Discovered during its restoration in 1988, the Painted Room is one of the best examples of Elizabethan Wall Painting to date. The Painted Room can be found on Church Lane in the heart of Ledbury. The wall paintings were found during building work and experts from English Heritage were called in and spent 4 months carefully removing the layers of plaster and wallpaper that had been added over time.
The paintings are a repeating design, reminiscent of Elizabethan Knot Gardens. There are bordered areas of biblical text which helped with more accurate dating of the paintings, placing them around 1560-1570. The paintings are likely to have been added by the occupants of the house in keeping with fashions at the time. Members of the merchant gentry would paint imitations of the elaborate and hugely expensive leather wall hangings and tapestries of the aristocracy.
In 2019 Tinsmiths launched the exclusive range of fabrics based on the Painted Room. Consisting of the Elizabethan pattern printed in two scales and a stripe design. All three designs are printed in the north of England onto 100% Linen. The designs were reimagined into a repeat pattern for furnishing fabrics and sent to the printers.
We have since used the Elizabethan Print and Ledbury Elizabethan Stripe through a variety of past products: cushions, box files, notepads and a display curtain for our Ledbury Homewares Shop. Both designs have soft colourways that would be charming in any interior; the fabric has been finished so that it has a fabulous drape and is suitable for both curtains and blinds.
Wonderfully as ever, the painted room has been translated into linocut for the final page of our 2021 Ledburyshire calendar. Anneliese Appleby has used the repeating knot garden motif with her take on the Ledbury skyline and the page sings in festive gold and green.
We look forward to working on broadening our range of in-house designs in the new year and are excited about the possibilities that come with designing textiles.
If you are coming afresh to the work of visual artist Mark Hearld, it can be said that he is something of a polymath. Taking inspiration from nature, and with a collector’s encyclopaedic knowledge of British antiques, art and design, Mark’s energy and joy of making remain unbridled. Known for his distinctive collages and linocut prints, Mark’s work has the verve of spontaneous creativity whilst being underpinned by deeply considered visual understanding.
Following in the footsteps of the likes of Bawden, Piper and Enid Marx, Mark relishes in collaborating with makers in other fields and delights in the opportunities that gaining insight into new media and techniques provides. He has designed a number of fabrics and wallpapers for St Jude’s which all portray his fascination with the flora and fauna of the British countryside while demonstrating his skill at creating flowing patterns which carefully mask the pattern repeat. Over the years he has worked on everything from fashion designs to tapestries to a collaboration with Leach Pottery. It is through these collaborations and the opportunities to become familiar with different approaches and skills that new creative possibilities are sought.
Over time he has built up a long-standing association with Martin Clark at Tilley Printing, Tinsmiths and Ledbury having worked together on numerous projects, pieces and exhibitions. In preceding years, Mark has spent time at the printworks cutting lino, mixing colours and bouncing ideas off Martin and any other artists who happened to be around at the time. However, during lockdown in the summer of 2020, Mark and Martin worked remotely to develop Mark’s contemporary interpretation of the eighteenth century decorative paper technique known as Papier Dominoté. Eventually coming together as restrictions were lifted to print the final designs in Ledbury, exclusively for Tinsmiths.
A predecessor to the modern day wallpaper, Dominoté papers are small, wood-blocked and hand-painted decorative prints originating from France during the 1700’s. Mark’s linocut versions feature the traditional ‘raspberry ripple’ Ferdinand Pichard rose in a striking red or bounding hares and Mark’s beloved Whippet depicted in royal blue, both printed on a linen-fibre Zerkall antique paper selected by the artist.
The wonderful decorative papers were then further evolved into a beautiful collection of stationery and desk accessories. For the boxes to come into fruition, Mark worked closely with Phoebe Clive of Tinsmiths to design the pieces; experimenting with colours, making the lining papers, considering the pattern placement and typesetting the positively regal labels. Many happy mistakes and possible samples later, the final designs were sent off to be made. The collection comprises of Waste Paper Bins, Pen Pots, Box Files, Curio Boxes and a truly covetable A3 Portfolio with a fabric bound spine and grosgrain ribbons.
