Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Antique samplers and Great Grandfather's Painting.

 Over the years one thing that I have resisted collecting is antique samplers. I don't stitch reproduction samplers because I just don't. Many of them are lovely but with the limited time I have, they have not been things that I choose to spend my time on. I have loved collecting antique needlework tools. I still enjoy taking classes and buying threads: silk threads, gold threads and lots of others. 

Well, now I have three samplers so I shall probably have to call that a collection. It is not going to grow a much if at all. With limited wall space, I prefer to hang my father's oil paintings, prints that I love and my own work, but this last sampler will be hung at least part of the time. It is fragile enough that it should not hang full time.

The oldest sampler was stitched by Jane Bates in 1791. She was 11 years old when she stitched her sampler. The sampler was purchased in Cumbria. That is a county in the north-west corner or England. The owner bought from the "estate of a lady" and told me that the old samplers usually stay in the family. So perhaps with some work I can find out more. 

Here are photos of the front and back. The colors have not faded much but the moths have eaten parts of the background.

This is the back.

The second sampler was stitched by Ann Donaldson who was born  on July 6, 1824. She listed many different initials but did include the name of REVd  EDW MOISES and E J Faill on the second line of her sampler. It is my conjecture that she was educated or lived at a charity school run by the Reverend.

The final sampler is from Germany and stitched by Helen Trager. I have reproduced this one and an adaptation. The pattern is for sale in several retail outlets. I purchased it from Helen's great niece and she gave me quite a bit of information about her Great-aunt. It is red on white fabric.

My Great-Grandfather, James Morgan Waterfall, emigrated from England in the 1880's. He painted a number of pieces but the only one that I know of now is this one of seals on some rocks. He signed the back: J Waterfall 1901. He painted others with ships in full sail that I would love to see.  He was a ship repair man in London but became a shoe maker here. He was so good that people would travel from miles around to have him work on their shoes. 

My mother treasured it because she loved her Grandfather. It is dirty and need some restoration but I have hung it up anyway.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Tea Cups and other pottery

 I am a bit of a collector. Mostly sewing tools but also other things that catch my eye. I don't have to acquire many of them to form an actual collection of whatever it is but just one or two of something makes my heart sing. Sometimes the collection is just a set of photos on  Pintrest because one - I can't afford to own the original or two - what am I going to do with either one or multiples of  whatever it is. My granddaughter calls it "Oh Shiny". Kind of a magpie response to trinkets or treasures. Years ago my father and I took a pottery class together. It was fun and I enjoyed doing it but I didn't follow up with learning to do more with it, but it did give me an appreciation of good pottery. 

I have for years enjoyed going to Horseshoe Mountain Pottery and looking at his pots and purchasing a few of them over the years. Joe Bennion is a very interesting man, a fabulous potter and his pots reflect his personality. 

 Another potter that I enjoy does bowls, plates and cups and other things that have horses on them. They are celadon green and have horses on them that remind me of fat Chinese horses from scroll paintings.  Her name is Sharon Brown Mikkelson.

I even did a whole room  that was inspired by the colors of a bowl. The soft green and sandy/copper colors inspired my embroidered copper bugs and critters. In the installation of the light fixture something got dropped on the bowl but I glued it back together because it was one of a kind and I love it. I have thought of using the Japanese technique of mending called Kintsugi that uses gold lacquer but for now I like it just as it is with a little bit extra of a story to tell.

The other day I watched a video that showed some pottery tea cups being fired. I just had to look at the web site and found the most creative group of tea cups. I don't drink tea but they are the most perfect little bowls for a snack or just to admire. So I bought three of them. It was so hard to decide just which ones I wanted but several dozen small cups did seem a bit excessive, so I settled for three. The company is called Tenmokus. They are based in Hong Kong but the shipping was so fast that they were here within a week. The top one is called Sunrise and the other two are Jellyfish and Golden Drops. The packing boxes are so nice that now I need to figure out what to do with them as they are too good to just throw out.