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Clarsach Journey

By Deirdre Blyth

A group of clarsachs gathered for a lesson
Image provided by Deirdre Blyth

Loving all aspects of local culture and a lifetime spent stitching, the tapestry project was an irresistible distraction at a difficult time in my life. When I agreed to stitch a clarsach (Scottish Gaelic: clàrsach) I decided to visit a local teacher to see it properly. As soon as I sat down 'at the business end' and started to pick out a tune I was hooked. After a few months of lessons, I have learned a few tunes and opened up a whole new world. To me, this beautiful instrument now sings of the Spirit of Highlands and Islands.

Many thanks to Deirdre Blyth for sharing with us this incredible story behind her panel, created as part of the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands.


Prior to the beginning of the stitching of each tapestry panel, each stitcher of the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands was tasked with telling their interpretation of the 'Spirit of the Highlands and Islands' within a blank outline of a stone. The possibilities were truly endless - is it represented in the land? The people? A historical site? A favourite memory?

In any case, each journey stone represents the connection between of each individual stitcher, their story, and their own sense, or 'spirit', of place. Discover more of the stories behind the journey stones of the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands here.