Re-finished Furniture

Lavender Heart Bags

Harris Tweed Scarves

Meet our Scottie Dogs

Refinished furniture
Fergus Harris Tweed Scottie Dog

by Mags

I moved to Edinburgh four years ago and I love the city. From here I've travelled much of Scotland, from Dumfries, Oban and Glencoe to Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness and Ullapool and on to the Isles of Lewis and Harris.  The scenery is just breath-taking! When I’m travelling around Scotland, I can't help but feel the history and landscape reach out to me. 


I love the artisan markets, the artists, antique shops, the castles and all the history that goes with them. I run my hands over the old stonework and feel it in my fingertips, touching history itself, or 100 year old tweed looms working as if they were brand new, just oiled and running smoothly like old, trusted friends, hiding their secrets in decades of tweed dust and old oil in their hard to reach nooks and crannies, wooden grips worn smooth by a century of hands. 


I can’t reshape stone and I can’t weave wool into tweed, but I can make things of my own, and from what I know and have learned and from the influences around me, I now create my own.  Harris Tweed is wonderful.  I was so taken by its popularity that I had to go to Harris and Lewis to see where it came from and how it was made - from the bale of wool to the roll of tweed.  I now use tweed within my gifting collection range of lavender Scottie dogs, harbour seals and decorative hearts.


From the earliest age I can remember, I was knitting and crocheting - making little things from lace or cotton.  My love of creating comes directly from my father.  He could do everything and work with any material.  My dad never threw anything away that he couldn’t repair, he just ran his hands over the grain to work it or understand it and he treated it with respect. He breathed new life into things with care and attention and I have inherited his love of upcycling and creating from new.


Having decided to take that leap of faith with By Mags, life has now moved on to more larger scale creations as I take on commissions of crocheted rugs and blankets for private clients around the UK.  It's a time-consuming process but one which I take great pride in.  I work mostly with neutral pastel colours as they create a cosy atmosphere and don’t take away from any existing aesthetics and colour schemes which encapsulates my sewing.


Away from soft textiles, I also love working with natural wood.  I see the grain where the knots and the breaks are.  I look with my eyes and my hands and sometimes things spark into life for me.  I take joy in revealing the beauty of old furniture, to do as my dad did.  I re-use, re-purpose, re-paint and breathe new life into old furniture that others would discard. 


People ask me every week if I can paint their furniture. This starts with a table and can end up with me painting most of what they own!  Commissions have now become a large part of what I do and I love to do them because I take direction from the owner as to what they want, but will guide them as to what options they have that will work with the rest of their home.  I work with a variety of different paints, experimenting with different techniques and finishes. My favourite, at the moment, have to be those from Craig & Rose as their colour palettes work so well with my up-cycled range of furniture.


As for my pieces, they are bespoke, re-created or re-constituted, from how they started life to how they can breathe again in the modern era and are a great addition to any space.  My hope is to see my pieces going to homes where they’ll be appreciated and looked after, well into the next generation.

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© 2018 ByMags