Grizedale Arts

Grizedale Arts Blog

Wednesday 23 November '11
(from Grizedale Arts Blog)

Wish I could be like David Watt

David Watt who ran one of the few useful shops in the village, just recently passed away. He ran the hardware shop and though he seemed to specialise in dog leads, he always had some magical item that you never knew you needed until you entered his shop. One of the last thing we bought from him was a cable peanut! Everyone seemed to warm to him and even just catching a glimpse of him walking his dog would put you in a nicer mood. He will be greatly missed by the village and by all of us.


Monday 21 November '11
(from Grizedale Arts Blog)

...And there was light.

The Christmas lights are all up an on in Coniston now and look fantastic (if a little creepy!) A surprising number of people came along to the switch on, nearly 200, which was well above my pessimistic guesstimate of 20.   Richard Ryan, Manager of the Blackpool Illuminations was due to switch on the lights but as he was stuck in traffic, and with people getting bored of mulled wine very quickly, we had one of our favourite local ladies, Margaret Proctor, switch on the lights for us and pose for press photos. We were handed the job of organising the Christmas Lights from a committee of local women who have done this for 11 years. We have been quite anxious about their response to all the changes we have made but fortunately for us, they are very happy with them! Richard arrived just before everyone disappeared into the pub or to dominos night (one of the biggest club nights in Coniston!) so he was able to give his talk on Christmas Lights and the Blackpool Illuminations. We had bought a couple of lights from him and the big Peace on Earth sign, he told us, was originally made for a Robson Green Christmas pop video! 


Saturday 12 November '11
(from Grizedale Arts Blog)

An Update of the Kitchen Update

Seventeen volunteers showed up on Tuesday to get stuck into more revamping of Coniston Institute. The kitchen was the priority. Since the new units were put in a few weeks ago, we hadn't had a chance to add the finishing touches like putting up shelves and deciding which cupboard for cups and which for plates and where we should keep the tea towels. It's all looking great and working so we're looking forward to cooking a big thank you dinner for all the volunteers, committee members and funders.

We also had a massive clear-out of a general hoard found squatting in the basement. The mouse-nibbled shuttlecocks, broken Christmas decorations, rotting curtains and paint brushes gone hard, filled a trailer and three cars. 

Then came the rubble.... a wall has come down to make a once overflowing storage room and dark corridor into a beautiful new library.... update to follow.


Friday 11 November '11
(from Grizedale Arts Blog)

"It may be winter outside, but in my heart it's spring"

...As the rain lashes the window on a Friday night, I find myself wondering if Barry White was much of a gardener?

Anyhoo, I'm posting to remind you that the Grizedale garden at Lawson Park opens next year to you - the public - for charidee (the National Garden Scheme, it's prestigious don't you know).

The big cakes and all date is SUNDAY SEPT. 2ND 2012 - save the date now and order your waterproofs.

But you can also contact me if you're in the area another time and if I'm around you'll be most welcome.


Wednesday 9 November '11
(from Grizedale Arts Blog)

Rietdale. Gerrit?

On Monday we took delivery of this fine Rietdale Chair made by Harvey Wilkinson, former curator at Blackwell. The chair is a hybrid of the 1917 Red and Blue Chair by Gerrit Rietveld and the Eskdale school of woodcarving, produced by itinerant craftsmen in the valley of Eskdale in the English Lake District around the same time.  The Eskdale woodcarvers were never recognised as a movement or driving force in arts and crafts , yet their extraordinary designs in carved oak offer a proto-modernist version of design evolved in this remote valley, like some lost evolutionary offshoot.

Harvey has not created this piece as an art joke, but as a genuine improvement on what he sees as a slightly clunky attempt at a chair. The frame is built in beech, the arms in oak and the seat and back in ply. The edition of ball and ring turning to the legs is conceived to give the whole thing 'lift' in the traditional manner.  Further models with material variations are to be developed and it is surprisingly comfortable.


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