Tell us about your connection to Wigtown and the Book Festival
I have visited Wigtown on day trips to Galloway over many years from my hometown of Dumfries but never got a real feel for the place until I was pointed in the direction of an application form for The Kist last summer. Unsure even if my fledgling business as a part-time glass artist would be considered I applied for weekend space at the Book Festival Kist. To my delight I was accepted .......then mild panic set in...... I have experience of day fairs but nothing this prestigious..... What should I make to take, how much stock, would people like it ??? I took advice from people who had done it before and whom I had got to know through other fairs and took a selection of my personal favourite pieces and other pieces that I hoped would appeal and suit different budgets. I didn't know what to expect and so went with an open mind. What I found was a well-run, busy venue surrounded by the best place in Scotland to have such an event. The other sellers, locals and visitors I met were so friendly and welcoming and although I didn't manage to go to any events and talks by authors, writers and broadcasters I gleaned a lot of feedback and spied some famous faces in the crowds.
From that first weekend in Wigtown at the Kist in 2013 I have met so many people who I now count as friends in Wigtown and beyond. Through that friendship I am now part of the Galloway Creatives group formed because, as friends, our art complements each other’s and we have now exhibited collectively throughout the region. I am delighted to be returning for this year’s Book Festival Kist with new designs and pieces.
Sum up your festival experience in 5 words
a welcoming, fun, fantastic experience
What's your favourite festival memory?
Lots but the one that stands out is the quiet anticipation in the Kist marquee that turns into a mega buzz as people pour through the doors .... can't beat it!
Who would be your dream author to appear at the Festival?
I have three: Enid Blyton to relive childhood stories; Bill Bryson to ask him about his travels; and Mark Billingham because I love his crime series of Tom Thorne stories.
Give our visitors one recommendation or top tip for Wigtown, the Festival or D&G
Make a holiday around the Book Festival and explore not just Wigtown and The Machars but further afield-- we have beautiful countryside, villages and towns in Dumfries and Galloway, steeped in history, from hills, forests, lochs to a varied coastline, castles, caves, cairns, sailing, golf, mountain biking, fishing...... something for everyone. Go out there and enjoy the region which inspires my work.
KGR Glass can be found on Facebook.