Friday, 30 March 2012

Devon Guild of Craftsmen - Exhibitions - Blue

To my delight, when I walked into the exhibition I found a little bit of 'home'. Unfortunately the first section is not well represented some of my photos were not great and sometimes I forgot to take them at all. This is what I managed to salvage mostly about South Africa.

The first part of the exhibition traced the path of Indigo 'blue dyed' textiles from the Hapsburg Empire, to Hungarian village life, and Europe and into Southern Africa where I grew up.

The first thing I saw was these books of material samples. They transported me straight back to my childhood. My nannies wore these prints. I also I spent many happy hours playing with similar sample books as my uncle had a farm shop and sold them.

 This apron was bought in the Transkei in the 1970s.

The material is still made and used in present times. Now it has Nelson Mandela's face printed onto it sometimes.

 A photo of a selection of fabrics in a store in Colesberg in the Northern Cape that was taken last year.

Here are the rollers with the patterns etched onto them. The fabric is printed using them to resist dye it.

Designers in Southern Africa today, use the material in styles that make the garments very contemporary.

Of all the photographs, this one touched my heart the most. This traditionally dressed African lady is selling her beautiful bead work on the high street in Grahamstown where I went to boarding school. I have walked along that pavement behind her many times.

This photograph is the only one of the rest of this room that was useable. These are old Hungarian linen clothes which were woven and embroidered by the women as part of their trousseaus. They were truly beautiful.

After leaving this exhibition room the second part of the exhibition showcases how artists have used 'blue' as the inspiration for their pieces. The guild has a website if you would like more information about the exhibition so I will leave you to enjoy the following.

The following pieces are all woven. 

This artist recycles broken pottery into these.

I loved the modern expression of these plates based on the Willow Pattern. Don't miss the plane and the wind turbine in the second photo.

This one made me smile. The cow is free standing on the meadow decoration on the plate.

Gone Fishing.

These cups and saucers are made of paper.

In the exhibition room is a table with paper plates and different artist's media for visitors to create their own piece for the exhibition.

These were two of my favourites. I agree whole-heartedly with the second sentiment.

A small taste of a wonderful experience which I am able to share here.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Devon Guild of Craftsmen - work

On the advice of a lovely crafting friend, we took off from Torquay to Bovey Tracy on a misty rainy day, to examine the delights of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen which is housed in this old mill building.

We were not disappointed and spent many hours inside enjoying the exquisite craftsmanship of these wonderful artists.

On the outside wall, this gorgeous mosaic gives one a little taste of what is to come.

There is gorgeous colourful pottery

and fine ceramic work which is translucent in the light.

Raku pots. 

And sheep, of course.

Metal work.

More sheep with a bird or two. Devon is a 'sheepish' county.

Beautiful boxes. I love lacewood. It has a lovely shape.

Beautifully decorated tiles. I love feathers.

Glass jewellery

Fully automated miniatures.


Handpainted silk scarves

Handwoven baskets

Lots of different kinds of ceramics.

Handmade books

More hand-weaving tucked in a corner with some turned wooden objects too.

This is truly a delightful place to visit. It was inspiring and the quality of all the goods was amazing. I had to confiscate The Saint's wallet as we live in such a tiny house there is nowhere to put anything!

There was an exhibition on 'Blue' inspired by indigo dyeing on at the time and I shall post this next time.