Sunday, 15 May 2011

Time to think and sketch

Oil pools under the Dobcross loom
Both Stella and I were at Farfield Mill today and we had a long and productive day. It didn't start well for me as I had left my toolbox at home, but a trip down to the mill shop to buy a substitute rug hook led me to discovering a cache of wonderful rough wool yarn, perfect for the samples I am working on inspired by the cracks between the mill floorboards filled with wool fibres. Stella kindly lent me wool needle to test it out and I was happy with the effect. I also had the chance to chat to the volunteer who operates the Dobcross loom downstairs. I was interested in how the mill had acquired all the wonderful oil patches and he showed me where and how the looms are oiled and told me all about how the female loom operatives would have been responsible for keeping their machines regularly oiled. He also showed me proudly the high quality steel the bearings are made from meaning they are hardly worn after all these years of operation.

I also had plenty of time to start some sketches based on the photos I took in Holletts bookshop earlier in the week. I'd initially been excited by the curving shapes of the brass runners let into the floor but after some work I realised I was much more interested in the wax and dirt that had built up around the brass screw heads and I ended up with some really nice designs which I now have to translate into textiles.

Karen Griffiths

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