On Islay's west coast, on the single track road between Kilchiaran Bay and Portnahaven, is a small track signposted Tormisdale Croft Crafts. It's somewhat hidden, I agree, but that shouldn't be a reason not to include them on your itinerary. I have been there a couple of times and it's a pleasure to browse through the many items in the shop and to talk to Anne, the owner of the shop for many years now. Looking back at all my previous posts I realised that I have never posted a story about Tormisdale so it's time for a change and who better than Anne Kemp herself (Image right), can explain what Tormisdale has to offer:
Anne: Tormisdale Croft Crafts was established 24 years ago on the awe inspiring west coast of the Rhinns of Islay, and it is this magnificent scenery and amazing wildlife that gives me the inspiration for a lot of my crafts; which include hand spinning rare breeds wools, natural dyeing, handknitting and crocketing. I make an array of items from sweaters, hats, socks and bags to cushions and even smaller items too. Continue reading......
We produce handmade staghorn buttons, fine walking sticks and other items made from renewable local materials or recycled - all from Islay. As if that is not enough we make jewellery, quilting, cards, woodturning and from local wood and driftwood and include paintings from talented local artist Jane Walthew. We make the Islay Wilderness Jackets and waistcoats. We stock a fabulous range of yarns, patterns, needles spinning equipment and craft books to inspire you. Spinning tuition can be arranged as can natural dyeing classes.
Tormisdale Croft Crafts is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm. You can contact Anne by telephone at 01496 860239 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To give you an idea what Anne sells in her shop you can have a look at the images below, and mind you, this is by far not everything! All the more reason to visit the shop yourself next time you're on Islay.