Summer is upon us with her long light-filled days and mild temperatures, comfortable even during soft days of mist which give our island its lush beauty. Timeless imagery is shared by 19th century Irish poet Katharine Tynan in her piece “A Gardener-Sage”:
I see the young birds build,
And swallows come and go,
And summer grow and gild,
While our world has evolved greatly since Tynan’s days on her father’s Dublin farm, many simple seasonal pleasures remain as popular today. Sunny hours spent at the beach. Exploring the park in search of a perfect picnic spot. Cosy evenings at home with those we love.
We humans have always sought beauty and comfort and as Plato first stated during Socratic dialogue, “Our need will be the real creator”. According to weavespindye.ie the earliest extant pieces of woven fibres in Ireland date from approximately 1600 B.C.! Specifically, fabric that was created to wrap around pottery to offer support during the firing process, rather than as prototypes of our modern luxury throw to wrap around shoulders. Spinning was practiced here as far back as the Neolithic era, i.e., when nomadic hunter-gatherers adopted a farming lifestyle, and in Viking and Medieval Dublin excavations both woven cloth fragments and related tools have been discovered.
Fast forward to more recent times. In 1951 Lillias Mitchell founded the Weaving Department of Dublin’s National College of Art and Design, creating a foundation for today’s Textile and Surface Design students, and in 1975, the Irish Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers, which continues to educate and promote these meaningful crafts. Backed by centuries of tradition, our craftspeople at Rathbornes transform inspiration into modern woven classics.
With seaside imagery from contemporary U.K.-based poet Hollie McNish, we wish you a long and enjoyable season:
three hours later
collapsing on our backs
we made angels in the sand