Sunday, 27 August 2017

Rosslyn Chapel

Way back when, I promised to write a post about our visit to Rosslyn Chapel (of Knights Templar fame) when we were at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival earlier this year.   Having just seen a post about a friend's visit to said chapel I thought it was about time I kept my promise.  Sadly, my memory hasn't retained all the interesting details we heard and overheard from the guide as we went around but I'll do my best.  You can link to the Rosslyn Chapel website for more information and there's also an App that gives you photographs of the interior, since the public is not supposed to take photographs inside.

 The exterior is almost as ornate as the interior.

 The stained glass was beautiful but I had to content myself with photographs taken from the outside.

 A sneaky glimpse through the door with visitors listening to a talk by one of the guides.

 This is the south aisle (I think).

 There are said to be over 100 Green Man figures inside the chapel.  There are also many carvings of musical instruments.

 This is Woman with Goose.

Carvings inside and out appear to show corn which was not known about when the chapel was built but other opinion is that it is an idealised carving and only coincidentally resembles corn. 

Photographs are actually courtesy of my lovely husband as my camera wasn't up to the job.

One story of the chapel has stayed in my mind and that's the tale of the Sculptor's apprentice who, while his master was away, finished one of the columns in the chapel to a higher standard than his master and without reference to the original design pattern.  When the master returned he was so enraged that he hit the apprentice on the head with a hammer and killed him.  Legend has it that the master's image was carved on a column opposite so that he could forever gaze on his apprentice's work (Wikipedia link here).

Here's the link to Chris Gray's blogpost that spurred me on to finally blog about our visit.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Easton Walled Garden

We've been out to Easton Walled Garden today, a very blustery but mostly sunny day, for a bit of a photographic foray of the late Spring/early summer flowers.

 The terraces below where the house would originally have stood have been planted as wild flower meadows and the wind today made the grasses look like they were windblown water.  The ox-eye daisies were beautiful.

There were lots of allium in various stages of flowering and seed both in the borders and among the wildflowers.
These guys were having a breather from zooming around capturing flies.  (Swallows).  A red kite made several passes over the gardens but I wasn't able to capture him with the camera.

 This intrepid photographer kept getting in my way!

The gardens are about 7 miles or so south of Grantham just off the A1 and they have a great tea room.    Unfortunately they don't take passing trade at the tea room but it's well worth paying the garden entry, you'll find you'll stay longer than you intended.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Dovecot Studio Edinburgh

As promised, here's a review of the inspiring Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh.  The studios are housed in an iconic Edinburgh building which used to house the Infirmary Street Baths.  The studios house an exhibition gallery, shop, cafe and a huge workshop area that is open to public viewing at certain times so that you can watch the artists at work.

There was only one person working while I was there but there was a wonderful atmosphere walking around the gallery and looking down onto the workspace.  The large groups of cones were so inspiring and I would have loved to have scooped up the waste to use in my own weaving.  I wonder if they would have missed a cone or two?  Sadly I would have had to abseil down to snaffle one.

This tapestry above is being made for a commission to The Perse School which I think is in Cambridge.     I think the method being used is tufting where the wool is fixed into the rug by use of a pneumatic gun.  The tufts are then trimmed to length (cut pile).

At the empty looms it was possible to see the cartoons and preparations made for the tapestries.

These bunches are used to test out the colours and blends in an approximation to how they will look in a piece of work.

This exhibition piece seems particularly relevant these days.  Regrettably my phone didn't capture the maker's name.

Down the staircase was a large weaving made as a site-specific project.

I was really tired by the time I got to the studios but the visit was stimulating and well worth the effort.  If you're in Edinburgh and in any way interested in weaving or tapestry it is well worth going.  The building has its own beauty and while it hasn't been a tapestry studio for many years it has a great sense of history and is a beautiful building in its own right.  Until 1 July there is an exhibition in the gallery focussing on the apprentices of the studio.  It was interesting to see how some techniques had evolved over the decades.

The photos are all from my phone so apologies if they are not clear.

Back soon with more Edinburgh sights and a visit to the Rosslyn Chapel.