The Evolution of the Storytelling Chair in memory of Reverend Canon Noel Michell Easter day 2018
After much deliberation the concept was translated onto paper
By August 2017 the sturdy sweet chestnut Storytelling Chair was designed, the plan was on paper. Chestnut was chosen as it is a hard wood with good resilience to weathering, ideally giving the chair longevity in our Cornish climate. Kimpton of Cornwall Hardwood Supplies sourced this timber from Trelowarren, on the Lizard Peninsula. One vital part was missing……… Oak: a harder wood, to make the wedges along with the draw bore pegs needed to draw the joints tight, a traditional technique dating back thousands of years, not often used these days, seen in tithe barns and mediaeval cruck buildings. Unusually, Kimpton had recently sourced some oak trees from “up country”, from Warwickshire, near Stratford-upon-Avon, close to a village called Loxley - remarkably I was brought up there! But even more extraordinarily these oak trees were from Oakham Farm - my great grandfather’s farm; George Lucas. He farmed there from the mid-1880s to the early 1930s – for the period before WW1 with my grandfather; also called George. These oak trees were around 150 years old. The two Georges would have known all the trees on the farm; they may have even planted them. Kimpton handed me a well-seasoned piece from one of these Oakham oaks that would now stitch together Noel’s Storytelling Chair for the many years to come, and Noel's Chair was begining to spin its own tales........................
The timbers (chestnut and oak) are assembled outside my workshop
Oak draw pegs in production
A mortice joint in the making
A hole through the mortice partially aligning with the hole in the tenon for the oak peg
Front legs and back awaiting the next phase in their life
The oak peg about to be driven through the miss-aligned holes, drawing the joint tight
Trial assembly of the basic components
A brief stop-over for Noel’s chair in the Church St Pol de Leon, Paul, Penzance, Cornwall
Noel’s Storytelling Chair was finally positioned in the Quiet Garden, near the Church of St Pol de Leon, Paul for the Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday, 1 April 2018 within a few days of the 1st anniversary of the death of the Reverend Canon Noel Michell.
Acknowledgements: My thanks go to those who helped me, and Noel's Storytelling Chair, on its journey from inception to fruition: To Lesley Michell (Noel’s widow) who instigated the journey and completed the chair with the last oak wedge. Kimpton (Cornwall Hardwood Supplies) for his encouragement and the sourcing of the wood (particularly the Oakham oak). To Steve and Ollie (Penzance Joinery) who inspired me, "dug me out of a hole" and machined some of the wood. Duncan McIntosh for his advice. Teagan Lucas (my eldest son) for his wise words and work on the right front leg. To Joe Hemming for his support, hole drilling and his fine letter and trinity knot (or triquetra) carving (celtic script taken from the Book of Kells, written around 800A.D.). To David and Peter who set Noel's Chair in its final place. Not least to my darling Lisa for her advice on proportions and her patience when I thought I was actually in a "hole"!
Hugh Lucas woodworker 2018
Noel’s Story Telling Chair in its final place in the Quiet Garden, near the Church of St Pol de Leon The inscription - En termen ez passiez - Cornish…… Once upon a time
Guild Online Autumn Exhibition October 14 - November 5 2017
The new foray into exhibiting Guild member’s diverse and beautiful work online proved to be a success. Each artist submitted four pieces of work to create the ‘Autumn Exhibition’. All the work was for sale and with clear images and accurate descriptions, the web page looked vibrant and interesting receiving many ‘visits’. Thanks to Sara and Hugh of the Guild for organising this successful ‘web’ event.
Outing to Penryn and Falmouth April 2017
Five Guild members had a grand day out to Penryn and Falmouth! Starting at John Howards Print Studios at Jubilee Wharf, Penryn Guild we were treated to a guided tour of John’s printmaking studios and gallery space. We looked in awe at his amazing portfolio of black and white etchings of post-industrial Midlands architecture. With a busy printmaking session taking place John was very generous with his time and explained the development of his work and the studios…
"John Howard Print Studios opened in January 2007 at an iconic new ecobuilding at Jubilee Wharf on the Fal estuary in Penryn, Cornwall. John’s vision for the printmaking studio is of a high-quality and vibrant facility offering opportunities for new and experienced printmakers to develop their skills and expertise. The studios are recognised as a centre of printmaking excellence in Cornwall, used by artists from across the UK." Other gallery visits included Fannie & Fox, Xtrospective, Mirri Damer Jewellery, Falmouth Art Gallery, The Poly and Beside the Wave. Lunch at Stargazy Café, Penryn was excellent too!
Drawing workshop with Irene Lees Saturday 25 February 2017
A very stimulating, fascinating and enjoyable day was spent by Guild members on Saturday 25th February 2017. Internationally known artist Irene Lees came to Treen Chapel Studio to help members explore their creativity with paper and pencil. Our tools consisted of various types and sizes of black and white paper and card, pencils, knitting needles and gel pens. The most important tool after Irene’s help and encouragement was our own imagination. Irene is known for sophisticated portraying skills including continuous and written text line drawing …………but there is much more to Irene and her work than can be expressed here. www.irenelees.com
Some of the work from the day...............................................
Guild Throws Open Their Doors Saturday 10 to Sunday 18 September 2016
Lands End Guild of Artists is a group of professional artists and makers opening their doors to allow members of the public a unique opportunity to see local artists at work in their studios.
