Saturday 21 January 2017

New Year and a New Day Out!

Firstly I'd like to wish all readers here a very Happy and Prosperous New Year, wonder what lovely textile things it'll have in store for us? It must seem like all I am doing at the moment is going out on jollies, but for now I can't get on in the dyehouse - it's too cold to put the water on in there and although the pipes are lagged they have a distance to travel outside and I would hate to have problems.

This week we have had friends over to see us from England, planning where to go and what to see was great fun, they are more textiley than historical and wanted to see bits of local France. We decided a trip to the sea side was in order and drove down to Le Treport and Eu.

Boy was it cold!!! We went on the funicular railway and walked along the harbour, dived into a café for a quick warm up at Le Treport and then went round to Eu. What a beautiful little town it is! We had a spot of lunch and then went a wandering .......

The first place we found open was the Chapel of Notre Dame et St Laurent which is a fine example of a Medieval Chapel, even better it had a crypt!!!

The effigies in there were fabulous - Charles d'Artois  (1394 - 1472) was a prisoner of the English at the Battle of Azincourt and not released until 1438 he died in 1472 so I guess the effigy dated to around then - you can still see some colour discernible on his doublet.
The clothing on the female effigies was really clear to see,

Charles had 2 wives, the first he married in 1448 - Jeanne of Saveuse but she died a year later.  His second wife was Helene de Melun who outlived him by a year.  The head dress on Jeanne's effigy is quite intriguing - it just really looks like a coronet with a very square front. Her plaits by the side of her face and the parting in her hair is very clear to see on top of her head!

This image shows the strange shaping of the head dress from the top - was it flexible to adjust to the hair style do you think?
There is still colour showing on her gown and lots of detail can be seen. Buttons, braids, and decorations all very clear. A good example to work from.

Helene de Melun outlived her husband by a year, so she is depicted wearing "widows weeds" You can clearly see the wimple under her chin and the detailed folds in her mantle and underskirt.

These are not the only effigies in the crypt, just the ones I focused on......

For info on visiting Eu and Le Treport go here
For info on the Chapel go here
For the Funiculaire go here

Monday 31 October 2016

A grand day out

A few weeks ago we went out for a Grand Day Out!

On the 27th September 1066, William the Conqueror set sail from St Valery sur Somme for England. So we decided in this anniversary year that we should go and have a look! We collected some friends and meandered along the Canche valley to start with, then on to the Baie de Somme and the little town of St Valery.  What a beautiful place!

 It's fairly obvious that the town has spread from what it was in the 11th Century, but there is still a core at the top of the hill that is original.

Cobbled streets lead up to the "William Tower" which is also where Joan of Ark was held prisoner in the 15th Century (according to a plaque on the wall.) not sure whether it was one night or longer....

The Baie itself is beautiful, an absolute haven for wildlife, you can walk across to Le Crotoy on the opposite bank when the tide is out - we took the train, a story for another day!

 This picture speaks for itself - it's in the spot (supposedly) where the boats set sail from, now in the middle of the walkway with a road on either side. I suppose with 1000 years having passed the course of the river will have changed.....

I've been meaning to reproduce the colours of the Bayeux Tapestry for many years and so in tribute to the anniversary they were launched in August. Madder, Weld and Woad have given a really lovely range of colours, alum and iron were the only additions.

Saturday 29 October 2016

Coming back to here!

It's been a long time since I came here - the intention was to combine a new website and blog, but as yet this hasn't happened.

Soooo much HAS happened since I last came here, so I'm just going to start afresh as it were.

Should the website get sorted then I will use the blog there to talk about work things and I'll keep this one for research and interesting things related to natural dyeing and textiles.

Onwards to the future of a naturally coloured world!