"If this paper, the subject of which is one of deepest human interest, proves but a dry cataloguish affair, we would ask you to consider the difficulty of compressing the experience of many years into fifteen minutes...
|Interior of Weaving House, Kings Road, Haslemere|
from Pooley, B., The Changing Face of Shottermill,
Acorn Press, Haslemere, 1987
"A girl coming into the Weaving Home or the Workroom quickly interested in the work, becomes very proud of her growing skills, and, while gradually mastering a beautiful craft, is also acquiring the splendid patience of the good hand-worker. If, at the outset, she is less refined than her companions in the workroom we find she soon grows noticeably gentler in her ways and simpler in her dressing. During the careful processes of craft, much grinding and polishing of human jewels would seem to take place, for many unsuspected treasurers are brought to light.
"For example, one embroideress develops the power of drawing minute reductions of large designs, very fluently and charmingly; another reads a paper in defence of hand - opposed to machine-work at her chapel guild; another gets a loom of her own into her cottage in order to weave the clothes of her dearly loved little son, as well as her own best wear; another stays behind and works overtime to make her own wedding-dress. "Of course, I couldn't be married in anything but a hand-woven dress." she said, when we expressed our pleasure about it. Yet another develops a rare sense of colour. Of some more than usually beautiful arrangement of colour we sometimes learn from her fellow-workers - she is too modest to tell us herself - that she has tried therein to symbolise something of herself or of them, her friends, or the mood of a sweet grey morning or the splendour of autumn woods.
|The Weaving House, Kings Road, Haslemere c. 1902|
from The Craftsman, January 1902
"Let this story answer him. In a remote Sussex village lives a young girl, trained in our Industries, whose father is a small farmer, baker, and miller. The mother is a very busy woman, constantly called into the little shop, and this, the eldest daughter, must help with the cooking and home-work generally. And yet on Christmas Day last she gave her father a suit-length of tweed which she had spun, dyed, and woven herself. Now she is making a dress for her mother, and clothes for brothers and sisters are to follow. All this, be it remembered, is done in the spare times of a busy, dutiful life, where, as a Highland woman once said to us, "she has a great deal to do all amongst everything, indeed!" She has a little workroom, where with loom and wheel and the fleeces from her father's South Down sheep, she sits and works wonders like any little princess in a fairy tale! And here she holds a weekly spinning circle for her sisters and friends, doing her utmost to kindle other flames from her own bright torch. We are all very proud, I am sure, to acknowledge her as one of the first members of our Peasant Arts Fellowship."
|Blount, E. and King, M.E.,|
Our Influence of the Influence of Handicraft upon the Workers,
Peasant Arts Fellowship Papers, No. 10,
Vineyard Press, Dent & Sons, 1918