Saturday, 28 February 2015

Work in Progress: Christine Kelly

For those of a nervous disposition, look away now. Christine Kelly has dissected her glove.

"Scenes from a glove massacre, albeit a very clean, white -ish one.. I'm dismantling my glove and making a series of small objects, which, when put together, will tell a little of Daphne's story....."

And, yes, those are surgical hemostats which you can see in the photo's.

Friday, 27 February 2015

The Work Home

C19th Weavers cottages, Coventry, with 'top shop' visible on third floor

In a post earlier this month, reference was made to the weavers cottages built by JJ Cash in the mid-1800's to house their workers. The third floor of these cottages was given over to a long space filled with light known as 'top shops', where names tapes such as Daphne Bryant's would have been produced. 
If your interest has been piqued by this style of architecture you might find the following link of interest where you can see further pictures (such as the ones shown here) and read more about it.

Cash's cottage factory seen from canal at Kingfield, Coventry. Photo Frances Holliss

Work in Progress: Jeanette McCulloch

Jeanette McCulloch's initial explorations using print and collage have now been translated to cloth and paint. 

"I have been pondering how hard it is to show all of the rejected ideas and hours of thoughts that lie unrecorded and the time spent scratching one's head.  All I can show you here are the ideas which have survived this process and come to fruition.
My glove has now been roughed up at bit. The pristine white is being replaced with rub-on golds and bronzes. I've used some 'Goldfinger' to stiffen up the fabric so it begins to look aged and worn. Lots and lots of beads and the beginnings of star names have appeared. Daphne is a star watcher, she uses her glove to write and draw on, her fascination with the hemisphere is such that she has begun to stitch the beads as stars into a constellation 'looking south in September'. I've also gone back to painting again, a new watercolour study of the glove and the addition of star names. I am enjoying painting a study of the glove as a document, a parallel to altering the glove. I think that both paintings and glove may be exhibited together..?"

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Work in Progress: Karen Shapley

Karen Shapley is an artist who is equally happy to work with textiles or in clay, combining the two disparate mediums to create her distinctive pieces of work. For her Daphne's Glove piece, Karen has chosen to work in clay, fabric and stitch once more.
The kiln door has opened and we've been allowed to take a look inside...
"The pieces you see here are the ceramics I have in progress at the moment. They came out of the kiln yesterday and have been washed in red iron oxide - hence there pink tones. Once glazed the red changes to browns and picks out the detail of impressed fabrics which I use to create texture. It also gives an aged feel to the object. The cups and saucers are for another gallery but I am hoping you can make out some of the characters in the background! I haven't yet decided which is going to be the one to tell Daphne's story although I have an idea. At this stage I try and keep my options open incase any accidents occur!"
"Clay has a life and when you make something from it it feels alive. As the clay dries, to me the object becomes almost dead, lifeless and uninteresting. When it first comes out of the kiln I don't like it because it has no character. The first stage of bringing it back to life is washing it in iron oxide, then leaving it to dry for a few days before applying the glaze. It's not until it comes out of the glaze firing that you see the item spring back into life. For me to share these images with you at this point is quite tough because the work feels flat and not at it's best!"

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Work in Progress: Sharon Hall Shipp

The arrival of Imolc has imbued Sharon Hall Shipp's glove with a particular piquancy.

The Gaelic celebration of Imolc heralds the beginning of Spring - a halfway point between the Winter solstice and the Spring equinox, and is observed on 1st February, St Brigid's Day. There are many customs, rooted in Pagan origin, surrounding St Brigid's day including the making of a rush cross, making up a bed for her and leaving offerings of food. In addition it is customary to leave an item of clothing outside for the Saint to bless which is later brought indoors.  

Thus inspired, here is Sharon's recipe for glove soup:
Step 1: On a crisp, January morning bury your glove in the vegetable garden wrapped around iron springs. Leave to infuse with the eath's damp, natural juices for several days (longer if you have the time!).
Step 2. Dig up glove after 1st February and take indoors.
Step 3. Prepare your infusion of seeds (for new endeavours), bay leaves (with a nod towards the legend of Daphne & Apollo) and tea (for colour and wakefulness). Bring to a rolling boil before adding your glove and leaving to simmer.
Step 4: Once suitably boiled, strain and leave glove to dry in the Spring sunshine. Et voila! 

We shall look forward to seeing Sharon's tasty results! 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Work in Progress: Caren Garfen

'Their Hands Were Tied' - work in progress by Caren Garfen
Red thread on white cotton.
The photograph above gives an insight into the inspiration and progress being made by Caren Garfen on her glove piece. The working title for this piece is, 'Their Hands Were Tied'.

