From The Land Comes The Cloth A Journey To The Heart Of The Hebrides. Classic Edition - £135.00Special Editions - £175.00
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From the Land

In Celebration of all that I have Seen, I have lovingly self-published an exquisitely elegant book graced with the timeless beauty of this ancient craft.

‘My book documents a love affair. It was a progression, a slow motion encounter, drawing me in deeper and deeper. I have taken From The Land all the way through the photographer's journey, from dreams and desires to ultimate realisation.’

This illuminating latest edition, exploring the crofting and weaving worlds of his Outer Hebridean subjects and their connections to the tweed landscape, is a triumph. Through Ian's sensitive photography the resulting images speak of dignity and beauty rather than hardship and exploitation. This is a book about process not product.

Choose your edition

One Book with 5 Five Inspired Cover Options.

Ian Lawson - From the Land Classic Edition
Ian Lawson - From the Land Tolsta Edition
Ian Lawson - From the Land Horgabost Edition
Ian Lawson - From the Land Scarista Edition
Ian Lawson - From the Land Taransay Edition

From the Land

Classic Edition - £135.00

From The Land

Comes the Cloth
Classic Edition

34cm x 29cm, 432pp, 282 full-plate photographs. 15,000 word text. Covered in ‘Harris Blue’ Brilliant a book cloth with matt silver foiling and de-bossing. Ribbon marker. Presented in a matching slipcase and a protective laminated sleeve. Printed and bound in Italy. Weight 5 kilos.

Classic Edition & Slipcase £135.00

From the Land is available to buy through our website. Purchased copies can be distributed worldwide from here in the UK and are packaged in bespoke shipping boxes to arrive in your hands in perfect condition whatever your location.

From the Land

Tolsta Edition - £175.00

From The Land

Comes the Cloth
Tolsta Edition

34cm x 29cm, 432pp, 282 full-plate photographs. 15,000 word text. Shares the same picture content with Classic Edition. Covered in luxury ‘Dolphin Grey’ Colibri book cloth with special matt silver foiling and de-bossing. Ribbon marker. Presented in a bespoke velvet lined slipcase. Printed and bound in Italy. Weight 5 kilos.

Comes with a matching 8pp. story-book card. Signed!

Tolsta Edition & Slipcase £175.00

From the Land is available to buy through our website. Purchased copies can be distributed worldwide from here in the UK and are packaged in bespoke shipping boxes to arrive in your hands in perfect condition whatever your location.

From the Land

Horgabost Edition - £175.00

From The Land

Comes the Cloth
Horgabost Edition

34cm x 29cm, 432pp, 282 full-plate photographs. 15,000 word text. Shares the same picture content with Classic Edition. Covered in luxury ‘Cornflower Blue’ Colibri book cloth with special matt silver foiling and de-bossing. Ribbon marker. Presented in a bespoke velvet lined slipcase. Printed and bound in Italy. Weight 5 kilos.

Comes with a matching 8pp. story-book card. Signed!

Horgabost Edition & Slipcase £175.00

From the Land is available to buy through our website. Purchased copies can be distributed worldwide from here in the UK and are packaged in bespoke shipping boxes to arrive in your hands in perfect condition whatever your location.

From the Land

Scarista Edition - £175.00

From The Land

Comes the Cloth
Scarista Edition

34cm x 29cm, 432pp, 282 full-plate photographs. 15,000 word text. Shares the same picture content with Classic Edition. Covered in luxury ‘Coco Brown’ Colibri book cloth with special matt gold foiling and de-bossing. Ribbon marker. Presented in a bespoke velvet lined slipcase. Printed and bound in Italy. Weight 5 kilos.

Comes with a matching 8pp. story-book card. Signed!

Scarista Edition & Slipcase £175.00

From the Land is available to buy through our website. Purchased copies can be distributed worldwide from here in the UK and are packaged in bespoke shipping boxes to arrive in your hands in perfect condition whatever your location.

