After last year’s great Open Day and Yard Fest – praised afterwards in many countries as the most successful one ever – we were quite content with our decision (announced before last year’s event) to end the great tradition which had been attracting people from literally all corners of the globe for 27 years in succession. Many of our visiting crafters, artists and a big number of people who have been at both Open Day and Yard Fest were of a very different opinion and made sure we were told.
“If you can run an event like this one in a year like 2020 you should not be allowed to stop ever” said a visitor from Scotland – one comment of very many.
We went back to the “drawing table”, contacted crafters, artists, helpers and friends – and “gave in”:
On Saturday, September 11th 2021, County Derry’s only active linen – weaving – mill will host Open Day and Yard Fest number 28 – in full glory!
The event is a “sell out” even at this early stage with no publicity out at all.
With this first information we want to give you some of the highlights, the full programme will be out in exactly two weeks from now.
Here’s but a few “mouth-watering” things to happen this year:
– Well over 20 master-crafters will show and offer for sale their unique products at beautiful stalls. Many of them are going to demonstrate their skills as well.
* Mallon’s Foundry, Ireland’s only bronze – casting foundry is returning!
* Cherrie Mc Ilwayne, iconic BBC presenter, has retired from her work for the media, not so from making unique pieces of textiles. She is taking a stall for the first time.
* Ireland’s youngest full-time blacksmith, Samuel Logan, is coming back to make sparks fly!
* 5 spinning wheels running in tandem – where else would you get it?
* Regina Mc Sorley and “Arty Facts”, a group of great painters, are newcomers to the Open Day!
– “From Flax to Linen”, for the first time in 5 decades (!!) locally grown flax, scutched on a restored “Mackie’s” machine will be hackled, spun and woven into fabric on our own looms while you watch!
– Ireland’s only real alternative cat walk –the annual Flax Mill Fashion Show will feature my own and Liz Corrigan’s new creations plus several special guest designers with one piece each.
* Vegan, made with no harm to the planet unique pieces presented by our amazing models. Irish Linen at its highest point!
* One showing only, the event in the back garden of the cottage (marquee) will be presented by Helen Keys (flax – grower and university lecturer) and Duncan Neil, creative director at Clarks of Upperlands, Ireland’s oldest linen finishing mill.
– Mandy Bingham is returning to the stage during the evening gig (after two years of a brake) and so is Joe Mc Gonigle!!!
* 13 m long buffet for the evening guests created by our “catering brigade” from Berlin (yes, the original one).
– Our talk: Traditionally on textile – making and special aspects of it we have gone a bit broader this time, the reasons are obvious, we think.
* We are inviting Heidi Steffan, owner of one of the most profiled health – shops in N. Ireland, the Iona Shop (Hollywood) and a couple of other prominent orators (details with the full programme) to give us a talk on good diet, sustainable food production and the effects on the planet as well as on people’s immune 0- systems etc..
– The largest gathering of textile-workers on these shores and beyond!
* Spinners, weavers, dyers, felters, tailors, designers…you name the textile – craft, the best experts will be there!
The Title of this year’s event!
“He lived a gentle live and did no harm to the planet!”
(Mandy Bingham about Pete Addison, Scottish friend of hers and us, music lover and several times seen at the Yard Fest, who died recently. See Hermann’s obituary attached)
When Mandy said this during her visit here at Flax Mill a few days ago, we decided to use “Doing no Harm to the Planet” as the overall title for this year’s event. It grasps our aims and those of the people we invite very well.
We are open for bookings from now on – especially the Fashion Show, the Talk and the Evening Event will be by booking only as every year.
Speak to you very soon, as us for the full programme which will be out (in German and English) very soon.