We have at last got started on our panel for the Great Tapestry of Scotland. As our panel deals with that part of the history of Dundee which includes Jute, Jam and Journalism, we decided to name our group 3J. Not the most original name perhaps, but it does reflect the subject matter of the tapestry. There are four of us in the group and Jessie started the stitching and she has completed the outlines of the panels in a heavy chain stitch. Margaret has now taken over and she will make a start on the skirt and bodice of the jute worker. Below is a reminder of what our panel looks like.
My turn will come along fairly soon, so I will need to keep on practising stitching on linen. I have made some attempts and still find it quite difficult. But I am getting pretty excited by the whole thing. The panel itself looks fairly straightforward with its focus on the three Js – jute, jam and journalism with a nod to the whaling industry. However appearances can be deceptive. The depiction of jam for example, is generating quite a bit of heat in our little group. If you look carefully at the top of the panel there is a jar of jam and above the jar what looks like some strawberries. And it is these little strawberries which are causing our first dispute. For historically, the jam that Dundee became famous for, is called marmalade, which is primarily made from oranges. Dundee was one of the first centres of marmalade making in the UK. I guess part of the problem is that some PR guru many decades ago came up with Jute, Jam and Journalism as a fine way to promote Dundee and that Jute, Marmalade and Journalism did not have the same ring to it. So the word jam was substituted for marmalade to complete the alliteration. Anyway we have contacted the organizers of the Great Tapestry Project seeking enlightenment. Just shows how a little word can cause so much confusion and disputation. Another triumph for the bastard language that is English. We just keep on borrowing words from here there and anywhere! On the whole a good thing, but can create a few problems now and again. Never thought a post on tapestry would end up as post about words. Jam or marmalade – both are delicious, especially if they come from Scotland! Just spread some on toast or add a little to a bowl of porridge. Bon appetit!