This is the continuation of our Three Days in the Midlands. The quote above is from the owner of Snowshill Manor, who bought a house to fill with his collection of artefacts that embodied his ideas of craftsmanship, design and colour. The house is quite big and contains 20,000 objects. He lived in a two roomed gaff in the grounds.
The objects feast the eyes and mind.
- The largest collection of samurai armour outside Japan;
- Three serpents – a musical instrument withdrawn due to …
- A collection of very early bicycles, including The Hobby Horse and penny farthings;
- Shipwright’s models;
- Shepherds’ chairs – four off;
- A model village he made, or several versions of it I think;
- Early spinning machinery;
- A fine pair of hewing axes.
Doh, I’d used up my camera batteries in the morning visit to Hidcote Gardens. And there we sat in a little open gazebo building tiled with hand made tiles.
The 4″ x 4″ tiles were rather charming, including these variations on a pattern:
This is what I like! All hand done, quickly, simple, but very recognizably vernacular. Look how the craftsman has introduced such variety to his tiles, swapping boats for churches, mirroring the houses, moving the smoak from one chimney to another. Blimey it’s like a film. The corner decorations differ – even on the same tile. Could a machine do this? Well yes, but it would be a clever programmer that would write the code, and what would be the point? It’s not just decoration either that can be interesting to the eye. Look at this Victorian brewery: I don’t think we build factories like that any more – why not?
And then there’s the serendipitous stuff, here are some of the vents up in the old chiller at the brewery’s top floor (well it’s actually two breweries stuck together this one is at the top of the near side in the photo above).
Why I don’t like tarmac:
I think this stuff is catching on with some people, there is a desire for the irregular rather than the machine-made, and just to come back to the woods, here are a couple of irregular pieces I just made: