Fusion Coos by Rannoch Studio See original article

Introducing ~ Fusion Coos!

Most days Scottish artisan Anita leaves the comfort of her little wooden cottage and makes the arduous journey to the shed at the bottom of her garden … where she creates wonderful pieces, from recycled whisky barrels & driftwood, which we are lucky enough to sell. She (alongside husband James … who creates his own masterpieces in his own shed) lights a smoky sawdust fire and while Bob Dylan croons away in the background, the air fills with the heady scent of woodsmoke and whisky.

On the other side of the world, in a remote Indian village that has no electricity or running water and houses made of cow dung, women sit together on a blue wooden bench and chat away as they handspin yarn. It takes a whole day to produce 1 kg of yarn on the drop spindle. Night time falls, pitch dark, tools down, that’s it; primitive living. The yarn is purchased by a company (YarnYarn) who plough the profits back into the local area; helping the women to make real positive change in their lives and to give children a better education.

Back in Scotland, and the wee shed at the bottom of the garden, Anita sands, cuts and drills whisky barrels and driftwood until a wee fusion coo is born. The final touches include a woolly dossan made with the banana yarn and recycled sari silk that has come all the way from India.

Rannoch Studio & Cards & Co. already stock Anita’s Highland Coo’s and we’re excited at the prospect of Fusion Coo’s heading our way too! So when you pop into one of our shops your choices really make a difference in more ways than you might think. Just consider all the stages in the chain that culminates in a Fusion Coo:

  • Someone many hundreds of years ago had the forthought to plant an acorn that they knew would grow into a mighty oak tree long after they had finished their time on this earth.
  • Time passed and someone else harvested that tree, and a very skilled craftsman made some of it into casks for storing and maturing Bourbon.
  • The people of Scotland soon realized that those casks could be re-used in the whisky industry. The bourbon would help to make a difference to the flavour of the Scottish malt.
  • After its work was finished, the whisky barrel wood was retired, and could only be used for firewood, admittingly, this is a form of recycling, and the wood is not totally wasted.
  • Sometimes, the wood is collected by craftspeople like Anita & James, who then use their skills to change it again – this time into useful items and gifts.
  • Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, women are doing their own recycling. The end of life sari silk is collected and changed by these skillful women into useable yarn. They dye it, spin it by hand with drop spindles and wind it into lovely vibrant skeins to be used in many ways, in this case in the hairy dossans of Anita’s coos!
  • People like Julie (from YarnYarn) are on hand to make it possible not only for Anita to have this yarn, but also for these women to be fairly paid for their labour, adding dignity to their own lives.

So when you buy a handcrafted, ethically sourced gift at Rannoch Studio/Cards & Co. … you’re not only giving something unique to the recipient, but also to the talented artisans who are keeping traditional crafting methods alive; whether that be in a little wooden shed at the bottom of the garden or on a blue wooden bench in a remote Indian village. Priceless!