Monday, 2 May 2011

St Benedict's Street - Norwich

As I may have mentioned before, I am fortunate enough to work from home in my own studio. My husband (did I tell you I got married?) calls me every day at lunchtime from work and asks me what I’ve been up to today. Usually within the confines of my home and with just Marty the Puppy for company I usually have nothing exciting to report (unless of course the pup has been doing something silly like attacking the broom or leaping around the garden with a flower pot on his head).

This week, neither of us had to work – taking full advantage of the extra lovely bank holidays bestowed and gratefully received! And it was a week of occasions, from a sickly tummy, too much chocolate, poor pup being attacked by another dog, a leaky pipe/wet wall and playing host to a Garden Party on the day of the Royal Wedding (we aren’t exactly Royalists but are patriotic in our little ways, and besides it was a good excuse to finally throw our belated Housewarming!). So in a roundabout way I suppose I’m trying to tell you that it is with a great big exhale that I bring you this post! I hope you like it.

Another Illustration from my degree show, this time of a very sweet little street in Norwich, lined with independent shops and small businesses – St Benedict’s Street. While conducting my research I paid some visits to the Norwich Textile Museum and poured over their books including some volumes referred to as the ‘Bible’, and found this extract from the Norwich Mercury from 1817:

‘William Ramsbottom, Silk Cotton and Cloth Dyer, No.31 Opposite St Benedict’s Church, Norwich.

Respectfully informs his Friends and the Public(h) that he still continues Dyeing his Permanent Blacks and coloured garments – warranted not to stain. Gentlemen’s clothes cleaned in 48 hours’

William Ramsbottom is also in the 1830 Directory, listed as living in Fishergate and his profession as a Bombazine Dyer. Bombazine is a fabric with a silk warp and worsted weft, which is quite difficult to add colour to as the dye used needs to produce a matching colour on yarns with completely different properties. This is something which Norwich was famous for.

And so I drew the area opposite St Benedict’s Church which is one of the many churches along the street.

So there you have it! This is another long drawing, at just under 6.3 metres (it's a good thing I have a long ruler!) I've not done a thing with this drawing in terms of adding colour and turning them into long or short prints, so I'm excited to have some time to do that.

If you know any of the owners of the small shops pictured, please do pass the link on! I'm sure they'd be interested in looking.

I have a few more drawings up my sleeve which I will show you next time.

Until then, enjoy the remainder of the Bank Holiday!


Anonymous said...

I so love these pen illos! They would fit perfectly in a city guide!

Kirsty Ramsbottom said...

Thank you! Wow that would be a lovely little commission...I could happily draw these all day long! :)

Gaelle said...

What a lovely blog! I just discovered it thanks to Lisa from Mathilde Heart Manech, what a delight! I was in Norfolk for the Easter break, have a look at the summary of my stay here:
I'll make sure to pop to St Benedict's Street on my next visit!

Kirsty Ramsbottom said...

Thanks! That's very nice of you to say. I hope you loved being in Norwich. I saw you went to Elm Hill...I think this should be on my list of places to draw! :) I hope you'll drop by again!

Rebekah Leigh said...

Hi Kirsty, nice to find you in this online world!I love your illustrations, I hope your enjoying your weekend :-)

Kirsty Ramsbottom said...

Hello Rebekah! Thank you! Yes I saw your Illustrations on Etsy and loved them! I think I will have to buy one :) Hope you've had a nice weekend too!

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