Saturday, August 13, 2011

Victorian Crafts at Renishaw Hall

Today I'm telling at Renishaw Hall.

A very grand Victorian house built around a much older 17th century hall. It's most famous for being the home of the Sitwells, all part of the 'bright young things' of the interwar years. Creative people from privileged backgrounds. The most famous of them was Edith Sitwell the poet.

That's all very interesting, but I was more taken by the crafts and other activities on display at the Victorian event here this day. In particular the man making lead toys - animals and the like, although now cast from lead free pewter.

Pouring 'lead' into a mould
Click on images to make larger

His moulds are brought at antique fairs so he can produce animals just like originals and then the children can have a go at painting them in the tent next door. The toymaker even makes his own moulds out of marble just as they would have originally been. I like that kind of ingenuity.

And by sheer coincidence the small museum at the hall houses some of the Sitwell children's own lead soldiers and animals, so children can get an idea just what it is they are painting.

Sitwell antique lead toys

A small thing perhaps, but many of the kids kept the animals they had watched being cast and then painted themselves, very close as they listened to stories. And they had something to take away that may last and remind them of the hall for many years to come!

Thanks to all for the friendly welcome and to some great audiences. Especially the older listeners who gave as good as they got!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Station Rd,,United Kingdom

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