GRETNA Green’s Famous Blacksmiths Shop wedding anvil is to get a gay makeover by an Edinburgh art student. Earlier this year the Scottish Parliament legalised same-sex weddings in the country.
To celebrate same-sex marriage in Scotland the traditional black symbol of love – over which thousands of couples have married down the years – will be transformed into a unique ‘rainbow of colour’ by artist Erin Colquhoun.
“I cried when I heard they wanted me for the job,” said the 22-year-old of Gilmours Close, Edinburgh.
Erin Colquhoun with the anvil she will decorate to celebrate same-sex marriage in Scotland
Alasdair Houston, owner of the Famous Blacksmiths Shop, hopes the venue will host Scotland’s first gay wedding. “Same-sex marriage will add a new dimension to the unbroken and unique thread of romantic history at the Famous Blacksmiths Shop since 1754,” he said. “Erin’s colourful design for the anvil is vibrant and exciting and perfectly encapsulates the inclusive spirit of love at Gretna Green.”
The Glasgow School of Art undergraduate beat off dozens of other hopefuls in a competition to celebrate the change in marital law. Erin’s design is under wraps until the autumn and she will spend the next few weeks transforming the black replica anvil into a riot of colour. “It includes the colours of the gay pride flag and the shape of the lotus flower but everyone will have to wait for the formal unveiling to see the full design,” added the third-year student.
“I feel incredibly privileged to have this opportunity as I’m a huge fan of tradition but at the same time it’s wonderful that gay love – which had to be hidden by so many people down the years – is now emerging into the light.”
Erin admitted that as a fan of period novels she used to fantasise about a romance with a blacksmith. “My boyfriend, who is an engineer, is called David Smith so that dream has already sort of come true,” she said.