullapool. I think the fact that, only the day before, the Northern Times had given our story the whole of the front page, might just have influenced the numbers.

The afternoon started with a warm welcome speech by Simon Jeffreys, followed by a dramatic unveiling of the wall-hanging by our guest of honour, young Veyatie Venters (who is named after the loch in the village) and her dad John, performed with a flourish, as you can see from the photograph! In fact, the room was packed with photographers, so there was a good choice of exciting photographs to go along with this article.

As you might imagine, lots of people deserve thanks, both for making the panel and for making our celebration a success. But particular thanks must go to the musicians Eireann, Ruth, Ali, Margaret, Russell and Jenny, whose playing made for such a lovely atmosphere; Simon and Jill, for their display of local history and photographs; the tea ladies Linda and Kay, for serving us drinks and delicious cakes, and the bakers themselves, especially Rae Strang, who came up with the goods twice (you can ask her about that yourself!).

One important person who deserves much thanks is local man Dick MacLeod, who has a long memory and without whom we would not have learned the history behind the various features that appear on the panel. In fact, we learned so much history in the process that we felt we needed to make a record. So, to act as a guide, we have created a hand-bound book, with a section on the history of this sewing project and then a page dedicated to each feature, containing a written account by the person who sewed that particular piece of work. On the day, there was quite a queue to read it. In fact, the project has sparked such strong interest in the history of the Elphin area that it looks like a couple of residents plan to set up an on-line archive of local history, open to all to read and/or to make contributions. That would be such a great legacy for this particular community endeavour to leave behind.

Thanks must also go to Coigach and Assynt Living Landscapes Partnership (CALLp) for their financial contribution to this project, which allowed me to purchase materials and to offer some learning workshops without charge. Most of all, though, I want to thank the volunteer sewers, who gave hours and hours of their time to make this fascinating, impressive, and very large piece of textile art.

The wall-hanging itself is now on permanent display in Elphin Community Hall and, along with the lovely guide book, has now passed in to the care of the Craft Circle who, after all, contributed much of the work and who were such a source of encouragement to everyone who came forward to take part. It can be seen any Thursday, between 2 and 4 pm, when the Craft Circle meet, and any Wednesday between May and September, when the Elphin craft and produce market is on. If any local group would like the panel to visit them, please contact alijohnson@hotmail.co.uk .

For more information about the project, please have a look at the Journey Through Elphin page of the website.



Autumn in Drumrunie


Autumn in Drumrunie landscape textile by Jan Kilpatrick

This piece was commissioned to celebrate the birthday of a local resident, whose house nestles beneath Coigach’s famous mountains. I so enjoyed using pink and orange together, with the print marks of local plants adding to the texture and creating a harmony out of the autumn splendour of this part of the world.

To see other commissioned work, go to the Textiles Commissions page.


If you are interested in learning these techniques for yourself, please have a look at the Fabric of the Land course page.


The Healing Garden


BorageExciting New Course for 2020

For my 2020 calendar of courses I have introduced something a little different: an intriguing range of ways to connect with the plants in your garden.

This week-long journey into the healing powers of plants will be led by qualified medical herbalist Jan Breckenridge, with additional support from me when it comes to the papermaking and print-making that will help you present your herbal recipes in a beautifully illustrated and hand-bound book.

To find out more, have a look at The Healing Garden page.

Two Jans Eco-print Greetings Cards

eco print greetings cards


In celebration of our recent successes in refining the miraculous process of eco-printing onto fabric and paper, the Two Jans - Jan Kilpatrick and Jan Breckenridge - are launching a range of unique, high-quality, eco-print greetings cards,using entirely natural methods and materials.


They are available to buy through my on-line shop, at my studio during Open Studio days and at Ceard in Ullapool.  Why not nurture a love of nature by sending someone you love one of these distinctive cards?  Visit the Card Shop to see them for yourself.




 Open Studio 2020


open studio9

Jan's Studio in Elphin is open to visitors between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm on Wednesdays between 1st of April and the 30th of September.

To arrange a private viewing please email Jan or telephone 01854 666279 to arrange a time.

See the Open Studio page for more details.



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Wild Tiles' Site Map

This sitemap offers a handy overview and links to all current articles and galleries.

Course calender is constantly updated so you can Visit the up to date Course calendar from here.

Last updated: 2020, January 28th
Total pages: 189

www.jankilpatrick.co.uk Homepage

Email : jan@wildtiles.co.uk    Tel : 01854 666279,   Postal Address : Jan Kilpatrick, Cul Mor, Elphin, By Lairg, Sutherland, IV274HH.  
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