woven scraps

I found this amazingly beautiful piece of Chinese woven paper at work today. It is pasted into a scrapbook of notes and sketches by Thomas Barritt (1743-1820) who worked as a saddlemaker and was also a hugely keen local historian, collecting thousands of objects and manuscripts and making volumes of notes over his lifetime. I love this little scrap, which must almost certainly date from before 1800. If you click on the image, and then click again, you can see the lovely handcoloured paper and the incredible amount of work which has gone into creating the image. Whether it is a part of some larger design I cannot say, but would love to know.

Here in Manchester it is another wet, wet day. The rain is bouncing down and the skies are grey. We have had one or two golden, sunny days this week but otherwise this has been our weather for quite some time now. It is not good for the spirits, but other things are: I have been making - and eating - the famous chilli jam that everyone's been talking about, enjoying the first fires of autumn and ordering - and impatiently waiting for - this beautiful book that was reviewed in the Guardian at the weekend. I'm looking forward to enjoying all three this coming weekend.

14 comments:

Things Hand Made said...

wow, that paper is amazing. Cheered up the grey day that it is here.

Jane said...

What a wondeful find - and such a lot of work involved. It's horrible here, too. Wet, grey and miserable - pity it's our wedding anniversary, but just as well we hadn't planned a day out! Hope your weekend goes to plan.

arlee said...

That is amazing! A great inspiration for Jude's C2C class--thank you so much for sharing!!!

rossichka said...

What a wonderful place to work at! Such an old building full of so many precious old books and manuscripts that need special attention! The atmosphere must be unusual - moving and like nothing else from the otsiside world... I try to imagine the combination between the light, coming through the windows, people maybe whispering, the rustling of pages, the smell of the books!!!... Thank you for posting the site - there're so many interesting things to be read!
An exciting weekend is awaiting for you, Sue! Cuddled in a blanket, reading that special delivery, far away from the cold of the grey, rainy days. Of course, I wish you two golden days that won't weaken the pleasure of reading and being lazy.:)
P.S. I like very much the woven paper you discovered. It reminds me of HCAndersen's papercuttings, he used to make hearts in that way - http://museum.odense.dk/andersen/klip/billedliste.asp?sprog=engelsk.

Oh, and your sketches of fish are so beautiful!!

mary said...

What a wonderful place to work. I went there on a school trip more years ago than I care to think!
That book sounds wonderful, too.

A Time to Dance said...

We have just had a two hour power cut can you imagine? I have had to knit be candle light and it has rained and rained and rained... Hope you are well ... H

Lucille said...

That book is a must have. Something very beautiful and distracting is needed in this dreadful weather.

Frances said...

Sue there was something in the image on your Chinese woven paper that looked very Egyptian eye-like to me.

I am curious to learn how you did "find" this amazing scrap. And, what are the dimensions of the paper strips?

We had heavy overnight rain here and I arrived at the shop to find rain pouring in through a weak link in the skylight. Pretty much all sorted out now, but can't say I had a very relaxing day.

Looking forward to my next quiet day ... Monday.

xo

Elizabeth said...

Guess What! I just found a lovely book on Piper in a local op shop and have been browsing through it this week!
I'll look out for that book on the romantics when I go to Melbourne next.

Jackie said...

The paper is amazing. Its puzzling too. How and why was it done? I can't work out how you achieve a circle of shading by weaving paper strips.
Thanks for sharing your fascinating finds.

Gilly said...

The construction and colouration of that woven paper fascinates me. Black paper was used for the checkerboard effect, asyou can see black strips, but was it then painted over for the pale bits, and yet you can see the vertical pieces are pale at the top??

Were you around when the photoshoots at Chetham's were taking place?

And it was a nice morning this morning - did some gardening! Oh, but didn't it rain yesterday!

Sue said...

Thank you all for your comments. I wish I could tell you more about the woven paper but I have no inkling about its provenance or significance. I 'found' it in a small book of cuttings and scraps which had been brought up from the strong room for the librarian to look at. We often pass things around that don't see the light of day much, just to marvel and enjoy - one of the perks of working in such a place. Rossichka you are absolutely right in your imaginings! It is a really special place to work and on a darkening autumn/winter afternoon the atmosphere is somewhat otherworldly. The novelty of working there really never wears off, even after more than eight years. Frances - the strips of paper are really thin - about 2mm or 3mm wide. Like you, I do wonder if it is part of some larger design.

Joanna said...

Thank you for the link ... the chilli jam is lovely, and now it's responsible for linking me to your wonderful blog (via one of your readers in New Zealand, I LOVE the internet)

Quickly skimming over some of your past posts, I know that I am going to set aside some time to read your Denmark posts properly ...

xJoanna

liv said...

beatiful and an interesting texture!