AN Innerleithen glass crafter’s works of art will adorn the mantelpieces of winners in a top nationwide competition.

The artist was delighted when she was asked to make the trophies for The Scottish Alpaca Group Championships which take place next month.

And glamorous models trotted into Maureen Brand’s gallery this week after becoming the inspiration for her latest creation.

As she approaches the first anniversary of opening her gallery MB Bespoke Glass in Traquair Road, Maureen casts her mind back to the achievements throughout the year that led her to this most unusual commission.

She says: “Lots has happened during this time such as working endless hours promoting the crafters who showcase their makes within the shop, but more importantly establishing that my work in stained glass was a quality product made from good workmanship.”

A defining moment for the crafter was being announced as a finalist in The Scottish Borders Chamber Of Commerce Business Awards last year.

It was at this ceremony that Maureen would find her latest project. “This is where I met Stuart from Velvet Hall Alpacas. We talked about our businesses when I mentioned that I could make trophies for awards ceremonies. Stuart asked if I would be able to make the trophies for the Alpaca competition and said it would be great to present a bespoke trophy that was a little different.”

The Scottish Alpaca Group gave Maureen the go-ahead but in order to create the trophy she needed woolly models.

“I visited the Alpacas at Velvet Hall so that I could photograph them in lots of different angles, capturing their colours, personality and character. This helps me when I’m making the design for a piece.”

After several meetings to discuss the designs, Maureen rolled up her sleeves and got to work on the winning trophies creating 19 in various colours for the different breeds.

She said: “I’m thrilled to achieve this commission and hope that the finished products will at least look similar to these fabulous animals.

“Enquiries for commissions have increased so much so that I now have a waiting list”