From the Land

Taransay Edition - £175.00

From The Land

Comes the Cloth
Scarista Edition

34cm x 29cm, 432pp, 282 full-plate photographs. 15,000 word text. Shares the same picture content with Classic Edition. Covered in luxury ‘Graphite Grey’ Colibri book cloth with special matt silver foiling and de-bossing. Ribbon marker. Presented in a bespoke velvet lined slipcase. Printed and bound in Italy. Weight 5 kilos.

Taransay Edition & Slipcase £175.00

From the Land is available to buy through our website. Purchased copies can be distributed worldwide from here in the UK and are packaged in bespoke shipping boxes to arrive in your hands in perfect condition whatever your location.

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Look Inside

Peace of mind before you buy.

Always a leap of faith buying a photo book online without knowing exactly what's in it. My full version preview will completely counteract that unknown.

From the comfort of your computer you can turn the leaves of over 430 photographic plates and pages for total peace of mind before you take possession. While an online perusal of From the Land in no way compares to the physical joy of holding, reading and owning a beautiful work of art in one's hands, I nonetheless want to give you semblance of the images, words and design.

Unlike every other book you buy these days, my titles will never be discounted. Your investment is protected for life.

Look InsideFull Version

On the Edge

A land of extremes

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On the Edge

Island of my dreams

The islands of the Outer Hebrides revel in an environment all of their own. This ancient archipelago stretches some 130 miles in a chain of broken land masses from the tip of Berneray in the south to the Butt of Lewis in the far north. Consisting of some 15 inhabited islands, interspersed by over 50 abandoned or uninhabitable smaller landmasses, the geography and geology is both wild and unforgiving but inarguably extols a beauty beyond belief.

The rugged west coasts brace themselves against the relentless Atlantic ocean which pounds jagged cliffs into ragged inlets that acquiesce to broad bays of golden sand, while on their eastern shores shelter is afforded to small natural harbours and deep sea lochs which cut into the body of the larger islands.

No village community is far from the sea which encircles and dominates in every direction.

The largest isles are that of Lewis and Harris, one entity separated only by an isthmus of land, a mountain range and the dialects of opposing inhabitant's native Gaelic. The bleak and barren moorland of Lewis in the north is permeated by teeming trout lochs and striated by salmon rivers until the heathered expanses of unending wilderness gives way to the Harris Hills which rise up from the rocky moonscapes of the southern isle, affording views over enormous aquamarine bays and azure seas set against miles of untouched white sand.

Here eagles fly, the silver salmon swims and red deer run free. Flocks of blackfaced sheep graze, impervious to the vagaries of weather here on the edge of the world. Spring rains turn to summer sun before autumn storms take hold and the cold, dark nights of winter draw in, the seasons marking out the working year for crofters clinging on to their challenging way of life here in the very heart of beyond.

The Islanders

A people of Place

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The Islanders

People of Place

“I'm glimpsing patterns of existence that have survived through generations. But most of all, my eye is drawn to the daily rituals of crofters in small townships and on isolated crofts, people in tune with their environment.”

The inhabitants of these islands have many characteristics but all share similar character. The indigenous people of the Outer Hebrides feel a deep sense of place, a connection to the land on which they live and make a living that is rarely broken no matter how far from home they might travel. In their native Gaelic, separation from the homelands evokes, “cianalas”, a specific and definitive desire for return.

Islanders here have endured centuries of struggle with wealthy landowners, powerful landlords and often unforgiving factors for the simple right to work peacefully in and on ancestral ground, the geology of which are steeped in generations of their own genealogy.

A culture historically under siege from capitalism and greed now strives to survive through the maintenance of their own language and culture expressed as it always has been in work and word. Knowledge of weather and terrain is fundamental to life here, the seasons each bringing their own challenges surmountable only by an awareness of nature and environment. The hardships, whether inflicted by wild weather or the oppression of their overseers of old, leaves a mark.Traits of humility, kindness and good humour are to be found in abundance, a fiery intelligence is often combined with skilled hands, ready and able to turn to making do and mending as they carve out the requirements of life in their scattered communities.

