As promised, I’ll tell you about my visit to Inge Panneels’ glass workshop in Lilliesleaf.
I visited Inge’s workshop when she had her open days last year and had a great chat to her, but I had already bought my Christmas presents by then, so didn’t buy anything. This year, I had an idea of buying some presents and Christmas decorations from her.
It was interesting to see how her ideas had developed from last year, and what she was selling at a sale price as older stock:
This is some of her recent work below, inspired by maps, coastlines and estuaries:
I saw a piece of cut glass at the side which looked like an unfinished part of one of these coastline pieces, and asked about the process. She told me that two colours of glass are laser cut, then the intricate outlines are carefully hand finished to ensure they slot together with just the right amount left for expansion as the glass softens in the kiln. It’s lovely to hear a skilled craftsperson talking about their work. So I bought a present, and Inge gave me a generous discount, and I bought some clear glass decorations for an Christmas idea I have, which you will see very soon. Inge and her assistant made me very welcome, and I had a cup of tea and a chat, and told them about my Lauder Trading Post activities, and she told me about the glass workshop classes she is now running (contact her through her website for details). She also told me about a Craft Fair that was on in Selkirk, at a quirky dilapidated mansion house, that was going to be turned into and art centre. It sounded intriguing, so as I wasn’t too tired I decided to go and investigate.
I struggled a bit with the directions, but found it, and these were the buildings I saw when I arrived:
This is a country estate called The Haining, and the Craft Fair was to raise money for it’s refurbishment.
I was completely charmed as I was greeted by a Victorian gentleman at the door, and there was a waft of mulled wine, mince pies and pine needles through the entrance. Everything was lit by candles and lanterns. A green Santa Claus and an elf were hiding under the stairs:
Harp music filled the air:
It was a beautiful old building: here is the stairwell:
The rooms were filled with local craftspeople, selling lovely things:
There was a magical Christmassy feeling created by the greenery, red ribbons and candles:
I could see that some repairs were needed in the library:
And I found someone I know – Danielle Ray, who I know from the Tweed Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. She works with leather and makes jewellry in Selkirk – Troll’s Eye. She looked very Edwardian standing by the window:
After a wander around, a chat and buying a “lucet.” I bought a cup of tea and a slice of stollen cake from some jolly mob-capped ladies, and wandered outside to explore.
There were kids activities, and Christmas wreath making; and I walked to the back of the house:
And sat down to enjoy the beautiful view across the lake:
I felt so pleased that the day had unexpectedly ended up here – gazing across the lake. A man walking his dog, stopped and chatted with me, and told me there used to be statues overlooking the lake, but they were taken them down as they were being vandalised since the building was empty. I found a picture of them – here. Apparently the owner bequeathed the estate to the people of Selkirk on his death. I’m so pleased that this beautiful place is going to be put to good creative use, I shall keep an eye out for further developments. I walked back to the car, past a pet cemetary:
It feels as if the previous house owners have only just left…
I walked around the stables, which they are hoping to turn into art/craft workplaces:
Apparently, there are some lovely walks in the grounds, so I shall return for a walk sometime soon.
There is lots of information about The Haining and it’s future on it’s website.