"I am looking back to the 1800s when gloves were an essential part of a woman’s attire. They were a part of social etiquette, taste and propriety.
I will compare these ladies’ gentility with the conduct of ‘celebrities’ in the 21st century, whose lives and actions are exposed in the media and online for all to see.
I will construct my own ‘name tape’, hand stitching capital letters using red silk threads. I will be using words taken from an online forum about today’s celebrities, and will research literature to select portrayals of females in the 19th century.
The name tape will be attached from the glove to an antique ivory glove stretcher.
Daphne Bryant, of course, will get a bit of a look-in, in the form of a monogram, hand stitched onto the back of the glove.
There is still a lot to do, but it is such an exciting collaboration, and I love the idea that other artists are thinking and working on the same project somewhere else around the country."

Monday, 9 February 2015

Daphne's Name Tapes: JJ Cash

Up to this point there has been a lot of mention of gloves and not so much about the name tapes which were also given to the artists as part of their project material last Autumn. 
The labels in question were manufactured by British company, JJ Cash - whose name you can see punctuating all of those Daphnes on the name ribbon above. The Daphne Bryant tapes were found in a junkshop in Leominster, Herefordshire, complete with their original lime-green storage box and gold paper wrapper.  
Sadly, JJ Cash no longer keep historical records of past label or box designs but with the help of Keeper of Collections, Huw Jones, at The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry we were able to confirm our suspicion that 'Our Daph's' labels were indeed woven in the 1930's. Thanks to Huw we were also able to piece together a little more about the history of JJ Cash as follows...
Quaker brothers, John & Joseph Cash began their woven silk ribbons business in Coventry in 1846. At that time Coventry was famous for it's woven silk and JJ Cash were just one of several ribbon manufacturers in the area. The company HQ is still based there today.
Over time JJ Cash became one of many Victorian Quaker businesses which were instrumental in improving the working conditions (and lives) of their employees. For example, originally the weaving of their silk ribbons was outsourced to cottage industries - skilled jacquard weavers who worked from home in often dark and cramped conditions. In around 1857, wanting to improve worker's conditions and keep up with demand for production, the Cashs chose a site at Kingfield Road, Coventry, to build rows of weavers cottages for these workers, over which an upper storey was built housing jacquard looms in long, well lit and well ventilated workrooms which became known as topshops. 
After 1860 when the ribbon trade crashed, Cash's diversified into other woven items such as cotton frillings, woven badges, book marks and woven labels for clothing and blankets. As well as making silk commemoratives and fine ribbons which adorned the dresses of Victorian society ladies, it was from these topshops that the first woven name labels were produced in 1870. Although the business premises had been modified by then, the topshops were still in use until the 1970's. This is where Daphne Bryant's name tapes would have been woven.
By the Twentieth Century all of the Coventry weaving companies made woven labels and badges, however, Cash's were the first (and only company for some time) to make woven name tapes.
In 1964 JJ Cash received royal approval and became, 'Manufacturers of Woven Name Tapes to Her Majesty the Queen'.   
Cash's woven name tape boxes from between approximately 1930-1960

 Many thanks to Huw Jones and JJ Cash for their help in putting this piece together.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Work in Progress: Mandy Pattullo

 "I am still stitching into and around the embossed prints taken from my glove. These might be developmental or they might become part of the finished presentation. The glove and Daphne are absent but the shadow of the glove remains.
Looks like I am working in red and white for this project!"

Thursday, 5 February 2015

The Muse: Christine Kelly

c. Christine Kelly a.k.a. Gentlework
Just as the Prince is compelled to search for a Cinderella to fit into the glass slipper, the title of this year's project begs for a Daphne to be found.
We're delighted to hear that Christine Kelly has found her Daphne muse. And here she is in a clear, sepia photograph. Judging by the shingled hair, it was probably taken in the 1920's. The stamp on the back tells us that the sitter was photographed in the studio of A.Seaman & Sons, 115 Pinstone Street, Sheffield. Although an internet search will provide more information about the photographer's business, the sitter's real identity is unknown. An enigmatic smile and a mystery.

The lacy, cream panel you see has been snipped from the cuff of Christine's project glove and will be 'integral' to the finished design. By sharing these photographs of the cuff Christine has revealed herself to her glove partner. The question is, will the glove partner now reveal themself to Christine or wait a little longer...?    

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Sketchbook: Kathleen Murphy

"Like several of the gloves in this project, my glove is showing evidence of it's age. Despite a wash it is still a little grubby looking, a little rubbed. It has lived a life.
The glove is an interesting garment, it has the intimacy of underwear in that it lies directly on the skin, yet it's function is public be it for protective or decorative purposes. Hands are integral to our progress through the day so a glove is in a priviledged position not only to be so close to the body but also privvy to some of our daily routines too.  
My ideas are still at sketchbook stage. I've been pondering the possible life my single glove would have seen and experienced with it's wearer, Daphne. What shape has life taken between the glove's 'heyday' and when it was found, discarded, amongst a box of fabric?
My exploration into what the gloved hand from the past would have to tell the gloved hand of the present continues and the idea of incorporating a second glove into the final piece of work grows stronger."