As ever, it was a real joy to work with Mark and Martin on such an exciting collaboration and a real highlight during a testing year. Shop the collection exclusively at Tinsmiths, online and in our Ledbury Homewares Shop.
Read more about Tilley Printing and The Importance of Wood Engraving here.
The growth and production of textiles for both apparel and for the home has been an ongoing, progressive industry since the early days of human civilisation. The importance of cloth in our daily lives has been and always will be paramount; from simple linens and muslins for drying ourselves and swaddling our new-borns to the heavily embroidered silks and luxurious velvets of royals. We live alongside fabric; it offers us comfort, beauty, practicality and nostalgia, all in a humble almost instinctive manner. However, in recent years textile production has started to take its toll on the planet, using vast amounts of water, energy, fertilisers and pesticides.
Reworking damaged or discarded textiles prevents them from reaching landfill and gives the cloth a new lease of life. Find special one-off pieces from around the world, vintage and Antique lengths and pieces of cloth made up as cushions on our online shop
A step in the right direction: Tinsmiths is devoted to sourcing and promoting a product range which minimises the environmental impact of both production and distribution. We aim to maintain a 70% UK Made Homewares Range, sourcing products from local makers. Our Natural Fabrics reflect this commitment through a choice of natural fibres, in-house designs printed on 100% Linen in the North of England and our ever-growing range of post-consumer, recycled fabrics.
Tinsmiths Extra Wide Eco Patterned Fabrics made up of 77% Recycled Fibre Content
Our current Eco Fabric Range consists of a variety of patterns and plains in both standard and double widths; a good choice for any project.
Extra Wide Barnsley – available in six colours
Extra Wide Barnsley is a wonderfully versatile linen look Poly-Cotton made up of 100% recycled fibres. 1 metre of Extra Wide Barnsley recycles 4 plastic bottles and saves 2.6 litres of water and 465WH of energy.
Post-consumer cottons are collected and cut into small pieces so that the fibres can be obtained and spun into newly recycled Cotton yarn. The benefits during cultivation and production of recycled Cotton are monumental; there is a 55% reduction in water consumption compared to conventional Cotton and a 35% reduction in greenhouse gas and CO2 emissions.
Similarly, used plastic bottles are gathered and cut and chopped, then melted and formed into flakes from which a 100% Recycled Polyester yarn is obtained. The energy needed to make the PES is less than the energy required to make the virgin polyester. Fabrics created from recycled polyester can be recycled again and again with no degradation of quality thus minimising wastage and preventing the plastic from ending up in our landfills and oceans.
Ashmore Eco Fabric
Another contender is our Ashmore Eco Fabric available in 5 great colours. The warp is made from recycled natural Linen and has been left unbleached and undyed, the weft is ‘Recover’. Recover is a Global Recycle Standard Mixed Fibre made up of the aforementioned Recycled Cotton and Recycled Polyester (PES) and, according to the Higgs MSI index, is the lowest impact Cotton fibre currently available. The fibre combination makes the resulting fabric extremely robust and hard-wearing; with a 50,000 Martindale Rub test this cloth is fantastic for upholstery projects.
Tinsmiths Natural Linens
Amongst our Linen Furnishing Fabrics is a selection of unbleached and undyed Linens suitable for curtains, blinds and upholstery. Leaving the fabric as close to the natural fibre as possible, by not carrying out any bleaching or dyeing, massively reduces water consumption and chemical processes during the production of the cloth. Linen is extremely durable and so has the potential to last a lifetime and can easily be recycled into an entirely new cloth or paper or upcycled garments.
Tinsmiths Wool Herringbone Curtains in Moss
For older, draughtier houses or those with traditional interiors, our Wool Furnishing Fabrics are a tried and tested favourite. Mostly all woven in the UK, they are suitable for fixed upholstery and conform well to curves and padding. Wool is an excellent, planet-friendly option as it requires less or no chemical treatment for upholstery as it is inherently fire retardant. It also has a fabulous drape and does not hold a crease, making it an ideal candidate for larger curtains. In fantastic herringbones, plains, checks and plaids, these Wools would adapt well to serve as winter coats or clothing patterns that require a more robust cloth.
