The project started with Gilly Vose from the Norris Museum briefing the girls and taking them on a tour of Houghton Mill where they had the opportunity to handle some very old tools of the trades and to start developing scrapbooks on their topics.
Meanwhile I was predying lots of different fabrics and threads, using natural dyes to get the soft vintage colours that form the backgrounds - there were lots of simmering pots and steam going on here for a couple of weekends.
All in all we created 6 banners. The girls selected images of shops and trades gathered from local museums and transferred them onto textiles. They used various methods- inkjet transfer paper, diazo print and photocopy transfer. Then they added frames, stitch and other embellishements according to their particular theme. They came in over their lunch hours to do extra work and they did a really wonderful job.
As always, we had to add in a screen printed element - and that's how they did the titles.
My wonderful mother arrived just in time to work with me sewing all the lovely patches to the banners. We decided to do it all by hand - in keeping with the old fashioned craftsmanlike ethos of the banners and so, many hours later, here they are:
Here they are at the exhibition before the exhibition - hard to explain.......but it gives you some idea of scale
And here are some close up details:
And just to end with a word of thanks to Di and Claire - the 2 wonderful teachers who made this whole project possible and kept the young people inspired by their enthusiasm.
The banners will be touring round various local museums over the next 2 years- look out for them in your area!