Description

A new Light. The glass measures 30 x 12cm approximately plus the base. I made this design  using clear glass and fired it with enamels. This piece takes 3 separate firings.

Dave the local Craftsman has made a black matte base with LED light, cable & plug for the glass.

The design features the abandoned Rosie’s cottage in the uninhabited island of Swona.

I first visited this island in the early 70’s when James and his sister Violet still lived in their cottage. Violet saved us tea, sandwiches and cake. She didn’t join us as she was so shy of strangers. James and Violet were the last inhabitants of Swona. They were taken to the mainland in 1974 leaving behind their home and the cattle. The cattle are still there, well, dependents of the original herd but now completely feral.

Here’s what Lonely-Isles say about Swona

Swona history goes back a long way as the presence of a prehistoric chambered cairn, early christian burial grounds and viking remains shows. By the 19th century the Swona islanders main occupation was line-fishing for cod. This meager income was supplemented on occasions by piloting ships through the treacherous waters of the Pentland Firth.

Crofting was only a marginal existence and by 1932 one a single family remained on the island. The last inhabitant remaining by 1974 was a man called Jim Rosie. Jim was a bachelor and when he developed Parkinsons he had no choice but to leave the island to be cared for. Since Jim’s departure the houses have fallen into disrepair and left discarded farm machinery rusts away amongst the nettles.

Throughout history Swona has been the scene of many shipping disasters. Around the island the tides can be deceptive and can carry a boat on to the northern skerries with accelerating speed. By the time the danger is recognised it’s too late.

The human inhabitants may have left in 1974 but these days Swona is still home to some living creatures…namely a small herd of feral cattle. Descendants of the herd of Aberdeen Angus and Brown Shorthorns abandoned in 1974 the cattle survive on grass and seaweed. During the winter the cattle seek shelter in the derelict buildings and in the spring the young bulls fight for dominance of the herd. Such herds of feral cattle are extremely rare and this herd is now studied closely by scientists. The herd is now recognised as a separate breed.