TRC Blog: Textile Moments

Black as jet

Jet working atelier, Whitby, UK (photograph Shelley Anderson).

Jet working atelier, Whitby, UK (photograph Shelley Anderson).

TRC volunteer Shelley Anderson writes about her recent visit to Whitby, England:

Whitby is a small fishing village on England’s northeastern coast. It’s famous for its ruined abbey and for the fact that it is mentioned in Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula. I was there for neither ruins nor vampires. Whitby is also famous for its jet, a black gem stone that has been used for jewellery since the Bronze Age.

Jet is a fossilized wood, made from the Araucaria tree (a relative of today’s monkey puzzle tree) during the Jurassic period. Jet is found in several places around the world, including northern Spain and southwestern Turkey (in fact, the Romans called the gem stone gagates, from the Gages river in Turkey). Jet from Whitby is considered among the highest quality anywhere. It is also increasingly scarce. The jet mines have been closed and it’s illegal to hack at any seams found in the beach cliffs. Jet workers now comb the beach along a particular seven and a half mile stretch of the North Yorkshire coastline to look for the gem stone.

I was in Whitby looking for jet jewelry for my own small collection, and for some Victorian jet buttons for the TRC’s button reference collection. There are dozens of shops selling jet jewelry, especially on the narrow Church Street. If you are interested in the history of jet, it’s better to go to a shop where jet is still being made into jewelry, rather than a shop that simply sells jet jewelry. I had some very good conversations in several of the former, including the jet shops One O Five and the Black Market.

Read more: Black as jet

   

A second box with American quilts has arrived at the TRC

Quilt with 'cheater'  design, USA, 1960s (TRC 2018.2407).

Quilt with 'cheater' design, USA, 1960s (TRC 2018.2407).

The second box of US quilts, tops and related items, including some nineteenth century ‘spare’ blocks, has just arrived at the TRC. These are part of a donation of quilts by Sherry Cook, who has very kindly agreed to give some of her collection to the TRC (see previous blog about the first box, and Sherry’s blog about why she is making this donation).

The first box arrived a few weeks ago and already all the items have been put online at TRC Collection Online, nos. TRC 2018.2404 – TRC 2018.2432a. The items from the second box will come online by the beginning of August 2018.

The donation by Sherry Cook provides a fascinating look at American quilts from the late nineteenth century to about the 1980’s and includes examples made in silk, velvet, cotton, as well as synthetic materials. The designs range from Bow Tie, via Morning Glory, Pansy, Roman Square to Star Dahlia. A third box is due in a few weeks’ time! 

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, Thursday 19th July 2018

   

Encyclopedia of Embroidery Series update

Preparations for Vol. 8 of the Encyclopedia of Embroidery series, covering the Antarctic, are already well advanced. Martin Hense, the draughtsman for the full series, just completed the first illustration.

Preparations for Vol. 8 of the Encyclopedia of Embroidery series, covering the Antarctic, are already well advanced. Martin Hense, the draughtsman for the full series, just completed the first illustration.

During the last few months the Encyclopedia of World Embroidery series (Bloomsbury Publishing, London), has been gaining momentum. The first volume on embroidery from the Arab World came out in 2016 (see here) and to everyone’s pleasure won the prestigious international award, the Dartmouth Medal.

Since then we have been working hard on volume 2, which is about embroidery from Central Asia, the Iranian Plateau and the Indian subcontinent (see here). The manuscript for this volume has gone to Bloomsbury and the book should appear by the end of 2019. Once again many people have been helping with advice, suggestions and with providing actual examples of embroidery.

For the next few years, we are planning the following volumes: 3 – Scandinavia and Western Europe; 4 – East and Southeast Asia; 5 – Eastern Europe and Russia; 6- Sub-Saharan Africa; 7- The Americas. 

 

Read more: Encyclopedia of Embroidery Series update

   

TRC receives grant to update its website and improve the online catalogue

Thanks to the generosity of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and the Themafonds Digitalizering Erfgoedcollecties Zuid-Holland, the TRC Leiden has received a substantial grant to update the online catalogue of the TRC collection, improve and extend the digital database and to revamp the internet presence of the TRC in general. The work will start very shortly in re-styling the database, updating programmes, and getting even more photographs and information online!

Read more: TRC receives grant to update its website and improve the online catalogue

   

Opening a box full of American quilts

I have had several emails from TRC Followers about the box from America, which I wrote about last week. Did we open it ? Can people see what is inside? What type of quilts are they?

Read more: Opening a box full of American quilts

   

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Donations

 
Financial donations to the TRC can be made via Paypal; Donaties aan de TRC kunnen worden overgemaakt via Paypal:
 
 

TRC in a nutshell

Hogewoerd 164, 2311 HW Leiden. Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 / +31 (0)6 28830428   info@trc-leiden.nl

Opening times: Monday to Thursday: 10.00-16.00 hrs, other days by appointment.

Bank account number: NL39 INGB 0002 9823 59

Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome !

TRC Gallery exhibition: 22 Jan. - 27 June: Velvet!

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Donations

The TRC is dependent on project support and individual donations. All of our work is being carried out by volunteers. To support the TRC activities, we therefore welcome your financial assistance: donations can be transferred to bank account number NL39 INGB 000 298 2359, in the name of the Stichting Textile Research Centre. Since the TRC is officially recognised as a non-profit making cultural institution (ANBI), donations are tax deductible for 125% for individuals, and 150% for commercial companies. For more information, click here
 
Financial donations to the TRC can be made via Paypal: