Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Tools of the Trade (1) - posted by Eleanor

We have just had an Open Studio this weekend. I have always loved seeing 'behind the scenes' in any creative space - all the materials and equipment and processes involved in designing and making anything. Visitors to our studios are equally fascinated by our 'kit' - the particular the peculiar.

This is our hank winder. We use it to wind yarn for the blanket stitching off the cones and into hanks for washing. I am particularly fond of the green hammerite finish and the little red metre clock.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Green Tomato Chutney? - posted by Eleanor

One of the most lovely things about our studio is that it comes complete with a roof garden... Well when I say 'garden' I mean a flat roof full of cigarette buts and pigeon feathers... Last week though, in one of the brief windows of sun between the showers, Holly and I got down to work.

Here's Holly in Deptford market with our orange trolley, stacked high with lots of old tool boxes and metal trunks. When we got back to the studio, we found that the bright green trunk has a label in it which reads "Mrs Loomes of Beckingham" - how very apt.

I think we are probably a bit optimistic with all our tomato plants, 'specially with the summer we're having... it'll be green tomato chutney all round I think.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Is it lunchtime yet? - posted by Eleanor

This is the view from our new studio - taken about five minutes ago. We look out over the rooftops and train lines and construction sites to Greenwich observatory on the far horizon. Just in between the observatory (the pale green dome) and the clock tower is the Greenwich time ball - marked here. I am afraid that my little phone camera does not really do it justice, but it is quite clearly visible to the eye. 

The time ball was first invented in 1829 by Robert Wauchope and this one was was installed in the Greenwich observatory in 1833 by Astronomer Royal John Pond. The time was set according to the positions of the sun and stars. Everyday just fractionally before 1pm the ball rises to the top of the column, and then drops at precisely 1pm allowing mariners were able to set their chronometers by the time ball.

Of course with the advent of Radio time signals the time ball is not so vital, but here in the studio it serves the all-important role of signalling lunch time.

The image above is from a lovely blog called A Following Sea - there is a posting about the last remaining time balls around the world.