Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Shrewsbury and a Textile Artist's Studio

Today Steve and I took a train to Shrewsbury near the border into Wales. The signage in the station included information in Welsh. We were instantly charmed. The place lived up to its tour book description. Black and white Tudor architecture seemed to make every street picturesque. We wandered through the military museum in the castle but didn't get into the main building due to construction. The view, however, from Laura's Tower across the walled enclosure was magnificent. We could see the overflowing Severn River meandering through the town below. We visited two ancient churches with beautiful stained glass windows and the parish church of a former abbey.

On our walk, I saw a shop sign, "Silk Painting". There didn't seem to be a store front but a doorway to an inner courtyard. Then I saw the words "Textile Designer" on the far building. I immediately went toward it. Everything seemed closed but a nice lady evidently noticed us in her "yard" and came out. She was the original artist who now shares the business with her daughter. They own Parker and Arrol and specialize in painted and discharged velvets. Their throw pillows, scarves, and other work are carried in about thirty shops all over England. She gave us a brief tour of her spacious studio and showed us samples and sketches for several previous commissions. We exchanged business cards.

Steve and I had a fantastic, truly English lunch in a nice pub. I had fish and chips. We drank local ale (at least we think it was local and we'd never heard of either kind). I am hoping to download some images and might be able to post a few even before returning home.

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