Saturday, 27 June 2009
I have always been interested in, and attracted to, the bold patterns of painted walls in Elizabethan houses ever since I saw some at Queens Hoo, nr. Tewin, Herts, which was owned by an aunt. So when I saw an article and photos about a young artist, Melissa White, who was painting wall hangings and plaster decorations, I contacted her, hoping that my old handspun, hand-woven linen might be useful in re-creating ancient decorations. She was, by chance, coming this way on a course run by a good friend of mine, Victor Chinnery, who is a leading expert on Tudor furnishings and buildings, so it all came together and she spent a night here and went on to the Merchants House in Marlborough with its fabulous painted 'Rainbow' room, brilliant stripes all round and a wonderful staircase with 'shadow' bannisters opposite the real ones, in a building open to the public. They went on to Exeter where the Museum there has rescued a complete English pannelled room from the Hearst archives/stores in USA, never unpacked (!), set it all up in the Exeter Museum, and it turns out that it had all been taken from a building a few streets away - what a coincidence! She did some work there later. Now Melissa has started designing 'Elizabethan' cushions on hemp, linen and vintage velvet remnants and you can see her work on line.. She can be contacted at http://www.fairlyte.co.uk/ for info. and commissions. If you have any really nice vintage velvet, I will pass on messages for her.