Thursday, 10 May 2012

Trip to Saltaire Arts Trail, some David Hockney and Antiques!

This Monday was bank (public) holiday in the UK. True to fashion, it rained! Thankfully, only sporadically so we were still able to go for our day out to Saltaire in Yorkshire.
Saltaire was created by Titus Salt, and is a Victorian industrial model village - the best preserved in the country. Not model, as in a miniature model village, but as in a purpose built village that was fashioned around a textile mill for the purpose of housing the mill's workers. Like that would ever happen today! You are lucky if you get sick pay and a pension these days, let alone a provided house with your job.
The mill opened its doors in the 1850's and 4,500 people lived and worked in and around its community. Today, the mill is an exhibition space, cafe, learning centre and antiques shop, and the houses are privately owned.
Twice a year, they host the Saltaire Arts Trail - where they have 'open houses' - meaning members of the public let people into their homes and they can view and buy local artists work - oh, and of course you get to have a nosy inside peoples houses too, yay! There is also a designer/makers fair - of which 4 of my creative friends were exhibiting this time, so off we went for a nosy!
Booklet you get when you arrive. Inside was a pull out map, showing all the open houses you could go and visit, and what art was on show in each house.
The grand Salt Mill
One of the rows of houses. All so beautiful! I'm a big fan of period architecture.
House detail. look at the door arches and window glass. All the buildings are grade II listed.
This is what the open houses looked like - bunting outside so you knew which ones they were!
Although the houses were lovely, they were TINY. Like really really small. 4 rooms only per house, with a tiny back yard. No room to swing a cat - or a mouse!
One of the very few larger houses, these were for the mill supervisors. You can just see one of the artists who was live oil painting outside
Obligatory outfit handmade Russian doll dress (you are going to get sick of seeing this!) with spotty bag from accessorise (gift from friend), boots off Ebay, Red blazer from car boot sale, and bakelite bangles, brooch and necklace.
View down the cobbled streets of the village. So quaint!
Ok, its childish but it made us laugh! Fanny was the name of  one of  Titus' daughters. It was a popular name in days gone by, shame now however that its slang in the USA for bottom, and slang in the UK for er, ladies front bottom!
Switched the camera to B&W to get this classic car parked next to Salt Mill
Inside the Mill, in the gallery area. The Mill really has been beautifully restored. 
On display is a permanent collection of David Hockney's work - one of the largest collections anywhere. David Hockney was born in Bradford, which is home to Saltaire so rightly so his work should be on show here. Who needs to go to London, queue for 2 hours and pay £15 to get in the Royal Academy when you can see all this for free!
Some of Hockney's work
And there is also an antiques centre in the mill (well, it is massive!)
Really cool pieces on display
A 'Book piece' - original 50s art palette shaped table in mint condition...the price tag? £270. Eek.
One of everything in here please!
And so on to the shopping....this is what I bought....
Vintage Glitter confetti cats eyes....cant decide if I should have them as sunglasses or normal glasses...hmmmmm. From Ivy & Co Vintage 
And from the makers fair - from left, recycled Peter and Jane gift tags from Swirlyarts, Star card and lion moleskine notebook from The Imagination of Ladysnail, and wood print moleskine from Finest Imaginary.
And these prints are by local artist Clare Caulfield. I really like her illustration style, it reminds me of Quentin Blake.
We had such a great day out. If you are interested in art and architecture, the next Saltaire Arts Trail should be on your must visit list! :)


  1. Great write up Claire, was gonna go on Sunday but Al wanted to go skating so missed it, hopefully will make it to the next one. I love Clare Caulfield's work, hoping to get a print one day.

  2. Nice place!

    things vintage... I love it!!! I would be there! Your last purchases are fantastic! I love the glasses!

  3. What a fab post, Clare! I learnt about Saltaire at school and it looks so pretty, so good to see some of our great British industrial heritage being saved and valued.
    The art is stunning and I don't blame you for wearing that dress a lot, it's lovely. x

  4. It looks great there and I would've giggled at Fanny st too!

  5. I admit I laughed at fanny, but I laughed more at your description of "front fanny", hee hee! I have a 12-year-old boy hidden inside me for sure.

    Looks like a lovely trip and what a neat little town. I absolutely love that type of architecture. It does seem like the mill had a bit of everything. Those eyeglasses are fabulous! I'd vote sunglasses, the darker lenses will highlight the confetti!

  6. Despite only living 45 mins away I had never been to Saltaire before the Arts Trail last year! And I still haven't been into the mill :) It really was a great makers fair with loads of fantastic artists/makers and I'm hoping to get in again!

  7. What a killer day out of art and shopping and a lil sight seeing. I love it when you girls show off the UK, makes me even more stoked about my visit! I am in love with this pink glitter specs.