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As part of her ‘Common Thread’ exhibition at Bonhoga Gallery, Jen Deschenes will be spending the weekend of 11 & 12 October working and meeting people in the gallery. The event, in the gallery’s 20th anniversary year, is being run as part of a larger national Craft Scotland event, called Meet Your Maker. Members of the public are invited to come along to galleries and meet craft makers, watch them work and ask questions about their practice.

This event is the third Meet Your Maker event to be held at the gallery in the last year. Past Meet Your Maker events have been with artist Mike Finnie and with Bill Brown, as part of his hugely popular ceramics show in the summer.

Jen Deschenes is a textile designer based in Spean Bridge, but was born and brought up in Whalsay, which has strongly influenced the way she looks at the world and her place in it. Jen can remember being told bedtime stories by her mother and looks back to these stories as inspiration for her work. She specialises in hand screen printing and embroidery and could be described as a storyteller herself, but in a different medium.

She says: “My work always has a narrative at its core and is steeped in Shetland and personal family traditions. My collections involve re-working found fabrics and ephemera. I am interested in the intimacy of old fabric, to keep its character but yet to infuse it with a new modernity and style. I do everything by hand as I love the uniqueness this produces and feel it enhances the history of the piece.”

Clair Aldington, of Shetland Arts, said: “The Meet Your Maker event at Bonhoga is a wonderful opportunity to meet the artist and the person behind the work, and to ask questions about their techniques and ideas. Jen Deschenes’ work is exquisite and is rich with the culture and heritage of Shetland. So, the chance to catch her while she’s in Shetland and watch her work is one not to be missed.”

Meet Your Maker is a national celebration of Scottish craft making. Meet your Maker is part of Craft Scotland's flagship campaign to connect craft makers at work with the public. It's a campaign that aims to showcase the skill, quality and creativity of Scotland's talented makers. For 2014 they have partnered with ten different venues who will offer Meet Your Maker events as part of their own annual programmes. Each unique event will coincide with exhibitions, festivals or be part of a dedicated Meet Your Maker residency. During the events, makers give a rare behind the scenes look at their craft work. You can follow our Meet Your Maker events using #csmeetyourmaker.

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