And community is everything, a friend or friendly face is never far away nor is the support or sympathetic ear of a fellow islander. Together the men, women and children work against the odds towards a successful future, passing on language and stories, skills and knowledge, sharing their souls with each other and those who choose to spend time with them in a way seldom found in the western world today.

Elements

Land, Colour & Cloth

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Elements

Landscape, Colour & Cloth

“The light and shadow of the Outer Hebrides and its unique landscape of ancient stones, mountains, loch, machair, moorland, beach and ocean slowed me to a stand still.”

The subtlety of Hebridean light reveals a multitude of colours over the duration of the year. As days lengthen and sun's azimuth changes, new depths and hues are revealed, contrasts deepen and nature's palette transforms the landscape before the viewers eyes. For those patient enough, these variations in pigmentation and complexion can be a revelation.

Vivid colours provide the inspiration for the wool dyers of the Clo Mor, who once boiled lichens and plants, scraped from the rocks and pulled form the soil, into the traditional rust browns of yesteryear before new techniques evolved into heather purples, sea blues and subtle greys and greens of mountain and moor.

Today the mill dyers continue to draw from the surrounding environment, producing bold and vibrant reflections of the islands in which they live and work. Similarly but perhaps more subtly, the patterning of natural geometry intertwines with the work of the weaver as the bones of locally caught herring, the ripples of tidal pools and the linear divisions of croftland boundaries subconsciously find their way into the fabric of their creations. Repetition reflects the unerring turn of the seasons, the chaos of nature is hinted at in flecks and flaws, the resilience of time and tide embodied in every inch of tessellated tweed.

Harris Tweed quite simply embodies the islands from which it is brought forth, in physicality and spirit. Having been formed under the watchful eye and careful hands of these local dyers, spinners, weavers and darners for so many hundreds of years it could not be otherwise, but often it is only in the most subtle but significant manner, an inkling given to those who take the time to look a little closer, to take time to take more care.

Warp & Weft

Woven into life on the Croft.

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The Tweed

Woven into Life

“A piece of Harris Tweed is an art form. Caught up in the warp and weft is a combination of inherited tradition, individual imagination, craftsmanship and skill. This artistry and ingenuity in the weaver's work is a genuine appreciation of the land, told in wool.”

The tweed known has Harris Tweed has been woven into Outer Hebridean life since time immemorial.

A cottage industry with the simple goal of affording a crofter some weather resistant warmth as they work, a blanket in which to bury oneself on winter nights. As sheep were shorn each summer the resultant wool would be washed in a fast flowing stream before being boiled with natural plants like the lichen Crotal to impart colour. The dyed fibres would then be carded by hand to prepare the wool for spinning, either by hand weight or wooden wheel before the skilled weaver would set to work on a simple loom to merge warp with weft and produce the final cloth.

As landlords took possession of old clan lands, rents began to be imposed and the crofters cloth soon became a method of barter or payment, being exchanged for grain or the right to live on their own land. But some landowners saw potential in the humble cloth and by the end of the 19th century word of Harris Tweed'ss many qualities had reached the gentry of city'ss far from the island'ss shores and soon an industry was born.Little has changed since these humble beginnings. Harris Tweed remains a cloth made entirely from wool and wool alone. Historical colouring and patterns remain consistent to this day and production techniques have evolved only slightly in the last 100 years.

Crucially the tweed must be woven by hand by one of only 140 skilled weavers at their own homes on crofts across the Outer Hebrides, no factories or electrically powered machines are allowed to be employed as the pure new woollen yarn, dyed and spun on island mils, is woven into genuine Harris Tweed cloth. At one time every croft in every village would resound to the sound of a clattering loom and even today each community will hold at least one weaver, still turning over the machinations of the weaving instruments.The light in the loom shed still burns into the night as this great cloth begins its journey into the wider world from the hands and hard work of those that live here.