We actively promote recycling both internally and amongst our customers and suppliers; reducing our own waste by reusing our suppliers’ packaging in our warehouse and by using up scraps and offcuts from our sewing rooms through various Homewares products. We have an ongoing sale of Remnants from our Fabric Shop which includes the last of discontinued lines to pieces with small faults not used in larger projects; they are fantastically discounted and we recommend you snap them up while you can!
All facts and figures have been sourced from Global Recycled Standard
Tunnicliffe Notelet Set printed by Tilley Printing for Tinsmiths 2021
Set in the heart of Ledbury, Tilley Printing really does tell of the history of this charming market town. Established in 1875 and almost entirely unchanged since then, it is a place where magic happens. You only need open one of the many draws lining the walls to find the hundreds of teeniest tiny lettering type, still shiny from use; or rummage in the stacks of wood blocks to find engravings of hop growing, apples for cider, or intricate logos for local businesses and societies.
So, when a box of anonymous wood engravings found their way to Tilley’s they were greeted with joy and admiration as it was evident that the artist was really rather accomplished. After a little examining and research it was confirmed that the work was that of Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe. Naturally, with the kind permission from the Tunnicliffe estate, the blocks were put to their intended use and trialled on the Heidelberg Press. Martin Clark of Tilley Printing printed the first edition of Tilley’s Tunnicliffe Notelet Set for Tinsmiths, using eight of the “beautifully made” original wood engravings.
Martin Clark working the Heidelberg Press in her 40th year of service.
Charles Tunnicliffe is most well renowned for his naturalistic paintings and engravings of British birds in their natural settings, particularly those of the Isle of Anglesey on which Tunnicliffe settled and spent most of his working life. After attending Macclesfield School of Art, Tunnicliffe was awarded a scholarship to Royal College of Art, London. He mastered his work in a range of media: watercolour, etching and aquatint, oils, wood cut and wood engraving. He began to make quite a name for himself and his paintings and engravings were used to publish many Ladybird Books and Brooke Bond Tea Cards during the 1950’s and 60’s. Tunnicliffe also provided a set of wood engravings to illustrate Henry Williamson’s 1932 Tarka The Otter.
Wildlife in a Southern Country by Richard Jeffries illustrated by C.F. Tunnicliffe
From 1953 Tunnicliffe’s work became more focused as he was commissioned by the RSPB to illustrate a number of front covers for their magazine Bird Notes which later became Birds.
Wood Engraving is the fine art of working into close-grained wood, often boxwood or lemonwood or cherry, to create extremely fine lines using a Burin. One creates a relief print process in which the ink is applied directly to the wood and applied to damp paper at a relatively low pressure.
Original Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe wood engravings
Thomas Bewick set the pace for wood engraving today with his transformative approach. Using metal engraving tools (burin or graver) which he himself had adapted to produce the finest of lines, rather than knives or chisels previously used for woodcarving, and engraving into the wood’s end grain rather than the side of the block to create a much more durable and detailed image which could withstand thousands of prints without depreciation.
Wood engraving blocks could be used production printing presses which were going through great industrial changes during Tunnicliffe’s time; Tilleys saw considerable modernisation during the first half of the Twentieth century, including the replacement of the steam generator by electrical power. These monumental changes to production meant that thousands of illustrations could be printed alongside type to drive the upsurge in illustrated novels during the 19th century, much to Tunnicliffe’s delight.
Tilley Printworks, Ledbury
There is a special place in the heart of Tinsmiths for objects and crafts with deep history and tradition. From favourite artists to past exhibitions and in the fabrics we hold, there is a strong celebration of wood engraving and the entire printing process. Clifford Webb, Gwen Raverat, Eric Ravillious, Edward Bawden, John Nash, Claire Leighton, William Morris, are amongst many names that helped light the path of engraving for current artists such as Ed Kluz, Angela Harding, Angie Lewin and many, many others.
