Pressing Matters and Sewings On


Appleton le moors reading room

In the Reading Room there was a huge image of a November 5 bonfire, which is held just in front of the building each year when it is used for gathering and serving soup, parkin and bonfire toffee

This weekend I spent a thought provoking hour (might have been more actually) visiting this Art Installation in four buildings in Appleton village.  I don’t know why, but the words art installation put me off, they don’t describe anything, I don’t understand them and I get the feeling I’m going to be confused and not grasp what’s going on – in fact I have visions of spanners and it costing much more than I was quoted for.

church windows

The windows of the church were decorated with flowers – I stood and stared

images of joinery and building

The pillars were illuminated by the squares of red and white showing hands that work

Anyway, that wasn’t the case – the art being shown/exhibited/displayed used non-traditional materials (a sort of rubbery mesh cloth used to place under rugs to stop them slipping about) and was inspired by sculptor Anne Thalheim, creating a homage and celebration of ‘invisible hands’ who sustain the buildings and make Appleton such a friendly, active village community.

Mrs Shepherd

Mrs Shepherd was responsible for building the Church and here she is with plans

The buildings are lovely places to visit – the creative pictures embellished the Reading Room, Wesleyan Chapel, Village Hall and Church.  The images ‘drawn’ with the ‘fabric’ were bold, sensitive, clever and joyful expressions of care, concern, love, thankfulness and human-ness.  Thoroughly enjoyable.


Images of singers

Pressing Matters and Sewings On is on each weekend until the 25th May – 1-5pm.  Anne has a lovely blog which tells you all about all the clever hands and the project coming together.


wool being spun

I happened to visit on the weekend when another event was also taking place in the village hall – the Macmillan Alpaca Challenge – some alpacas were being sheared and the fleece was going to be carded, spun and knitted into a sweater, all in one weekend.  There were ladies out on the lawn spinning, and busy activity inside of all the stages – the wool is beautifully cosy and light, in such lovely colours and I had a go at felting.

bobbin of spun wool

carded and spun alpaca wool

knitted alpaca

This was one of the spinning ladies, who hand spun and knitted this jacket/shawl in alpaca wool which she also dyed herself.

When I left they were just beginning the sewing up of the jumper!  I bought some raffle tickets in the hope of winning it.


felted owl

A small owl I made in my first attempt at felting wool – using the different colours of raw alpaca fleece





  1. Comment by Ellen Abbott:

    I don’t usually get art installations either. mostly I look at them and think all that work and then it is taken down and what, tossed? stored in a box? disassembled?

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Perhaps it is a modern word to use, I’m trying not to think of the word at all. I do think in this case the art actually sends a message, about the value and importance of our village buildings and that there is an effort and cost involved of keeping them in use. Times change, villages change. I learned a lot from speaking to some of the artists, about the village and the buildings. Eek, I wonder if I’m softening to installations – however they are stored, or uninstalled afterwards!

  2. Comment by Caroline:

    How lovely to be able to try felting. I love the owl, Jennifer! What a lot of creativity in your neck of the woods!

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Think I really need to go on a course if I’m to understand how to do it properly Caroline!

  3. Comment by Amanda:

    It all looks very interesting, I would have love to watch them working with the Alpaca wool, did you get to see the Alpaca…they are so cute.
    Amanda xx

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      It was amazing to see, such a rhythm to the treadle for the spinning wheel and pulling out of wool – did see the alpacas, they live in a field nearby and I walked round to see them, looking rather funny having just been clipped.

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