Monday, 10 August 2015

At the Time of the Huguenots

I suppose I'm a little bit late telling you about this
workshop I attended recently but you know what they
say, better late than never.  That would be a very
apt little phrase to put on a sampler as some of you
seem to take a very long time indeed to finish yours.
I shall mention no names - just look around and see
who's gone a bit pink.

There were about a dozen of us "ladies of a certain age"
sitting in horse shoe formation with the speaker in the
middle.  And you could almost smell the anticipation
in the room when we were each handed our own
pair of white cotton gloves to handle the exhibits
Either that or someone had grabbed the air freshener
instead of their perfume as they rushed to get ready
for a bit of "hands on" fun.

Although costume isn't really my thing I soon got
hooked on the subject by sheer dint of the enthusiasm of
the young lass conducting the proceedings.
What she didn't know about whalebone stays just isn't
worth knowing.

We looked at huge, leather-bound pattern books which were
truly breath taking, we played pass the slipper with a
pair of ladies 18th century silk dance pumps and we marvelled
at some truly intricate cloth that had made it unscathed
through a couple of world wars and was still as fresh as
the day it came off the loom.

My new friend showing us a "posh frock"

But for me the highlight came after all the other ladies
had departed for various coffee shops in and around Norwich
for a bite to eat, after all the dresses had been put back
in their protective wraps and all the fragile bits of cloth had
been lovingly placed in their dust proof boxes.

I know this is a mermaid Alice but it's just to give you an idea of
what I saw.  Photography wasn't allowed I'm afraid.

It was that moment when the curator (who had somehow gathered
I was into samplers) said: "Would you like to come into our
store room and see the merman?"