Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Beautifully presented Gift Idea

In the run up to Christmas, attention grows to gifts for loved ones and stocking fillers. A lovely gift idea, Shetland Textiles: 800 BC to the present, focuses on the people, materials, tools and techniques used to shape Shetland's textile history and culture over the past 3000 years. The book covers research from 9 experts, authors and historians, while taking a look at the lives of people involved in textiles both in the past and present.  Uncovering things previously unknown, while showcasing some beautiful images from the Shetland Museum and Archives, photos of textiles and scenery by
 Didier Piquer.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dinosaurs in the Museum...

Our shop is in the middle of  a Dinosaur Trail...you'll have to visit in person to get through the jungle to see our Dino-products. We have Dinosaur puppets for small people, Dinosaur games, good Dinosaur books, and even prehistoric jewellery.

The loan of a Triceratops skull from the Hunterian Museum has brought out the inner child in all of us here. So many fun events have been planned alongside educational ones.

We look forward to sharing the excitement with you. Don't miss it. It's the first visit of a dinosaur to Shetland....or is it? Come along to the Museum and find out.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


We will be inundated soon! The Viking Congress is to be held here in Shetland  from August 1st to 10th. Amazing talks, outings, exhibitions and events have been planned.

Did you know that Shetland was always the starting  point for any Viking voyage? "Into the West" meant coming across the North Sea to Shetland. Those who also arrive from the North, South and East in August will have an exciting time.

The Skaill Hoard, on loan from the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh is here on display in the Museum and Archives, being shown in the foyer. The loan has been sponsored by local firm, Shetland Silvercraft, and we have a splendid selection of Shetland Jewellery's Viking inspired silver pieces for sale.

Brooches, earrings, pendants and other items are inspired by the design of a Viking harness piece found on Quendale beach in Shetland. This design is known locally as the "Quendale Beast"

What is more recognisable as Viking than a longship? There are delightful earrings in different sizes.

 All are designed and made in Shetland at the workshop in Weisdale.

Connecting through the Loop...

Craft or Art? Women's work at home or connecting cultures?

We have an International Textile Festival being held  here in Shetland next week. . Planned around visiting Scandinavian textile artists, a great deal of exciting connections are being made. Covering several venues, with a menu of differing talks, demonstrations and events, the Festival builds on a theme of creativity in textiles. 

We think these special textile inspired stationery items would be great for the delegates to take home. A folder for creative ideas and colour swatches?  A lace notebook to detail patterns?  And maybe a glasses cleaner to see those Fair Isle stitches more easily! 

And these mini gifts are fun. Key rings in haaf cap and gansey designs. Set of magnets with Fair Isle designs from the Shetland Museum and Archives collection.

Browse through our Heritage shop and see all these and more.

The Foggy Foggy Summer...

Despite the trials of weather delayed flights, our visitors have not been deterred and are enjoying the Museum and their purchases from the Heritage Shop.

Fair Isle patterns complement any design and look spectacular on our new pinny and dish cloot (you could call them aprons and tea towels if you wanted)  The designs are taken from old textiles in the Shetland Museum and Archives collection. 

Mary Macgregor's book "Shetland Fair Isle Patterns"  takes many old Fair Isle patterns from the documents which first catalogued them them in the 1930's. The pattern used on the pinny and dish cloot is included there. 

Woven in France to our design, these items are exclusive to the Shetland Heritage Shop. The pinny is £25 and the dish cloot is £10.50. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Shetland Nature Festival

To quote Simon King...."Shetland has a wild magic all of its own.." This week sees the sixth Shetland Nature Festival which celebrates this wild magic in many events and activities.  Visit www.shetlandnaturefestival.co.uk for details.

Besides ordnance survey maps and binoculars, ( plus a thermos and all those extra layers of clothing) we always have several bird and flower books in the car. All are available from  the Shetland Heritage Shop, and recently we added a new one entitled "British Sea Mammals"  Two of the authors live in Shetland and most of the photographs were taken around the coast of Shetland!

Need I say more? Priced at £12.95 the book is plastic covered and very user friendly in its layout and information.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Shetland Baskets..

Conical basket, 25cm x 20cm with 90cm cord

I've just had a most interesting chat with Dr Ian Tait, our curator, who is knowledgeable about almost everything. He gave a talk recently entitled "What were all those Baskets For?"

Shetlanders in the old days were adept at using all the resources which were to hand, and made baskets for use at the fishing, on the croft and around the house. Four different types of material were used, bent (marram grass), floss ( rushes), straw and heather. There were two methods of construction, weaving and coiling.

The reason I was talking about this to Ian is that we have a few very nice baskets made of these traditional materials in the shop at the moment.  They are made by Jeanette Nowak, an artist who lives in Yell. Look at these photos, and go to the shop link to see all the baskets.

It was imports of cheaper baskets from distant parts of the world which ended the making of baskets from local materials. It is very hard to get hold of a kishie these days, and Jeanette's pieces are very much individual works of art.