balloons

I’ve a long-held fascination with late eighteenth-century hot air balloons and ballooning. In fact, I’ve even knitted an eighteenth-century balloon (in a square of our International Women’s Day blanket, which references the Montgolfier balloon that appears in the final lines of Anna Laetitia Barbauld’s brilliant poem, Washing Day) In the past few weeks, my historic…

Read More

keeping shop

As part of my research for the introduction to our People Make Glasgow book, I’ve been doing some highly enjoyable work poking about the city’s eighteenth and nineteenth-century post office directories, which provide intriguing lists of Glasgow’s merchants, manufacturing and retail businesses (much like the yellow pages). Looking at these directories across a century or…

Read More

Marianne North

Hello, it’s Michelle here, with a post about Marianne North (1830–1890), a Victorian traveller and nature artist who left an extraordinary legacy. Painting 684. North painted the sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) from a garden specimen in Java. For almost 140 years North’s paintings have been on permanent display in the gallery she established at the…

Read More

Float in the wind, flicker in the breeze

Hello! It’s Michelle here. Today I’d like to share some words and images about suffrage spectacle and visual identity, a topic that recently came back to my mind through Kate’s writing in her Wheesht essay ‘Elevate’ on Ann Macbeth’s collaborative suffrage quilt. Anne Macbeth’s suffrage quilt as a suffrage banner. © Museum of London The…

Read More

still life with asparagus

Adriaen Coorte, Still Life with Asparagus (1697), Rijksmuseum How is your growing season going? After the recent warm spell, our vegetable garden is coming along very nicely now: in addition to reliable potatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli, leeks and onions, this year we’re trying some experimental beans, and just one variety of tomato. This may sound…

Read More

virtual viewing

Kilbride Bay by me, Tom Barr, from my Light by the Sea exhibition Hello, it’s Tom here. This week I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s been happening with digital / virtual exhibitions, and I thought I’d spend today’s post talking about some of the ways in which galleries and museums, large and small, have…

Read More

remembering Walter Crane

Walter Crane, The Triumph of Labour (1891) ©The Trustees of the British Museum It was May Day a couple of days ago, an occasion that puts me immediately in mind of this wonderful image . . . Walter Crane, A Garland for May Day (1895) ©The Trustees of the British Museum . . . which…

Read More

a reading week

Eric Ravilious, Cuckmere Haven (1939) Thinking about what I might write about here yesterday, it occurred to me that, despite the fact that reading takes up a fairly large proportion of my time, I’d never used this space all that much to talk about the different books that I enjoy. I think that part of…

Read More

available light

Morning everyone, it’s Tom here. I thought I’d pop in today to share with you some of the odd but interesting things I’ve been doing recently with paper and light. As many of you know, I REALLY like paper! I’ve previously waxed lyrical about the properties of papers and how they fundamentally inform the final…

Read More

light by the sea

“the times of dreamy quietude, when beholding the tranquil beauty and brilliancy of the ocean’s skin” Herman Melville, Moby Dick Hello everyone, it’s Tom here. In today’s post I’m excited to tell you more about my latest body of work, which also comprises my first solo exhibition – Light by the Sea. (Otter Ferry) Like…

Read More

saighead

Today’s Warm Hands designer, Tiina Väätäinen, hails from eastern Finland – where there are many opportunities to wear the warm, woollen accessories she loves to knit and design. Tiina’s a talented designer of socks and mittens which often incorporate many playful elements. Her beautiful Lumikuningatar mittens, for example, reflect their snowy landscape across the hands…

Read More