Tag Archives: tools

Going back in time – photographs of a small mine that still worked with pit ponies in 1981

Standard
sepia7-whole image

This original 12″ x 10″ print is available on etsy

sepia1 - miner copyright_Fotor

set of 4 mining postcards available at etsy

Whilst working on this blog, with the help of the WordPress Team, and the other hundreds of people on this online course, who come from every part of the globe, I have been reviewing and rethinking, and struggling at times with layouts and exactly what to say.

In my first blog for this course, I put up a couple of images that I published as sepia postcards, and I wondered why I did that, because I took them so long ago!   You can see that post HERE.

For whatever reason, I am prompted to put up two more of this set of images, my favourites. There was a small mine a little way up the hill from where I live that was still working with their well-loved pit ponies, in 1981 (the year I moved here from London).

I’d heard that they were there, but wasn’t sure how to find them.  I was out with my old olympus early one morning and just happened on them.

The mine was family owned and just above their house. Their land, their farm, and their mine, that had made them rich.

They were lovely people,, and at that time were happy in their work.  They must have had some stamina, because it was certainly heavy manual work, and they were no longer young.  They were part of the old Wales, the close knit mining community, and they knew there was no one to follow them into the dark.

Their ponies didn’t seem overworked – but it was such a strange sight – a tiny little industrial pocket in a dip of the grass and shrub clad hillside and the grazing sheep.  I could easily have passed them by and not noticed them – if it wasn’t for the noise of coal going down the chute.

They knew I’d published these photos, I gave them some of the originals, that I printed myself from the negatives, and some of the professionally printed ones I have for sale.

Because the morning mist had not yet disappeared, the negatives were really difficult to print from, and I tried many different variations, in my little darkroom.

Well, the darkroom is now dark, damp and unused, coal is no longer mined nearby, the mine closed sometime around the 1985 strike, and these are images of men and work that have passed into history and the Welsh Heritage Tourist Industry.

When I have these pictures on display, or give one to someone local as a gift, they all say, oh, I knew him, he was a lovely man – he was – you can tell that from his face.

Bye Bye 1981, and manual cameras – I’m in the digital world now, and learning more about it every day.  And oddly, despite the melancholy mood I have been expressing, I’m looking forward to something good happening in 2015.

If you click on the link on the captions of each photograph, it will take you to the listings on etsy.  On the other hand, you could just look here, but please don’t grab them off the screen, they are my copyright, and part of my life, and they don’t belong to you – smile.

I thought I’d see if I could link the to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Gone, But Not Forgotten.”

the best made plans……

Standard

I have been doing a lot of research about how to post newsletters and information for Julz Spinning & Weaving Club, and was preparing to put together the first proper post in the next week or so, including some special offers for members.

Members are anyone who has been invited to join, after buying items from me on ebay (85solway) or etsy – etsy.com/shop/julzcraftsupplies.  The first invites went out a few months ago, when I sent out an email newsletter – and I was about to put together an updated list of new buyers and send you all a link to this page …..I know….at the moment this is such a new blog that no one knows about it yet!  And of course anyone who finds this blog is welcome to join!

However, this post is for the benefit of anyone who happens upon this page in the interim, to explain what Julz Spinning & Weaving club is all about – or will be……..

I trade under the names of JULZ SPINNING & WEAVING SUPPLIES & JULZ CRAFT SUPPLIES.

THIS IS ME !  Ok, for anyone that knows me the photo is a few years old, but it’s the nicest one I have and I use it as aImage kind of avatar on etsy so I’m putting it up here so people can recognise it.  I have been a photographer for over 30 years – its the old adage,  like builders who never get around to doing the diy jobs in their own houses, I hardly ever get around to having my own picture taken.  When digital photography came in, I, like many photographers, found that half their businesses just fell away, so I decided to add another string to my bow.

I’ve been involved in spinning & weaving for over 15 years, have knitted & sewn since I was a small child, and ‘once upon a time’ designed and knitted mohair jumpers which sold well – until the fashion for them also waned.  I have run my own craft fairs, and published  a range of my own photographic greetings cards some years ago, which I sold at craft fairs, agricultural shows and to retail outlets.  I occasionally post a few of them for sale, as I have stock left, but I don’t rely on sales of them, as the card market is now saturated!

