Glasgow’s atelier economy: then and now

Today I thought I’d share with you the introductory words I wrote for People MAKE Glasgow . For me – a former eighteenth-century specialist – the connections between Glasgow’s eighteenth-century past and its twenty-first century present have always been apparent, and I really enjoyed having the opportunity to write about those connections here. People MAKE…

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Lunardi in Campsie

The revival of my eighteenth-century balloon-o-mania was inspired after some recent walks around Clachan of Camspie and Milton of Campsie (just north and east of where we live) during which I discovered that that balloonist, Vincent Lunardi, landed in Campsie Glen at the conclusion of his second flight from Glasgow in November 1785. After wowing…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Carbeth: slavery in the landscape

Here, at Carbeth, we live in a landscape underwritten by many rich and complex human stories. Neolithic people lived and travelled through Carbeth many thousand of years ago and, since these early settlers, this landscape has many stories of passage to tell, from seventeenth-century cattle drovers, to nineteenth-century railway navvies, to the walkers on today’s…

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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…

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Women Who Would Not Sit Still

The Five Sisters window in York Minster is dedicated to all 1,513 women of the British Empire who lost their lives serving in the First World War. The existing 13th century window was restored and rededicated with funds raised by public appeal, and unveiled on 24 June 1925. Image: © John Scurr (WMR-30648), Imperial War…

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Omnia Feminae Aequissimae

You may remember that last year at KDD, we celebrated International Women’s Day by designing and knitting a commemorative blanket together with our good friend, Felicity Ford. Celebrating 30 diverse creative women, our blanket was created with the central aim of using our crafty skills to educate each other about the many different ways in…

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Udal

In the spring of 2018, after a hard winter in which I’d been struggling with my depression, I spent some time in Berneray and North Uist. You can get a sense of how much I immediately loved the place, and how very much I enjoyed meeting Meg Rodger and learning more about her work –…

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Mood Indigo

(top illustration: William Simpson, An Indigo Factory in Bengal (1863) I am currently completing a design project using yarn that has been dyed with natural indigo by my friends at Shilasdair. As I’ve knitted, I’ve often found myself thinking about the links between Scotland and natural indigo dye. Indigo isn’t, of course, a Scottish plant…

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The McCune Smith cafe

Hello, it’s Tom here. In today’s People Make Glasgow post I’d like to introduce the McCune Smith Cafe and Dr. James McCune Smith, the important 19th Century African-American abolitionist, physician, educator and intellectual, after whom the cafe is named. Glasgow’s remarkable nineteenth-century growth was due to imperial trade. That Glasgow was built on tobacco and…

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