During lock down I was delighted to welcome Jill from Doric Tv to the studio for a socially distance blether.

The Garden was looking in fine fettle perfect for a chat about the studio, workshop our creative activities and the Mill in Peterhead. It was a great opportunity to reminisce about the old days in the mill have a wee rake through my boxes of bits the last remnants of Kirkburn Mill as it was. 

I should point out that there is still a mill spinning yarn (JC Rennie) and designing fabric (Alexanders of Scotland) in our neighbourhood at Milladen, tucked down a lane behind Aden Park, Mintlaw, producing but on a smaller scale.

It was interesting talking about the mill, it brought back a lot of half-forgotten memories. The thing I miss most about the Mill is the community, there were some characters that’s for sure, like most places rivalries existed, romance often blossomed and when the mill closed for the summer holidays everyone let their hair down at the Design office party !

Like most of the mills I have worked in Kirkburn Mill was entrenched in tradition, we had a tea break mid-morning in the canteen, ate rowies (bad idea) and chatted about random things. When I first started in 2001 it took me some time to tune into the dialect and understand the words. Loons and Quines were a mystery, but I eventually figured it out. There was even a tea trolley that went round the mill. What I remember most about that was a big box of “Sports Mix” sweets and how it was always the green ones that were left. 

They were happy times, stressful towards the end but it is acceptable to view these things from a distance with rose tinted spectacles and a sense of nostalgia. I am reluctant to shop in ALDI Peterhead I find it sad that on that spot a vibrant and bustling factory, making world renowned fabric and yarn once stood.

And so, to Compass Rose Studio and Workshop and what inspires us to be creative. I have always enjoyed sewing and when the mill closed, I needed an outlet for my creativity. I went to lots or craft fairs to start with, it’s a great way to learn, meet other creative people and get feedback. The tweed was always admired, it often came as a surprise that there had been a mill in Peterhead and that the fabric was so local.  Over the years I dragged my husband along to these fairs to keep me company and this sparked his own creative journey and he discovered his own passion for making things.

In 2014 we built the studio as a dedicated workspace and showroom with the intention of encouraging people to visit us and see all we had to offer. This is still a work in progress and with the workshop now built we hope towards the end of 2021 we can start having the classes and event we always planned. Our creative space like our ideas is constantly developing and whilst 2020 was a year of challenges, it was also a year to put some of energy into new projects which have come to fruition in 2021

We both believe passionately that being creative is great for your health and wellbeing and everyone can tap into it in some way. The Pandemic has highlighted more than ever the benefits of making something by hand. Taking time, enjoying the process and that moment of pride in what you have created, whether it is a piece of art, something you have cooked, growing vegetables, or even creating you own TV Station. There are so many interesting things you can find to do.

Nothing we do at Compass Rose Studio or Workshop is rocket science it is just having the ideas and giving it a go. We are lucky the garden and our workspaces inspire us, we are all about trying new things, challenging ourselves but having fun in the process.

Find out more https://compassrosestudio.co.uk/



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