Monday, 18 July 2011

Rope note 10

‘ A young man on St.Kilda was not supposed to marry until he had a horsehair fowling rope wherewith he could supply the needs of his family.’
Twisted into a thick cable, horsehair was used for letting fowlers down the cliffs.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Rope note 08 and 09

 Horsehair rope was valuable because of its lightness and strength but the supply was limited.
‘I was told that if a man who had a pony with a fine tail stabled it at an inn while he attended market or other diversions, he was apt to find that all the hairs had been plucked out when he returned to fetch the beast.’
(Highland folk ways)

RN09. ‘In Martin Martin’s day the marriage portion of a St.Kilda woman was expected to bring her husband was 1lb. of horsehair for the purpose of making thin ropes to snare the seabirds.’

3 balls of twine from the entwined exhibition

Saturday, 16 July 2011

100 ropes

I am back on Skye after the opening of the exhibition, the ropes were 
shown as one big wall piece with the earlier ropes on the left, browns, 
reds, whites moving through to the more recent ones on the right, greens,
yellows, flower and seed heads. They worked really well.
I am now aware of how I haven't been looking quite so closely for the 
last few days. The grasses, sedges and flowering plants all change so 
quickly, growing, flowering, changing colours each day. You really
need to keep your eyes in.


Friday, 8 July 2011

100 ropes

100 ropes
50 plants

This piece installed along with the rest of the work for entwined / suainte
at Inverness Museum and Art gallery

'cho mearr rì ceann-sìoman'   'as merry as a rope's end'

Thursday, 7 July 2011

rope note 06

Installing the wall of ropes

rope note 06
'sìoman - rope of twisted straw or hay
               rope of twisted heather
               rope, cord
sìomanaiche - one who makes ropes of hay, straw or heather'
source Dwelly

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Rope note 05

I am taking the 100 ropes out of the freezer today, packing up and
going over to Inverness to start to install the work. They will need
a full 24 hours aclimatising before I can unpack them.

rope note 05
'In Lewis coir rope was known as Sìoman Thearlach (Charles' rope) because
it was supplied by Charles Morrison, a Stornoway merchant (Stornoway
gazette 27 July 1951)'
source Highland Folk Ways by I.F.Grant

this is grass rope on my studio floor

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Rope note 04

I came across this in a folk museum in the North of Spain, not sure of its
exact use, it is made from willow with fairly thick stems about 1/2" across

rope note 04
'In the old days bridles were made of twisted twigs, or even honeysuckle'
source Highland Folk Ways by I.F.Grant

Monday, 4 July 2011

Rope note 03

St.Kilda continued -

rope note 03
' the birding ropes which were used to go down the cliffs were tested by
four men pulling on it whilst the other end was tied to a specific boulder
and you weren't allowed to use it until it had been passed by the
source Am Baile website

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Rope note 02

The ropes are all in the freezer for conservation so I have been missing
them on the walls of the studio.

rope note 02
'In St.Kilda climbing ropes were a prized possession passed down from
father to son. They were 50m long and lasted for 50 years'
Source Am Baile website

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Rope Note 01

Whilst making these ropes I have been collecting anecdotes, stories, facts
about hand made ropes, their practical and mythical uses. I will be putting
some of these into Rope notes along with some pictures of the finished ropes.

rope note 01
'a piece of heather rope was found at Scara Brae on Orkney, 5000 yeas old'