Peering at the shimmering, ultra-modern, decorative neck pieces Pasqualina Iarrobino has made, I realise there is something of which they remind me... but I can’t quite put my finger on it.
“Elizabethan ruffs,” says Pasqualina, helpfully. And yes, I agree, that is exactly it.
Forget all images of elderly ladies from past centuries, sitting hunched at their looms, because Pasqualina has clearly brought weaving up-to-date, even though the modern styles of her woven fabric and copper-wire collars do take inspiration from Elizabethan times.
She is just one of the many artists and craftspeople currently displaying work at Lamport Hall as part of the Summer Exhibition, run by the Northampton Town & County Art Society & Northants Guild of Designer Craftsmen.
Pasqualina, who is chairman of the Guild, said: “This is the third year we have been asked to participate in this with the Town & County.
“The stalls include everything from woodwork, glass, textiles and fashion accessories to works of art to put on your wall. We are all designer craftsmen so we all have a particular craft that is our specialism. If you look at the work we do, you will see a really high quality in workmanship.”
Pasqualina is correct in saying that the exhibits are varied. From the Guild alone, exhibitors include ceramics by Dianne MacRae, bags and other decorative items made by Kumi Middleton, woven textiles by Adam Jordan and jewellery by Helen West, to name but a few.
One of the exhibitors is Peter Fagg, who runs Peter’s Platters. He is an expert woodturner who creates bowls, dishes and ‘platters’ and has been running his business since 1989.
He joked: “Before that it was a hobby, but family friends already had too many bowls and things.”
He continued: “Now my work has gone all over the world. I have pieces in Hawaii and Africa. Most of what I use is English timber and 99 per cent is sycamore.”
Demonstrations will also be carried out by Guild and Town & County members as part of the event, including Colin Bywater who will be talking about painting with oils (10am-1pm today), Tony Ward who will be working with chalk and charcoal (1pm-4pm today) and Chris Richbell, who will be demonstrating with acrylics (tomorrow, 1pm-4pm).
The exhibition’s last day will be tomorrow (10am-4pm). Entry is free. For more details see www.northantsart.co.uk or www.northantscraftsguild.co.uk