Tunnicliffe Notelet Set was printed with permission from The Charles Tunnicliffe Society with thanks
A Wood Engraving of the view from Symonds Yat Rock from Coming Down The Wye by Robert Gibbings. Engraving by the Author.
Set on the banks of the River Wye, the sleepy hamlet of Hoarwithy is another of Ledburyshire’s glories. Blink and you’ll miss it. Situated on the ‘Hereford side’ of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the small village consists of a pub, a handful of Bed and Breakfasts, a riverside campsite and St Catherine’s Church.
The simple stone structure originally built in 1840 was redesigned when Reverend William Poole arrived in Hoarwithy in 1854 as the new vicar. Seemingly uninspired by the unembellished construction, Poole set about rebuilding the church. He employed architect J.P. Seddon and a whole host of craftsmen and materials from Italy and Europe. The Italianate vision was built around the existing chapel and is a unique testimony to Poole’s eccentricity; the interior is made up of a fabulous domed ceiling supported by pillars of French marble, wood carvings of British Saints, marble alter and entrancing stained glass windows.
Intricate flooring and carved Sandstone pillars
Just down from the church, a three story toll house sits at the side of the iron bridge which was built to replace the ferry crossing in 1876. The River Wye snakes away under Sellack Suspension Footbridge, down to Goodrich Castle and Symonds Yat and beyond to the English Welsh Border.
Sellack Suspension Bridge, a Victorian footbridge built to replace the ferry crossing.
July is the perfect month for walks along the riverbanks of the Wye, teeming with wildlife and glorious sunshine (we pray!) and wild swimmers, fishermen and canoeists come flocking in to spend the summer on the river.
It would be wrong to create a calendar celebrating the flora of rural Ledburyshire without mentioning the vegetable so plentiful in this county. An ode to the famers; during the summer months Herefordshire is a rolling bounty of rich scented hops, jewel-like berries and cherries, cider apples starting to swell and fields upon fields of swaying, purple potato flower.
As I fold back the page of May in my Tinsmiths Calendar, I am greeted with the rich honey-coloured inks of June’s joyful yellow page glowing back at me. My mind wanders back to a visit to Hartpury Church and Bee Shelter last year and its’ rich history enthrals me once again.
The Bee Shelter can be found at St Mary the Virgin Church at Hartpury, Gloucestershire situated at the back of the churchyard. The shelter is highly decorative and is, quite rightly, a listed building.
The shelter was built in the middle of the 19th Century by a local stonemason and made out of Cotswold Stone. It’s initial chapter somewhat hazy, the shelter was rediscovered in 1957 by the International Bee Research Association in the garden of Nailsworth Police Station. Members of the Gloucestershire Beekeeping Association dismantled the shelter and moved it to what are now the grounds of Hartpury Agricultural College. As the college expanded, the site became unsuitable for the protected building and it was considered at risk. Hartpury Heritage Trust stepped in and the Bee Shelter was resituated once more, this time for good, in the churchyard at Hartpury Church. Complete restoration ensued and the building was ‘reopened’ in 2002.
In its day the shelter could house at least 28 working skeps and would have been home to some 840,000 bees.
The use of wicker or straw skeps to keep Bees dates back to Anglo Saxon times and was only pushed out when the introduction of wooden bee hives came about in the 1850’s.
In this year’s ‘ Ledburyshire’ Calendar Anneliese Appleby has depicted the shelter and skeps with the church so wonderfully. The page of June comes alive in rich yellows, with honeybees busying themselves amongst the Ox-Eye Daisies.
Hartpury Bee Shelter is one of Gloucestershire’s hidden gems and really is worth a visit, especially in the warmer summer months when the trees are lush and full. There are fantastic footpaths around Hartpury which incorporate St Mary’s Church; a classic route is the Hartpury Circular Walk of about 6.5km and can be started at the church. Variations of this route can incorporate the Tithe Barn and Hartpury Mill and can lead you on to the track bed of the old Gloucester to Ledbury Railway.
Rehanging my calendar, I am uplifted at the thought of balmy June evenings spent in the cool meadow grass of my Dad’s garden with the hum of bees and insects around me.