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Framework Knitting and Other Stories

We were commissioned, last year, by the lovely folks at Stonewater Ltd to travel from the deepest depths of Squelch (as Devon should be renamed, due to its proliferation of precipitation) and wow the citizens of Nottingham with our diva ways and unfathomable creative ideas.

The comely village of Ruddington was the destination, a once big player in the dazzling business of framework knitting. The village is now bursting at it seams and so Little Boxes (no longer made of ticky tacky) are being carefully crafted at various points around the hamlet. Its the Wilbur Chase development that our Lignin Marvel will be installed and its whole raison d’être (other than looking pretty, obviously) is to tell a story about the wanton stitchery that took places in times hence.

We wended our way Nor’wards until our flu addled feet (we’ve not been fully fiddle fit for over a month) nudged the borders of the home of HP sauce. Our brief was to brief the local children and get them to unleash their wonderful imaginations, often manacled by an outmoded education system, to help inspire our design deliberations.

St Peters CofE Junior School agreed to participate in the productivity and were the consummate hosts throughout. Rob valiantly led sessions, with some fantastic children, while only being able to hear from one ear (maybe this was a blessing!). Despite the best efforts of an errant magpie, no sorrow befell the workshops and the kiddywinks seemed engaged (although they may have been good actors) throughout.

Children "acting" interested while Rob auditions for a role in a Scandinavian Dexys tribute act
Surely a sign that the project is blessed by a higher power

Without revealing the inner most secrets of Rob’s sessions (imagine a thoroughly thought out plan, exacting in every detail, leaving no creative eliciting stone unturned, scripted to perfection and drawing on every ounce of meticulous planning. Now imagine a middle aged man/child winging it and plot a point somewhere in the middle of the two. Actually imagine more towards the winging it end) he guided the sprogs through a journey about what art is, how to create it and then let them loose on the subject matter of their locality and the framework knitters.

Along side the Lawnmower museum in Southport, the Framework Knitting Museum in Ruddington must surely sound like one of the most yawn inducing, socks with sandals type outings available in the UK today. Surprisingly, it’s a lovely little museum and is full of atmosphere and wonderfully knowledgable volunteers who bring to life the times of mass stockings shenanigans. 

The museum was awash with lovely sinuous shapes and industrial delights
Despite looking like a plank with two holes, this is actually a very inspirational plank with two holes!

Having outstayed our welcome in the Middle we retreated South to digest and deliberate and hopefully produce a design that encapsulates all that we experienced and makes the whole of Nottingham join together in a ringing chorus of adulation at the glorious chunk of public art bestowed upon them or, at the very least, not cover it in sweary words and urine!

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