25th August 2016 by Larchfield Community
Before starting on his felt creation Mark carried out research into the animals and birds native to Iceland and, to make the gift even more meaningful, he used Icelandic wool tops which he found to be quite rough compared to the soft merino wool he usually works with.
When the picture was complete Huw John felt it would be just the right thing for Mark to personally deliver the gift to the Sòlheimar Community - the name Sòlheimar means either 'worlds of the sun' or 'home of the sun'. Accompanying Mark on his visit were Sarah Fishburn, the Larchfield Craft Lead, and Damien Handslip, the National Enterprise Lead for CVT.
On the first morning of the visit Mark presented the picture to the people of Sòlheimar at the outdoor morning gathering. Everyone was delighted with Mark's creation and it was hung in pride of place in Sesselja House - a new building which honours Sesselja Hrendís Sigmundsdòttir who founded the community in 1930.
During his time in Iceland Mark and his companions were able to visit the National Park, Reykjavik and the Whale Museum. At the National Park Mark enjoyed seeing the geysers and the Gulfloss Waterfall. Mark took lots of photographs and saw many of the native birds he had used as inspiration for his felt picture.
As part of his three day visit Mark also spent time in the Sòlheimar workshops which he found quite different to those at Larchfield and tried his hand at soap making and pottery. He very much admired that the source of inspiration for much of the pottery work comes from drawings by community members.
Mark thoroughly enjoyed his time as an Ambassador for Larchfield; he would love to visit Sòlheimar and Iceland again and has returned with happy memories, a full camera and lots of inspiration for future craft projects.