'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Thursday 19 February 2009

No stamps - but some clothes and a cathedral.

No stamps, because we went to Guildford for the day. A bit of shopping, a visit to an exhibition, and we stopped off at the Cathedral on the way home.

The exhibition was 'Floral Frocks' at the Guildford House Gallery - about a dozen 19th and early 20th century frocks, and some other items, with floral decorations of one sort or another. They are part of the collection of Marion May who has exhibited there before. You can't touch, obviously, but you can get a good look because the frocks are not in glass cases.

There was a full length twenties pansy-patterned dress, described as being of 'velvet and organza'. Which, to me, implies sections of velvet sewn to sections of organza - but that wasn't what it was. The velvet formed a raised pattern on the organza. Like devoré .

I had never really thought about when the technique of making devoré was invented but I would have guessed it was pretty recent. This website seems to suggest it dates from the 1860s - which should teach me not to make assumptions.
The dress used a printed velvet with sections burned away - I'm not sure if you can get printed velvet suitable of the roght type, but it is an interesting idea.

We also looked round Guildford Cathedral - not for the first time, although it has been a while since we last went. [You may think from all this cathedral visiting that we are religious - we're not, we just like religious architecture - churches, cathedrals, and mosques and temples too.]

I am particularly fond of Guildford because it is such a big contrast to 'our' cathedral in Winchester. First, it was built in the 20th century - and secondly it is built of brick. When I first saw it I thought - 'you can't have a real cathedral made of brick' - but then I discovered that the clay for the bricks came from Stag Hill on which the cathedral is built - which made all the difference to my attitude!

Inside it is a white soaring space, white because it is limestone, and because very little of the window glass is coloured. You can get an impression of the interior here. The view down the nave aisles seems to go on for ever.

Unlike Winchester it isn't full of tourists - probably, apart from that unfortunate incident a few months ago when someone was shot in the grounds, because no-one has ever heard of it. There are no tombs, and few memorials either, which makes it seem even emptier. I like emptier.

To make things even better, I found another copy of the Shire book on Medieval Tiles in the book shop, which means my original copy will turn up.
And it has a good tea shop ...

Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera - so in the absence of stamps I will show you another image from Winchester. This is a detail from a tomb - it was boxed in so difficult to get at but I liked the decoration. Probably a stamp in it, I think!

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