Over the nine days of exhibition members will be demonstrating painting, printmaking, jewellery, woodwork and textiles. Studios will be open from Saturday 10th to Sunday 18th September.
Explaining the thinking behind ‘Open Doors’, Hugh Lucas of Cave Cottage Studios said: “As with most pursuits there is often a mystique around how the goal is achieved. The Guild wants to explode the air of the artistic mystery and give people the opportunity to experience art in the making – to smell, see, hear, taste and feel it!” Expanding on this idea, Jenny Annely of Treen Chapel Studio [shared with Sara Bevan and Pat Furley] said: “We will have a creative focus each day. All six artists will be using this time to experiment and work on ongoing pieces.”
This is the chance to visit six talented artists at work in their studio spaces within three miles of Land’s End! Guild artists and makers are; Jenny Annely – painting and textiles, Pat Furley – textiles, Sara Bevan – painting and printmaking, Hugh Lucas – woodwork, Lisa Lucas – printmaking and painting, Janet Midwinter – jewellery, printmaking and photography.
A wide selection of work will be available to buy.
Studio addresses: Pat Furley, Jenny Annely & Sara Bevan-Treen Chapel Studio, Treen, St Levan TR19 6LF Janet Midwinter - MidwinterSilver Studio, Channel View, Sennen TR19 7AD Hugh Lucas & Lisa Lucas - Cave Cottage Studios, Crean, St Buryan TR19 6HA
Treen Chapel Studio Opens the Door
Members of the public will have the opportunity to meet the three artists and makers at work in Treen Chapel Studio on: Saturday 10th September to Sunday 18th September from 11am – 5pm Artists will be experimenting and demonstrating the following throughout the week….. Jenny Annely will be printing, weaving, knitting and spinning Pat Furley will be weaving, felt making, knitting and hand-sewing with patchwork and slow stitch technique Sara Bevan will be printing and painting.
Identified days for specific focus are: Saturday 10th September - different printing techniques Tuesday 13th September - felt making Wednesday 14th September - spinning Thursday 15th September - knitting Friday 16th September - weaving
Finished work will be for sale along with interesting weaving and spinning equipment and materials. Both Logan Rock Inn and Treen café (opposite studio) serve food and drink - lovely coastal walks.
A textiles bonanza at the Norwich Museum - a thoughtful day of delicious fabric and yarn.
A group of us from the Thursday Knitting Group held weekly at Treen Chapel, St Levan was lucky enough to have a day at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery organised by our friend Pam MacMillan, ex knitting group, who moved back to the Norfolk/Suffolk border last year and who arranged this brilliant day for us.
The tapestry of Lorina Bulwer 1901, a stitched voice [Julia Blackburn in Threads – the delicate life of John Craske ISBN 9780224097765]
This woman was an inmate in the Female Lunatic Ward of the Yarmouth Workhouse during the first part of the twentieth century. The textile pieces she worked on describe her feelings and understanding of the society in which she lived. It has been described as a rant. To me it was an informative rant, embroidered words, some underlined to emphasise her emotional response to her outside world and its influences. The actual fabric she used was brought to her by visitors or given by other inmates and patched and embroidered to produce a tapestry 9 feet long and 18 inches wide, although the piece we viewed had been cut to about 5 feet long. She had embroidered some pictures but the impact of the words, in capitals, was forceful.
The Evacuation of Dunkirk – John Craske – artist and embroiderer
John Craske was a Sheringham fisherman who as a young man became unwell after a bout of flu and as a consequence continued throughout the rest of his life to have what was described as ‘absences’ subsequently excluding him from paid work. At times of wellness he began painting. When standing to paint became difficult his wife encouraged him to use embroidery silks and wools and he worked on pieces of muslin obtained from the wrapping of Christmas puddings stretched on a deckchair frame. His tapestry laid out for us was his interpretation of the Dunkirk Evacuation from 1941 to his death in August 1943. It was approximately nine feet by two feet with one patch unfinished at the time of his death. It is remarkable that his probable only source of information about the landings would have been from the radio reports at his bedside. Had he still been a fisherman he may well have taken part in the rescue. His use of colour and texture in this embroidery is that of an artist with a palette of paint.
The book ‘Threads’ by Julia Blackburn tells the story of her search for John Craske and his art. ISBN 9780224097765 Published by Johathan Cape 2015
Elizabeth Forster - knitwear designer of the 1960’s to the 80’s.
We were treated to a wealth of garments from the Museum’s archive, designed by Elizabeth Forster. This Norfolk woman had devised knitting patterns for her designs, inspired by many unusual images captured on her extensive travels. She hand-picked skilled knitters from around the country to test her designs and we were able to view some of the correspondence between Elizabeth and her knitters which provided an insight into the pioneering nature of the work. Many of her designs were produced in women’s magazines from the 1960’s to the 80’s. The quality and quantity of the work and attention to detail absorbed us as we donned white gloves to appreciate at first hand this unexpected and fascinating glimpse of knitwear fashion of that era. Unfortunately we were so absorbed and excited that we didn’t stop to take any photographs of her work, however I found some online at barbaraknitsagain.blogspot.co.uk We were grateful to the curators and volunteers who took us through this whirlwind of a day.
Pat Furley of raveled sleave
Pam’s lovely embroidered table cloth drying in the sunshine