Monday, April 10, 2006

a multifaceted art adventure

Yesterday's jaunt included a repeat visit to the Boott Cotton Mills and Lowell National Park. We went there a couple of years ago and didn't have nearly enough time to see all the things we wanted to see. Since Scott was headed through that area anyway, we joined him for the ride and he made a short detour to drop us off in the morning and pick us up again on his way home. This place has something to please everyone. For Jesse, there's the water power, canals, trolleys, trains, and rows of clackety-clacking weaving looms powered by many axles and belts running overhead. For Leah, there's the fiber aspect, the big carding/spinning/weaving machines and resultant fabrics, many of which were used in elaborate and elegant dresses of the time. For both of them, there's a tabletop loom that could've kept them busy for hours. They started out taking turns (as above). True to form, it became clear that Leah's interest was in the woven fabric produced and Jesse's was in the mechanics of the loom, so eventually they settled in to their "specialized" functions, her doing the weaving, him controlling the levers that determine the weave pattern. (What are those things called, anyway? Sheesh, we have much to learn!) Luckily for us, it was not busy at the exhibits, so they got to weave as a team until their growling stomachs helped them realize it was picnic-time. Picnic in a park along the canals was a pure delight on this beautiful spring day, followed by a short tour through a boarding house for the mill workers, which tied in nicely with Lyddie, a story we read recently, based on life at the Lowell Mills. Trolley ride back across town and we rounded the afternoon out with a visit to the very cool Revolving Museum.

Scott, meanwhile, was enjoying an afternoon in New Hampshire with fellow glass artists. As always, he came out of there totally pumped about lampwork and new things he'd like to try.

Then, while listening to Cast-On podcast in the evening, we got a kick out of hearing a promo for Spindlicity, the online spinning magazine for which Leah is writing a series of Farm to Fabric articles! Posted by Picasa

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