Inside the inn

Steve Bartlett
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Everything will be authentic and contemporary

Dale Payne works on a wall-hanging at a workshop run for the Winds and Waves Artisan Guild on Fogo Island.

The quilters' laughter is infectious. They're sitting around the top floor of the former Loyal Orange Lodge in Barr'd Islands, learning traditional stitching from an expert brought in to give a workshop.

They're working on hand-stitched wall-hangings, under white wallboard draped with all kinds of colourful crafts.

This is obviously a creative space and it's obvious the members of the Winds and Waves Artisan's Guild - which also includes other craftspeople like rug hookers and woodworkers - are enjoying it, and each other.

"It's excellent," one says of the training.

And it's vitally important for the Fogo Island Inn, currently under construction.

Some of the textiles that result from their efforts - mats, curtains, quilts - could be used to adorn the rooms, halls, walls and windows there, as all of the furniture and décor will be locally inspired and crafted.

Craftspeople and other creative types have been exploring traditional ways and will interpret them through a modern lens.

"The way we are doing the interior for this is brazen, bold and scary," Zita Cobb says of the inn.

"I don't think it's been done anywhere."

She emphasizes that they don't want to simply replicate items that were made on Fogo Island 100 years ago. They want to find new ways with old things - a common thread through anything involving the Shorefast Foundation.

"If all we do is copy old stuff, you know what that means - it means your culture is dead," says Shorefast founder Cobb.


Organizations: Fogo Island Inn, Shorefast Foundation, Fogo Island Arts

Geographic location: Fogo Island

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