A Caithness artist will pay tribute to the county’s key workers by stitching their names onto a care worker’s uniform.
Joanne B Kaar, from Dunnet, will also stitch the names of those who have felt increasingly isolated during the pandemic onto a second garment.
She’s now calling for people to submit their names, or those of others, so that she can carry on stitching for the rest of the year.
Joanne is one of five Caithness artists in residence currently on a programme led by Lyth Arts Centre with the full involvement community organisations.
When she spotted images of the Second World War Custer Tablecloth, on loan to the Castletown Heritage Society collection in Castlehill, inspiration struck for her Textile project.
In the 1940s, Castlehill was the site of an important airbase heaving with more than 2,000 personnel, some of whom used to visit the Custer family in a nearby farmhouse.
Isobel Custer asked the visitors for their signatures which she traced onto a table cloth, and then embroidered for posterity, gathering 125 names from far and wide.
Joanne doesn’t know how many names she’ll get for her garments, but she’s made a start on the first uniform.
She said: “It’s is dark blue and has been donated by a careworker in Pulteneytown.
“It’s good to work with a uniform which has actually been worn through the pandemic.
“I have a small budget which I’m trying to spend locally as far as possible so I’m buying the thread from Alison@Elizabeth’s, a family business in Thurso.
“I’ll be stitching the names in a simple backstitch, the same as in the Custer tablecloth, using very bright colours.”
For the second phase of the project, Joanne is working with Befriending Caithness, part of the Caithness Voluntary Group, creating sewing kits for befriendees to work on.
She’s chosen the theme of reminiscence, so participants will be contributing their memories to create nostalgic textiles.
The new textiles, once finished will be donated to Castletown Heritage Society to sit alongside the Custer tablecloth.
People can submit their own names, or the names of friends, family and colleagues using a simple online form.