Tartan design competition hotting up

Check it out . . . Forrester Gallery educator Elizabeth King is encouraging people to design their own Waitaki tartan, as part of the Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations. PHOTO:SUPPLIED

A tartan design competition is being woven into this year’s Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations.

The contest, being run by the Forrester Gallery, was the idea of the Oamaru Victorian Heritage committee, to explore this year’s theme of Highland Fling: Celebrating our Scottish Connections.

Oamaru-based couple Sue and Rod McLean, of McLean & Co, are judging and donating prizes.

Forrester Gallery educator Elizabeth King said she thought it was a wonderful way to get people involved in the Heritage Celebrations.

‘‘It was super that Sue and Rod . . . were happy to be involved too.’’

Mrs King and Mrs McLean decided the tartan needed to reflect the Waitaki district, and while there were some guidelines, it was a chance for people to think about what colours they thought best represented the region and ‘‘get creative’’.

‘‘Rod and I were excited when Elizabeth contacted us about being involved,’’ Mrs McLean said.

‘‘We love sharing our knowledge about tartan on our heritage Hattersley looms here in Oamaru.’’

The couple had their own tartan in the pipeline for production later next year, and were looking forward to seeing how other people viewed the Waitaki in tartan form, she said.

There were five age categories for pre-schoolers to adults, and already entries had been received in most of them.

Entry forms were available at the Forrester Gallery, Waitaki Museum and Archive, or the Oamaru Public Library, and completed entries needed to be dropped back to the same places before next Wednesday, Mrs King said.

All entries would be on display at the library during Heritage Week, and there would be a winner and runnerup in each category.

McLean & Co was opening its weaving shed to the public as part of Heritage Week, and the McLeans would be demonstrating how they weave tartan on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 17-19, 10am to 3pm.

An exhibition at the Forrester Gallery, Scottish Faces; Photographic portraits of Scottish Migrants, was in the vault gallery, while museum curator Henry Buckenham would do a floor talk at the museum sharing stories of local Scottish migrants who made their home in the Waitaki, on Thursday, November 17, at 11am.