Handmade

“The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.”
Jacob Bronowski

Blog biography

Shore’s practice is grounded in research and is concerned with the impact of technologies on society and the individual. He investigates and attempts to uncover the narratives and histories of technology that are found embedded in the sites, places and artefacts that surround and inform our modern world.

Lambeth Open 2012 biography

Tim Shore works with moving image, drawing (of sorts) and installation. He likes cardboard, packaging and model making but does very little of the latter. He collects sketchbooks and different notebooks and tends not to use them. He is attempting to draw again, but is nervous about working without a ruler and so he’s mainly drawing lines, grids, charts, and lines that cross over other lines.

He worries about what his work should be about, likes history and is fascinated by the Luddite Uprising of 1812/13. It’s a long time ago, marginal, and he is aware that its legacy is troubled with misunderstanding, negativity and accusations of irrelevance. He recently did a short and very intensive hand weaving course and wonders how Luddites, weaving, lines and computers might all be bound together.

The Stuff That Matters (extract)

Perhaps it was by chance that Christopher Columbus, like his father, was first a wool weaver and wool merchant, but it is quite logical that the Jacquard Loom in early nineteenth-century France was the inspiration for the work of Charles Babbage in England which lead directly to the invention of the computer in the twentieth century.

From ‘A Speculative but Brief Note on Textiles and Society’, Seth Siegelaub, The Stuff That Matters exhibition catalogue.

Glossary

Pick
Single passage of the shuttle through the shed.

Shed
Opening in the warp that permits the passage of the shuttle and thereby the pick.

Warp
Longitudinal threads of a textile; those that are arranged on the loom. A single thread of warp is called an end. Alone, the term warp denotes all the warp ends in a textile.

Weave
System of interlacing ends and picks on a loom according to the defined rules or binding systems in order to produce all or part of a textile. The basic binding systems are taffeta, twill and satin.

Weft
Transverse threads of a textile; those which are passed through the sheds. Alone, the term weft donates all the picks in a textile.

Glossary entries from the Stuff that Matters exhibition catalogue.

Huck weave sample

Chirality

Chirality is a property of asymmetry important in several branches of science. The word chirality is derived from the Greek, “hand”, a familiar chiral object.

An object or a system is chiral if it is not identical to its mirror image, that is, it cannot be superposed onto it.

Human hands are perhaps the most universally recognized example of chirality: The left hand is a non-superimposable mirror image of the right hand; no matter how the two hands are oriented, it is impossible for all the major features of both hands to coincide. This difference in symmetry becomes obvious if someone attempts to shake the right hand of a person using his left hand, or if a left-handed glove is placed on a right hand. The word chirality is a mathematical term for the concept of “handedness”.

Extract from Wikipedia definition for Chirality

Twisted in (taking the Luddite Oath)

You must raise your right hand over your right eye if there be another Luddite in company he will raise his left hand over his left eye – then you must raise the forefinger of your right hand to the right side of your mouth – the other will raise the little finger of his left hand to the left side of his mouth and will say What are you? The answer, Determined – he will say, What for? Your answer, Free Liberty – then he will converse with you and tell you anything he knows….

Extract from Information of a Barnsley Weaver on the Luddites in the West Riding, 1812.
http://www.marxists.org/history/england/combination-laws/luddites-1812.htm

Inarticulacy also

“For me that is grace,” she says of her character’s dumbstruck confusion. “I am really interested in silence. In inarticulacy also, which isn’t the same as silence.”

Tilda Swinton, New York Times supplement, The Observer 22.1.2012

Righting

“Sir, I Ham a very Bad Hand at Righting”

Richard Tidd, Cato Street conspirator, quoted in ‘On Not Being Milton’ by Tony Harrison

Thomas Bewick Tale-Pieces (extract)

Similarly radical, aesthetically rather than politically, is a small scene featuring a house and figure on horseback. In an unprecendented gesture, the artist superimposes his engraved thumb-print, actual-scale, to counteract the effects of pictorial space. It constitutes a transgressive self-referentiality more associated with modernism, implying an assertion of authourship and process at the expense of a carefully wrought image.

From the foreward to Thomas Bewick: Tale-Pieces, by Jonathan Watkins, Director, IKON

Analogue – The Shoemaker’s Last (extract)

The word ‘last’ is Old English; it’s connected to words for a track or a trace, and in its first known apperance, in Beowulf, it means footprint: it is used of Grendel when he retreats, wounded, from battle with the hero and, again, of his mother, after she has raided Heorot to avenge him. From footprint it’s only a short step to ‘last’, as in a shoemaker’s wooden model of a foot, used to make boots and shoes fit properly, to fit like a glove.

‘If we’re to live in the country, you’ll need a good sturdy pair of walking shoes’, my father declared the first week that my Italian mother arrived to join him in England after the war. He took her to Peal’s in Oxford Street; Ilia’s print was taken and the last numbered 289643. Esmond picked out the style: lace-up brogues in a deep tan like a shiny conker freshly husked.

When she died they were still in the wardrobe, stretched on the trees provided at the time: shoe trees, themselves analogue of the last itself, which Peal’s had kept in their storeroom for use for the next pair. Fine cracks in the leather had appeaared where it came under stress from the swelling joint of her big toe, but otherwise, they’re still as good as new, and they fit me. Like many daughters, I have my mother’s foot.

From ‘Analogue – The Shoemaker’s Last’ by Marina Warner, in Film: Tacita Dean, exhibition catalogue.

Mee-mawing

If you walked across the shed towards the huge line shaft that was bringing the power in from the engine the sound changed and the roaring of the bevel gears that powered each cross shaft overpowered everything else. This was the bass note in the orchestra which was a weaving shed. Just as you were starting to wonder how anyone could communicate in all this din you noticed that some weavers seemed to be doing some sort of facial exercise. This was mee-mawing, exaggerated movements of speech without the sound and all the weavers could lip read each other. If they wanted to communicate something private they put their heads together like budgies courting and spoke directly into the ear so that nobody could read their lips.

Extract from The Lancashire Loom (1). The Memoirs of Stanley Challenger Graham (2002)
http://www.oneguyfrombarlick.co.uk/ltp/sgmemoir2002/memoirs_of_SCG2002.htm


Weaving shed at Horrockses Mill, Preston. http://www.mylearning.org/preston-past-and-present/images/1-3135/