Friday, 21 April 2017

Athens day 2

I had a personal guided tour of Athens today starting at 1000 and ending at 1500. No lunch and we would not have had a break at all if I had not declared an immediate requirement for coffee. And all we did the Acropolis and its museum. The textiley bit comes at the end of this blog.

So firstly the Acropolis is on top of a hill and we walked up. Secondly two cruise ships were in port and the place was full of buses and their contents. I had not realised how much space there was at the top so there was lots to see. And also the top is the biggest stone mason's yard you will ever see, complete with cranes and narrow gauge railways for shunting about vast lumps of marble.


And then there are the buildings

In the museum. These are copies and then the real thing


And the Parthenon itself, full of scaffolding and cranes.

We walked down the hill past another few little temples, an odeon and a theatre to the museum. This is a magnificent modern building which holds only  items from the Acropolis

A lot of these were excavated onsite. So loads of black and red pottery because weddings were celebrated up here and offerings to the gods made. One of the startling objects on show was a pile of spindle whorls. No photos were allowed in the display of originals but I bought a postcard and then discovered the shop had life size replicas so bought five. There are going to be five lucky spinners.


There are exactly the replica designs in that pile of antiques.

The really big surprise was among the statues. You can clearly see on these which are originals that there is paint on them. A lot of work has gone into identifying the colours and retrieving the patterns and several of the statues have a copy next to them painted up as they would have been when new. The paints were minerals, lapis lazuli, cornelian and so on. So to the interesting bit. When the women are painted, they are wearing two garments. One goes to the floor and the other over the top and belted at the waist. Each garment is decorated with what could easily be an inkle or tablet woven band. The guide was not at all knowledgeable about what yarn was used. But if you told me the clothes were of fine linen with wool braids applied I would believe you. Most, well all, of my questions were unanswered. When I got back to the hotel, I could find loads of images of the painted statues on the web. There were three samples in the museum where someone had woven part of the braid but there was no sample of the background. I have found one book devoted to the museum and its contents and will get that when I get home. It is said to be prolifically illustrated. My guide said she had attended a lecture where a loom photo was shown and from her description it was a vertical loom. I am beginning to wonder if I should write to the museum curators.

After all that and walking a lot, I was very tired and returned to the hotel. It was 1530 and definitely time for lunch which was moussaka - very good - with a view of the Parthenon. I have to go to bed early because I am being collected for the airport at 0530.

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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.