Saturday, 13 July 2013

Hot day for a cycle ride

New House is surrounded by wonderful Herefordshire countryside, and as it was hot, I thought a cycle ride round the lanes might be a good idea.

The view from Perrystone Hill and our church :
The Herefordshire countryside is always beautiful, but as a lazy cyclist who only really enjoys cycling downhill (or the flat at best), I get off the bike frequently to push it up hills that real cyclists would just laugh at. So sometimes, I wish the county was a little less undulating, but the roads and back-lanes have no traffic, so it's a joy to cycle (when going downhill).

It was the hottest day of the year, so even the horses were sheltering under an ancient oak :

I stopped at peaceful Kempley to admire their 1903 craft-movement church. It contains some great renaissance statuary, and I loved the lattice window with it's beautifully-engineered opening panes and painted wooden beams :

On the way home I passed the 'old forge', decorated with the cogs and iron the craftsman used to bash-out or repair in the place :

Am I glad New House is located deep in Herefordshire ....despite every good downhill having an uphill!


Made in Manchester - a bridge in Uppsala, Sweden

Just found these pics on my phone of an iron bridge I saw in Uppsala, Sweden last month. The bridge is probably one of those objects that I bet people at the time thought a hideous iron monstrosity and much too too industrial for their charming town, but it looks lovely today.

From memory, the designer was Swedish, but the iron certainly came from Manchester!


Sunday, 7 July 2013

New Designers 2013, and One Year On

I haven't been to New Designers at the Islington Business Centre for a few years, and it was great to go again on Friday. I'm always amazed at the vibrant new talent coming out of the colleges, and it's a real pleasure meeting and chatting to these clever and very charming graduates.

I was there because Laura Fletcher (New House's amazing weave designer) was displaying her latest work at One year On. Her stand was full of her trademark sophisticated weaves, colourful cushions, throws, stripes and cards. All made in England.

Laura's work is so beautiful and original that at New House, we always have a queue of projects for her to work on. She has an amazing colour sense, is a cool watercolourist too! 
Walking round the rest of the show, I loved the textile work of the girls from Cardiff - Alexandria Roberts, Hannah Duncombe and Sarah Harley. Their gorgeous prints or laser-cut work will surely be something for the future.
Next to Laura was Harriet Riddell. I've never heard of anyone doing portraits on a sewing machine before, and her skill was astonishing :
Everywhere Harriet goes, her sewing machine does to. I'm sure she will be very well-known soon, as she's so good!
I normally hate having my picture taken, but was so curious to see what Harriet did, I couldn't resist......
Me in stitches :