Social entrepreneur Gillie Banks is working hard to turn her idea into a business, as part of the Vital Spark programme in Rothesay.

Gillie is an artisan spinner, dyer, and weaver in the Scottish tradition who taught her craft for ten years in her workshop at Kingarth Old School on the Isle of Bute. She has showcased her talents in various programmes on Bute as well as on the mainland and also worked with schools as part of the curriculum for excellence. Gillie’s vision is to keep her Scottish traditions alive through workshops, demonstrations, and lectures supporting the development of the heritage on Bute.

She has run regular workshops, worked with other Vital Sparks, Take Away Creative and Triple Aspect, and Family Scots Song events. As Dabbles she has been recognised and invited to attend by local fetes, festivals, rural institutes and community groups, including Achievement Bute Wee Den Weeks at Mount Stuart.

Gillie’s aim is to secure her own workspace in the renovated Rothesay Pavilion. In the meantime she is working and running workshops from the Bute fabrics shop Atelier. Gillie continues to work on commissions and hopes to take an exhibition of her work to Wendish Museum in Cottbus, Germany in 2018 as part of an ethnomusicology project.

Many Scottish traditions are dying out. Dabbles is offering workshops, passing on the traditional skills along with traditional Scots songs too.

Meet the rest of the Vital Spark participants