Stanley Mills Community Textile Project
The Education Room at Stanley Mills now has on display the first four pieces of artwork produced as part of the Stanley Community Textile Project, the informal learning project started by on-site Education Officer Fiona Davidson.
Two felt banners, made by 1st Stanley Brownies, were unveiled at a special celebration evening on 10th June to which parents, grandparents and other guests were invited. One banner tells the story of the Journey of Cotton from America to Stanley, while the other illustrates a story told by former worker Nell Hannah (who also attended the celebration night to tell her story!).
The Brownies worked with storyteller and felt maker Claire Hewitt to produce the banners. The girls visited the Mills where they listened to stories and came up with designs. Then they learned feltmaking techniques (which involved lots of bubble wrap, fleece, and washing up liquid!) and made their own felt square to take away. Claire then worked with the girls at their meeting place on a further two nights to produce the finished pieces.
Unit Guider Leigh Mitchell said
“the textile project was great and everyone who took part commented on their enjoyment. The idea of informal learning proved to work well as all of the girls gained a new skill and they learned about both the felting process and working life in the mill.”
The Brownies said
“our group liked making the felt with the water, bubbles and bubble wrap”
“I liked it when we unveiled our banners to everyone”
Storyteller Claire Hewitt said
“In a word the Brownies’ Felt Banner project was wonderful! The enthusiasm of the children and Brownie leaders from the start was so infectious that families supported the preliminary feltmaking and design workshops onsite at Stanley Mills in their droves! The project was a fantastic success all round and helped to develop stronger links with the Stanley community. The children worked very hard to produce two beautiful banners which now have pride of place in the Education Room.
Two silk banners have also been produced by pupils from the P5 class of Stanley Primary School. The class came down to the mills on 19th June for a special unveiling afternoon to see the finished pieces of work. Paul Denny, an art specialist from the local area, worked with the class to produce the banners based on the two winning stories from the Stories from Stanley Project which took place in autumn last year. The banners depict ‘Marble Record’ by Andrew Cragg, and ‘The Tale of the Oil Can’ by Ewan Rawcliffe.
The Community Textile Project is just one example of the informal learning work carried out by the Historic Scotland Education Unit. The Textile Project at Stanley aims to:
- encourage understanding and appreciation of Stanley Mills through participation in an art project
- encourage the use of Stanley Mills as inspiration for creative activities
- provide learners of different ages with an opportunity to learn about textile art techniques
- provide learners of different ages with an opportunity to contribute to the displays within the mill through production of a piece of artwork