Also on Saturday 22nd June we were delighted to be joined from Steyning in Sussex by contemporary textile designer Sarah whose new book on Painswick based textile designers Barron and Larcher was published last autumn. Sarah is a present day practioner of both block printing and the use of natural dyestuffs so it was very interesting to hear her speak about such Cotswolds local craft heroes of the 1930s.
Sarah was able to illustrate her presentation with period examples of B&L textiles kindly loaned for our Cardew’s Craft Circle show. In the above photograph she is seen holding a rare and interesting dress made and owned by Eve Simmonds using Phyllis Barron material. Eve was the wife of the sculptor and puppeteer William Simmonds, and was a very fine needlewoman in her own right.
Phyllis made the material by using a dye employing walnut skins, the design being achieved by then applying wood blocks dipped in nitric acid. This colour discharge technique provided for a very strong pattern and the garment is a rare survivor from the 1930s.
Sarah also showed a very interesting boult of textile used by B&L for trialling abstract designs (below). This scarce material was very kindly lent by the family of the artist and educator Robin Tanner, in the person of his niece Helen Rice.