Tuesday, 11 May 2010

St Fagans - National History Museum of Wales

A proper bodgers day out!  Jo, Jane and myself went to St Fagans National Museum of Wales near Cardiff to see Welsh stick chairs and find anything else of interest. Although the weather was seriously cold, (well it was Wales), it was a totally absorbing experience for all of us. I hadn't been before and was intrigued to find the collection of buildings and interiors showing the changing patterns of living. Over forty original buildings from various historical periods in Wales have been re-erected throughout the 100-acre parkland. (Visit their website here http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/stfagans/historic-buildings/)

In a red painted cottage, upstairs was this most fascinating ceiling we had ever seen, like living inside a basket! We couldn't unfortunately find anyone who could tell us about the inside of this roof, on the outside it was thatch. The two rooms had the most beautiful feel to them, sparsely furnished, but absolutely stunning. Note the wonderfully curved cross beams above the green four poster bed. For me the beauty and simplicity of these buildings had a real purity about them. Reminiscent of the Shaker style, the clutter of life is kept to a minimum. Craft and functionality come together to make a wonderful balance.

Nearly every aspect of the buildings, from the structure to the tools hanging up, the chairs, beds, spinning wheels (both Jo and I being spinners too) and various treen in even the most basic of buildings were of interest to us. All three of us felt like naughty school children - getting told off for handling the spoons and bowls, caressing the stick chairs, and aged worn settles. There is something about wood that makes you want to touch it, especially something that is well used and lived in. Jo with tape measure and camera to hand, took notes of dimensions and designs of Welsh stick chairs  for upcoming projects.


The rooms are pretty much unlit, so we found ourselves peering into the darkness in search of objects.

More to come on this post soon...