South Uist, Hebrides – Taking Craftwork Home
Our ancient antler workshops are focused on items recovered from our excavations and research on South Uist in the Western Isles. In 2021 we finally managed to get the Guerilla Archaeology team up to the islands to share our skills and knowledge with the community and local craft artists.
We ran workshops at the Cairnish Craft Fair.
We spent time with Ani George, of Craft of Antler, exchanging our knowledge and skills. Ani collects and works antler from the local deer herds, just like people did hundreds and thousands of years ago.
We are applying for funding to return to the island and run a series of workshops in our Craftwork project.
Craftwork will use the crafts and creativity found in archaeological objects to stimulate sustainable economic and social development on Scottish islands. This project builds on our knowledge of artefacts and experience in delivering impactful workshops with local communities to explore, recreate and respond to heritage items creating skills and employment. Our project focuses on the Outer Hebrides; these islands face a series of issues, with national and local calls to respond to these (e.g. The Islands Act) and heritage is one way to support regeneration.
Working with local arts, crafts, school, museum and community groups we will explore how antler artefacts are made, used and understood and provide skills training for heritage artefact production and promotion. By creating a series of resources that provide long term access to this training and information the project will support art, craft, education, tourist and business focused responses e.g. to create copies or associated items (such as keyrings), artistic outcomes, paying workshops and themed events (such as themed walks and dinners). More broadly the project will highlight the unique insular link between cultural and natural (deer) heritage and develop promotional materials.
We also attended the launch of Uist Unearthed App – this is a series of Augmented Reality reconstructions of archaeological sites along the Hebridean Way in Uist. Two of the chosen sites have been excavated by GA team members. Each reconstruction is triggered once a site is reached, encouraging users to explore sites in their landscape settings after scanning a QR code.