Well well well

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa
I’ve just about completed my Wales painting now, although there are some small details to fiddle around with, such as the direction of the shadows, and the figures. Here it is to date. My next painting may well be another watery Welsh landmark – watch this space.

The ancient tradition of well dressings are a feature of the Peak District in the summer months, and, although Clowne is just out of that area, we have one every year too. The colourful floral display board is erected wherever there is (or was) a well, and many villages have several.

Here's ours: it depicts the railway station that was once in the village and even includes a small working clock, set to the correct time when I photographed it.
The well dressings are made by a small dedicated team. The process begins by wet clay being spread in a wooden frame with a board at the back. The water is well mixed with the clay, and the clay has to be kept damp throughout the process or it would crack.

The design is then pricked out using a paper pattern, and then thousands of flower petals are pushed into it. Often other materials are used too, such as straw, or small pebbles etc . Ours seems to feature dried “everlasting” flowers this time, which will last longer. Normally the flower petals die within about a week.

The decorated board is displayed upright near the well, and a short service is held to bless it. If there is more than one well in the village, each has its own service.

The nearby village of Elmton recently had its well dressings, using only materials from within that village. Elmton has a sort of mini festival around its well dressings, featuring craft displays in the church, and other small fund raising events around the village.

For more pictures and information on well dressings, follow this link: http://www.peakdistrictinformation.com/features/welldress.php

The summer holidays are upon us once again, and I have been at home with my young son for the past couple of weeks. We have discovered various artists on You Tube, particularly the work of Simon Tofield. Any cat owner who sees his very funny “Simon’s Cat” films will say, “That’s just so true”. http://www.simonscat.com/films.html. On a more offbeat note, the short film “Man in a Cat” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8hBjT2EekY&feature=related had my son asking if our cat had a man inside her(!)  It really is one of the strangest things I've ever seen.

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