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Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Smashing Time - Luddites

Luddites Smashing a loom, 1812. (Artist Unknown)

I got this quote in my Word of the Day email today:

After the Luddites, name taken by textile workers in England during 1811-1816 who destroyed machinery that was displacing them. They took the name after one Ned Ludd, whose identity is not clear. Ned Ludd is said to have destroyed, in a fit of insanity, a knitting frame in 1779. In response to the Luddites, the British parliament passed the Frame Breaking Act which made the destroying of knitting frames punishable by death. 

 I learned a lot about this when I visited the Ruddington Framework Knitter's Museum in Enland a few years ago.  Lots of us balk at change, I think back to the day my husband brought home a Mac (back when they were beige too) and I told him to have fun and walked away...... then a graphic artist friend of mine, Tracy Carefoot, showed me how to make my own business cards, and a computer learning centre in the Beach area of Toronto where I lived showed me how to write a letter and save, save, save....and I haven't looked back.

Me on a Knitting Frame at the RFKM. 
Eight movements involving hands, knees and feet for one row!

I'm so glad that knitting machines survived Ned Ludd!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Rocks on Thanksgiving

'Wallers working on their wall.

Just spent the first day of the Rocktoberfest 2010 event in Landon Bay Centre in the 1000 Islands! What a beautiful day!  And what a unique event. I don't know much about 'dry stone wall building' but I've learned a lot today and now I've been looking at the art/craft for years, in North America and Europe. It's ancient and wonderful.

Working on the keystone.

Here is a group of wallers working on building a bridge over a stream in the woods at Landon Bay Center. I didn't know they used a wooden shape to mold the stones around, no mortar is used the construction and weight hold the carefully chosen and chipped away rocks together in the formation required (building, wall, bridge, fireplace, chimney, bridge abutment.......).

Here we have DSWA Canada Pres. John Shaw-Rimmington reworking the keystone to fit.

I set up my booth with my friend and event organizer Margot Miller and hoped my fingers would eventually thaw out. The day warmed up and not a cloud in the sky. Later I wandered over to see the wall close to, then walked the trail through the woods to find the bridge that was being built..... they take the mold out on Monday. 

Not a lot of artisans but lots of food, music and things to look at. 

This is a bench on the trail overlooking the park and campground.

Well, gotta go bag some ZZZZ's for tomorrow... two more days left... see you there!