Clanabogan, Omagh, Northern Ireland

Our thriving community of about 80 people has recently (in 2014) celebrated its 30th anniversary. Camphill Community Clanabogan is set towards the west of the island of Ireland, amidst the rugged green fields of Co. Tyrone. Clanabogan's estate has its own productive, busy biodynamic farm, dairy and garden as well as the wonderful Puddleducks Playgroup for youngsters aged 3-4. Alongside the residents' 5 purpose-built houses are the woodworkshop, the bakery and the weavery. At various times in the year the herb and the candle workshops are also in full swing. A very beautiful river walk, peaceful and inspiring in all seasons of the yea,r runs near the perimeter of this tranquil setting. The county town of Omagh is close by - a 25 minute cycle for enthusiastic co-workers, or a 10 minute drive for most of the rest of us! 
When we held a planning meeting for the World Wide Weave, ideas, suggestions and plans were drawn up and the important, unique features of Clanabogan were identified. We decided that we wished to reflect both the community's diverse nature and the influence of Ireland's weather and seasons on our work life and routines. We recognised that the dramatic, rainbow-filled Irish skies and the often changing, subtle light and hues of the landscape would feature strongly.
The weavery itself naturally took centre stage in terms of choice of materials and approach. It was decided that the hanging needed a substantial, hand woven background and that the warp could be relatively neutral. However the weft colours would reflect the large, ever changing Irish sky with its shades of iron greys and blues, the many greens of the hills and fields and finally the earth's varying browns. 
As the weaving developed, visitors and workers alike offered ideas and comments. Gradually the sky started to take shape. We wove, dry felted and hand stitched into place the fleece kindly donated by friends of the community, skilfully carded and spun by the workshop's volunteer ‘spinning Bridget' and thus was created the hanging's billowing clouds! The community's new weaver developed the ideas further using Photoshop. There were several field trips, to capture both the garden's colourful bounty of inspiration and also those in the River Walk.
The final piece has as its focal point a hand-felted image of Brookfield House, the Community's first residents' house. The colourful flowers were also hand felted, stitched and embroidered by the Weavery's talented workers while the fence of musical notes was machine-embroidered by hand using a special dissolvable fabric technique! You may also spot a very special felt runner duck, hand-hewn wooden cow, a Leprechaun and much more.