Sunny Bank Mills Archive

It’s been a long time since my last visit to the Archive at Sunny Bank Mills. Last year I had some work based on my research exhibited in the Mill as part of Weave / / Fragments, a group exhibition exploring the buildings, history and processes of the Mill.

I’ll be revisiting this collection of work and creating a series of new pieces to exhibit at Saltaire Arts Trail in May. I’m looking forward to exhibiting in their open houses and giving people a chance to see my work up close.

Yesterday I visited the Archive to take some more photographs and make notes about my ideas. I was great to catch up with archivist Rachel and immerse myself in the space, exploring new sections and doing some sketching.

One of my New Year Challenges was to do more drawing so I’ve been taking little notebooks with me on research visits. It was great to do some sketching in the Archive and get some ideas and words noted down that I can look back to in the studio.

Sketchbook Page
Sketchbook Page

I also took my camera to record some details that I can then export into the 6D software and create some new designs. This visit I decided to focus on the different types of book housed in the Archive. They are so fascinating and tell the history of book binding techniques as well as the cloth production at the Mill.

Cash Books
Cash Books
Wage Books
Wage Books
Range Books
Range Books
Range Books
Range Books

The folds of paper and fabric in the Range books open up ideas for sculptural pieces and creating my own artists books. I’ve done some basic book binding techniques that I would like to push further. It would also be great to make some books to sell at the Arts Trail.

I’ll be updating my social media (links in sidebar) with work in progress images as I continue my research and sampling. I’ve also booked another session at the Archive so I can do some more sketching.

You can visit the Archive at Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley, Leeds at their open days on the first Wednesday of the Month 10am to 12pm or by appointment by emailing archive@sunnybankmills.co.uk or calling 0113 2563239.

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