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Guid Nychburris’ Powerful Communities

This year the Stove took part in the Guid Nychburris Day Parade, an annual event in the Dumfries calendar that sees community groups and clubs in a variety of fancy dress taking to the streets in the evening parade that is the culmination of the days festivities.
In honour of the upcoming Nithraid festival, our Salty Coo returned early from her pastures to take pride of place on a small Mirror Dinghy – definitely the blue-est cow we’ve ever encountered!

Our resident seagull attracted the most attention on the parade route

Ahead of the Parade,  we opened out the invitation to smaller groups and organisations to take part in banner making workshops in the Oven and the Stove. The Parade is a great opportunity to share projects and community groups with an audience of thousands along the route, but it can be a bit daunting to take on a large float amongst a small group of volunteers.

On the day, we were joined by the blueprint100 team and some fantastic volunteers – familiar and new faces! and the DGMA multicultural association, who all produced a beautiful collection of banners in record time!

And we even won a prize! Placed third in our category, thanks to the efforts of our banner making team and all who attended the workshops.
The blueprint100 team will be hosting a series of banner making workshops in July and August in the run up to this years Nithraid festival on Saturday, 31st of August – and everyone is invited! Find out about upcoming workshops, or contact Jordan directly to host a workshop with your community group or organisation. For details, visit the blueprint100 Facebook page here or contact [email protected].


My first year as Public Art Project Worker with Creative Futures

by Kirsty Turpie, December 2018

I began the position of Public Art Project Worker with Creative Futures Lochside and Lincluden in January this year. I was involved in the project last year as a Trainee Creative Producer, which seen me support Public Artists and attend community events. I really enjoyed being a Trainee Creative Producer so when the chance arose to become employed in this line of work I was excited and ready for it.

My challenge…to get residents in North West Dumfries engaged in Public Art projects. I was raring to go, and set up a weekly drop in at the Creative Futures hub under the name of Art in Action. The drop in ran for 5 weeks, and there were 5 local residents attending. We looked at local and international artists and public art examples and created small sculptures.

The name Art in Action has stuck and I have took it on the road to Lochside gala, a pop-up gazebo workshop in Lochside, Lochside and Lincluden Primary Schools and Nithraid.
One of the main projects I’ve been focusing on is the revamp of the Lincluden rhino statue. After research and consultation it was decided that I would offer the community a chance to create a new colourful look for the base of the rhino through the medium of mosaics. And, oh, have I fallen in love with them! I got up to speed on the mosaic techniques fast so that I could bring them to the public. In order to provide the mosaic workshops I had to do some preparation of ordering materials and experimenting. I’ve really enjoyed this part of the job. My background is in Graphic Design so I haven’t had too much opportunity in the past to work with large scale materials. So having to phone up builders yards, go to collect large pieces of wood and tile grout and having to use power tools to cut the wood to size have all been new and exciting responsibilities.

Kirsty and some of the team behind the new mosaics for the Lincluden Rhino

Another project that I have taken on through this position is the Lochside Primary School commemoration sculpture. This project has been a great opportunity to connect with the community on an ongoing basis and understand how to portray their ideas and history. In May I began working with the primary school pupils to design a totem pole featuring their memories of the school and it’s history since opening in 1962. It was lovely to hear the children’s memories and see them using paint and collage to get them down on paper. Back at the Creative Futures hub I drew up the final design comprised of six cement shapes to represent each era the school has been open. Mosaics would also be used in this design to create the children’s drawings and patterns and give the primary children a chance to learn this way of working. It is fair to say that they have enjoyed having a go. A small group of them came to the community centre and created the primary school logo out of mosaics and put it on to the first cement shape. In the summer I held a two day pop-up mosaic workshop in Lochside where families from the area took part. It is so rewarding being able to give people a chance to try something new and get creative. They always surprise me with their original ideas and creative flair.

Pop up mosaic workshops on Lochside Road

Something that has really stood out for me this year was in the October holidays when the Creative Futures team helped me to produce a whole week of art activities appropriately named ‘Art Week’. It was amazing to have the freedom to come up with a programme of events, and included in this a bus trip. Being able to organise a bus trip to be enjoyed by so many from the area and give them the opportunity to connect with public art, was truly brilliant. We took 32 people (adults and children) to Glenrothes in Fife where there are over a hundred pieces of public art. We went on a walk around the town led by local community workers who told us about the history of art in Glenrothes. It was great to hear people talking on the way back about how Dumfries could be different.

Visiting artworks in Glenrothes!

