Bridging Arts

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A visitor in Tooting and more on the romance of the nightingale

We have a visitor this week at the class in Tooting - am delighted to that Andy Pring has come along. He's from Wandsworth Council and is involved in a host of interfaith projects and youth work locally. I last saw Andy more than a year ago, when we had just finished the first round of workshops in Wandsworth. Things have moved on a long way...
Andy is a tremendous enthusiast and not only that - a fountain of information. We start to discuss the nightingale motif in our packs - the nightingale long a symbol of romance, and particularly in Iran where the 14th century poet Hafez of Shiraz wrote the lines we read in previous classes.
In the Garden at dawn, I sought for a rose
When a Nightingale's voice broke the peace with her prose....
In spirit, so like the Nightingale in Berkeley Square (we played the famous song again) written 700 years later.
And by one of the extraordinary coincidences so typical of this project - Andy not only had heard of Hafez of Shiraz but had visited his tomb when on holiday in Iran, quite recently. Even more romantic - it wasn't just a holiday, it was his honeymoon.
He said that Hafez of Shiraz was also known as Hafez al Koran, as he knew the Koran by heart (unusual for a Farsi speaker). 'Hafez' in this instance means 'Guardian' - Bushra and Amtul tell us.
It's our next to last class here - and these
classes have been unique in that they have picked up speed as the summer has passed. We started slowly - with some people finding it tough to get back into the swing of embroidery, and others learning stitches for the first time. Then the pace really changed. Some people, like Abigail (above, with Andy), have raced ahead and finished all the packs already. Others are moving forward at their own pace. 
We've been very lucky to have Royal School of Needlework tutors who have worked hard to ensure everyone can join in.  Here - Kate Farrer at work.
And our intern Katherine Eves is still working hard, threading needles and demonstrating. She has promised to bring her own work next week to show the group. Can't wait. I've seen it before.
And finally - I thought this wax was worth a photo. Goldwork needs wax: threads need to be coated with wax to strengthen them. Wax has many uses! e.g. waxing surf boards. But obviously not the same wax.