Friday, 20 May 2016

Five on Friday - National Needlework Archive

Hello

How can it be Friday again already?!

I've been looking at the website of the National Needlework Archive for a while now thinking I should go along and see what's what. Somehow I had imagined the walls of the Old Chapel Textile Centre to be covered in fabulous embroidery, people busily restoring exquisite old masterpieces and maybe skeins of embroidery thread for sale.
Sadly my over active imagination went over the top! As I stepped through the door a musty smell wafted up my nose and nobody was particularly bothered that I was inside wandering about. When I did manage to speak to one of the volunteers she told me that museums, schools or the community could request to see the textiles they were researching in advance and then they would be ready for them to view when they visited.  However, here are my five to show you what I did find.

One - The 0ld Chapel Textile Centre

The NNA is a charity looking after a documentary and photographic textile archive used for research. The OCTC runs workshops and courses, exhibitions and sales and also houses The Country Wife Mural which was made for the Festival of Britain in 1951 by Constance Howard and members of the WI, it is now undergoing restoration.



Detail of the 3D mural


Two - Tea Shop

I liked the reels of cotton holding the table number and I was ready for my coffee and delicious cake.


Three - Walls

There were only a few items to admire on the walls, all the precious work was stored carefully away to protect it.





Four - Print Exhibition

There was plenty of room to display the prints which were part of the Open Studios exhibition on throughout West Berkshire, a bit more about that tomorrow.



Five - Bag to Bag Exhibition

Examples of hand crafted bags of all shapes and sizes were on display to give you ideas to have a go yourself.





I'm glad I visited but I don't think I would visit again unless there was a particular exhibition on that caught my attention although I would have liked to see the Mural. Material, wool and haberdashery items were on sale but they had been gifted to the Centre and were a mixed bag.

Thanks to Amy for the link up.

Have a good week.

44 comments:

  1. I bet you were a bit disappointed! I loved the 50's wives mural. I can see myself in there with the knitting needles, perhaps not the hat tho'. Have a good weekend. B x

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    1. It's a good representation of the times isn't it, nowadays we'd all look different but still with the knitting needles! You too x

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  2. The Country Wives mural is very pretty. I don't do crazy quilting nor any crafts nowadays - so I only admire those who do!
    Have a happy weekend!

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    1. It would have been interesting to see it as it looks well designed. You too!

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  3. Looks like an interesting place, but it's sad they don't make more of it.

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    1. Perhaps I didn't choose the right day to go.

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  4. How disappointing that it didn't live up to how you imagined. However,that mural does look lovely and, the coffee and cake must have been some compensation. Have a lovely weekend xx

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    1. Thanks Lisa, I should have realised really. Still I'm always up for a slice of cake. x

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  5. I love the 3D mural, very detailed but oh how disappointing when you look forward to something...

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    1. Ah well it was quite good fun really!

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  6. Disappointing, but a nice day out at least. Like everyone else, I do like the mural. It has a wholesome feel to it.

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    1. It must have been quite spectacular in 1951 all shiny and new.

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  7. What a shame it was so disappointing. I would have loved to see all the bags in more detail I would imagine they were quite inspirational.

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    1. Actually the bags were quite impressive, all sorts of different techniques and materials. If you click on the photos you might be able to zoom in a bit.

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  8. You must have felt disappointed not to see what you had expected. There still looked to be some interesting things to see and take inspiration from and it is always good to treat yourself to coffee and cake:)

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    1. It's always good to see somewhere new even if it isn't quite what you expected. I'm eating far too many cakes this week!

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  9. I frequently see the signs and went to explore one day and couldn't work out what the way in or opening times etc were, never though to look for a website! I am sad that you couldn't get to see more, but I am glad now that I know what the situation is. Glad to hear that the tea and cake were good and the bags look very interesting! Thank you for taking part in Five On Friday, I hope you have a good weekend!

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    1. I was quite pleased to have a look and see how it all worked. Enjoy your weekend too. x

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  10. your needlework is lovely. new here but looking forward to getting to know your blog and you.

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    1. Thanks for joining in. See you soon. :-)

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  11. I had a quick look at the website and the workshops look interesting. It's a pity that your visit wasn't as you hoped it would be. I always think that a welcome on arrival with some ready information is important. At least the coffee and cake was good.

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    1. I'm sure it is a great place when there's a course happening as there was plenty of space for creating something spectacular!

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  12. It looks like an interesting place to visit. But like you, I too would have liked to see the textiles. That cake looks amazing though! Hugs, Pat

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    1. I should have realised the textiles would have been packed away to keep them safe, silly me! x

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  13. It does seem like there were some interesting things to see, bet that cake tasted wonderful.
    Hugs,
    MEredith

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    1. Yes it did, I was quite hungry when I arrived, so it went down really well.

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  14. Well that must be a bit of a disappointment.

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    1. It's always worth a look isn't it, you never know what you might find. :-)

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  15. It looks like an interesting place to visit and the cake looks yummy. At least now you've been and you won't have to wonder anymore!

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    1. That's true! I expect the courses are good though!

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  16. Well, I'm glad you got to see something. And were able to enjoy coffee and cake. The 3D mural looks interesting. I always like looking at any kind of old fiber/material/textiles.

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    1. It was a nice trip out in any case!

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  17. Oh well, at least there was cake and a cuppa. You can tick this place off the list now. Have a lovely weekend

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    1. It's always worth an investigation isn't it! Thanks you too:-)

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  18. My guess is that resources to run a good museum are hard to come by and maybe that is the reason why it was a bit underwhelming? Still, the photos you took show some beautiful pieces of needlework. Love the close up of the mural, particularly the knitting lady. Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. I think I should have realised that the archive would be protected really but it's always interesting exploring somewhere new, you never know what you might find. Have fun.

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  19. How disappointing when you had been looking forward to it so much. The mural looks great with wonderful characters and lots of details. The tea and cake looked good too!

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    1. Oh well never mind, my own fault really. The refreshments were just what I needed!

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  20. Looks like such an interesting place to visit. The mural is so detailed - I love the idea of women getting together to stitch and create.

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    1. I picked the wrong day to go as usually you can have a look at the mural but nobody was there when I went. Typical!

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  21. It is such a shame when the advertisement isn't what you are expecting and you leave deflated. At least they had something out and you managed to have some tea and cake. Never mind, maybe next time xx

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    1. Sometimes things don't go as you think they will but other times you get a pleasant surprise! x

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  22. I can imagine you were a bit disappointed, I would have felt the same. I love the Country Wives mural though, lots of detail to study. At least there was tea and cake on offer! xx

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    1. I expect their exhibitions and courses are great, I just picked the wrong day! x

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