The Dyeing Trade
Calderdale once produced more fustian clothes than anywhere else on earth. Over the past hundred years the mills have gradually been converted into homes, offices, workshops and, particularly in Hebden Bridge, into artist studios.
Yet the cacophonous churn of the textile mill and ammoniacal tang of the tanneries has not vanished completely. Even today echoes of industry can be found in artwork produced under the same roofs.
This exhibition continues that theme. Commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Dyers and designed and produced by two Hebden artists, Phil O'Farrell & Karl Theobald, it commemorates the vast Yorkshire textile dyeing industry that dominated our valley 150 years ago.
Shown through a series of large stained glass panels, visitors will learn how North Sea kelp, Yorkshire shale and London urine (!) were combined to form alum, the essential fixative used for dyeing clothes and indeed, stained glass windows.
You will also see stained glass manufacture in person as Karl constructs the final window of the series in the gallery itself.
We really hope you can make it! 11am - 4pm, Saturday & Sunday 27-28 January, 2018.
Hangingroyd Lane, Hebden Bridge, HX7 7BZ
Northlight Artspace is the small gallery attached to the back of the Northlight Art Studios. It will be open to the public from 11am until 4pm each day of the show.
Northlight is an accesible venue. You can find the step-free entrance on the corner of Hangingroyd Lane and Baker's Street.
For more information about Northlight, please visit northlightstudio.co.uk
The Journey of Alum
The series of stained glass windows aims to tell the tale of alum, the essential mordant used in c18 dyes.
Please click on the categories below to explore the journey and read brief extracts from the exhibition.
Alum production from Yorkshire slate required large quantities of human urine. At first this was obtained locally, then further afield - from Newcastle to Hull. Eventually the industry became so large that barrels had to be shipped from the capital.
Alum's three key ingredients were ammonia, potassium and aluminium sulphate, obtained from urine, seaweed and shale respectively. They were all transported to vast alum houses along the coast of East Yorkshire.
Alum was packed and shipped to dyers and tanners around the country.