Not only the bus trip but the rest of Art Week was fantastic too. We ran the workshops 11am until 3pm and invited children to bring their own lunch. This gave us plenty of time to get artistic. Some of the local children came every day. Holding these daily workshops has shown me how much my confidence has grown over the past few years in this line of work. I now feel really confident planning and delivering workshops across many art forms.
All in all being part of the Creative Futures team this year has been brilliant in so many ways. It has given me the opportunity to run many different workshops, given me the challenge of adapting to using new materials, the chance to work on large scale projects, and learn how it is to work as an artist in a community setting. I am really grateful for the responsibility and opportunities I’ve been given, the team I’ve been working with and the new connections I have made within the community. I now feel a welcome addition to community events and people know they can come to me if they have any creative project or workshop ideas. I’m looking forward to continuing these projects and developing new ideas in the new year.

Stay in touch with the Creative Futures project by following their Facebook page here
More about Kirsty Turpie and her art practice on her Community Art page here

News Project Updates

Craftivism at The Stove


Every Wednesday during November, The Stove is running a series of ‘craftivism’ stitch in’s. These are drop in events running from 5-8pm, anyone is welcome whether you come with craft skills of your own or whether you’d like to learn some basic techniques in a friendly and open environment (we have cake!).

What is Craftivism?

Craftivism is a form of ‘slow-activism’, sharing crafting skills in a social space, inviting discussion and reflection whilst making – engaging in the time consuming processes of stitching and making. It is a growing movement of crafters and open-minded people, looking to create new ways of exchange and discussion on issues and topics that we hope to share with others. Come along for a blether, a cup of tea and help contribute towards some of the projects we are currently working on. These sessions are self-led but with plenty of support from our Herald Moxie, and craftivist Joy Cheroukai.


Why Now?

The Stove is participating in ArtCOP, an international cultural programme that coincides with this years Paris Climate Conference (also known as the COP21) in December. We are looking for new ways to talk about the environment and the constantly changing nature of our world – what is changing for Dumfries and Galloway? What does anyone mean about climate change? Do we need a new language for talking about global climate issues? What has Dumfries got to do with it?


Our craftivism group is working towards two projects:

Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve is a national campaign from the Craftivist Collective and the Climate Coalition, and asks everyone to think about the things they are passionate about – and in turn, how they could be affected by changing climates and rising temperatures.

The Stop Climate Chaos Rally is on the 28th of November, Scotland’s Climate March will take place in Edinburgh. The Stove has been invited by the Crichton Carbon Centre to join their bus to take part in the rally, and stitchers and makers at our Craftivism sessions are working towards a large banner that can be carried in the march, made up of smaller patterns and designs using unwanted fabrics.

We will be having an intensive banner making weekend before the rally on the 21st and 22nd of November.

If you would like a place on the bus (travel expenses covered by The Stove), please get in touch as we have limited spaces [email protected]


Drop by any Wednesday evening to find out more, or speak to Moxie on our Stove Herald facebook page

News Project Updates

Trading Journeys: On Yer Bike

Our third intrepid traveller, Uula Jero will leave Balmacllelan on Saturday morning, picking up keen cyclists at New Galloway and making their way down to Wigtown, passing through the picturesque Galloway Forest Park. If cycling is your thing, you are very welcome to join Uula at New Galloway. If you are interested please send us a quick email to [email protected] and we’ll pass on the necessary details.

Uula will be somewhat unmistakable as he brings with him, not just one of his amazing cargo bikes, but also a pedal powered foundry! Remember the charcoal that the boats are bringing from Creetown (see earlier post here), the foundry is charcoal fueled and the creetown charcoal will contribute to the heat necessary to melt and cast our very own Wigtown spoons! (more about Billy Marshall and his spoons here)

One of our early foundry tests. We do not reccomend coal as it is a bit too much for our liking! Image thanks to The Hidden Mill
One of our early foundry tests. We do not reccomend coal as it is a bit too much for our liking! Image thanks to The Hidden Mill
Early test pours in Balmaclellan
Early test pours in Balmaclellan

The spoons will be cast in front of a live audience outside the Wigtown County Buildings as part of Trading Journeys on Saturday evening, the 27th of September. We are making a very limited edition of spoons, so if you would like your very own Wigtown spoon come along to our spoon mould crafting workshop during the afternoon. Workshops will take place from 12 noon in Southfield Park, and are free to everyone.

Our foundry had it's first outing as part of our Nithraid earlier this month in Dumfries, where we cast Nithraid buttons!
Our foundry had it’s first outing as part of our Nithraid earlier this month in Dumfries, where we cast Nithraid buttons! Image: Galina Walls
Mould making workshops as part of Nithraid 2014. The moulds are made from cuttlefish if you are interested! Image: Galina Walls
Mould making workshops as part of Nithraid 2014. The moulds are made from cuttlefish if you are interested! Image: Galina Walls

We will also be holding drumming and flag making workshops in preparation for our procession prior to the spoon pour. The procession is open to all to join in.

Full details of the running order of the event are available on our website Trading Journeys page here.

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