As I was buying more yarns and equipment, it seemed sensible to buy at trade prices and sell on the extra stock I didn’t use myself, and that’s how I started on this new venture.

The current incarnation of JULZ SPINNING & WEAVING SUPPLIES/JULZ CRAFT SUPPLIES is about 6 months old and is going well – just getting into its stride in fact – and as we are now in the autumn months, when people get back into their spinning & weaving projects – it’s the right time to do some promotion, which was why I decided to start this blog and post newsletters here, instead of sending out the rather badly put together email ones – smile.

However, the best made plans……as I titled this blog……can come a cropper – and I’ve just found out that, after being on the waiting list since february – I am being given the chance to have a knee replacement op in a couple of weeks time.  I have osteoarthritis,  and its been getting so bad I can hardly walk (another reason that I don’t do much photography these days), so of course – the op takes priority over building up the new business.

As soon as I’m back on form I will get back to the plans I have for the Club, and hopefully post those special offers in time for your Christmas gift buying.

So – a bit of information about what I do……

I am an accredited dealer for Kromski spinning wheels and looms, as well as all accessories. I currently have the 24″ harp – a nicely designed rigid heddle table loom in stockImage, as well as some accessories, including  the loom carrying bag, drop spindles, extra warp clamps etc, and can order in any of their other products for you, such as the fantasia and sonata spinning wheels – see http://www.kromski.com – you will need to click on the UK flag to read the english version as they are a Polish company.  I was about to put a new order in and ask members to let me know what they wanted me to add to it – but will get back to that post op!

I also sell some really good hand carders – the large (standard) size for carding wool & other fibres for spinners, and the small size for felters.  As well as warping yarns for weavers, I plan to add fibres for spinners & felters in the future, and some weaving & knitting wools.

I currently stock merino pre-felt, which makes picture feltmaking easy, and merino & polyester wadding for quilters and dressmakers.  For anyone making cushions or soft toys, I also have pure sheltland wool for stuffing as well as some cheap black polyester ‘stuff’.

I’m also branching into selling tools for stained glass – I wanted a glass grinder for myself, so I bought a few more in to sell – its a great package if you’re looking for one – and will be adding other tools and glass later.

Another strand I’ve added are some silicone moulds for soap makers, as well as a stainless steel soap cutter, which is very easy to use.  The moulds can also be used for baking, and I have some great small moulds for chocolate makers, that can also be used for ice and jellies!

For artists, I have a small wooden table easel, some canvases and paint sets, together with some drawing pads, and general design tools, like cutting boards and squares.

I’d be pleased to know what items buyers might like to see for sale on my sites, and will happily buy in stock that you are interested in – as long as I have enough cash in hand – smile!

I will be posting warnings about last buying dates on my selling sites (see above) soon, so that buyers will get their purchases before I am in hospital.

In some ways the name of the club is already a misnomer, but I’ll keep it for now!

The idea of the Club is to allow you to buy from me at discounted prices, but also to share information with each other.  Among the people that have bought looms and spinning wheels and supplies from me, there are some very interesting people involved in great projects, and I’m hoping they will overcome their reticence and write about them, as well as post some photos.  If you have a project you want to share, or fleeces to sell, and anything else you’d like others comments on – you are welcome to leave messages on the blog to advertise them – (I reserve the right to check them out first) – so please email me with your ideas.

If various strands of crafts want their own club page, I’ll work out how to do this – as & when needed.

TO JOIN JULZ SPINNING & WEAVING CLUB

please email me at julz@julzweaving.plus.com, and I’ll add you to the mailing list – which I’ll use to let you know when I’ve put up a new blog that might be of interest to you.  You can , of course, add this blog to your watch list.

ANYONE WHO WANTS TO MAY JOIN THE CLUB – AND I WILL ROUTINELY ADD NEW BUYERS TO THE MAILING LIST – you may opt out of membership at any time.  I PROMISE  that the mailing list will be totally private and not used or sold to anyone else.

feel free to add any comments below – all the best……PS:….

just to let you know – that as well as sending me comments in the box – the standard “leave a comment” button is still there – but it took me a while to find it – its at the end of the tag list, in red at the bottom of the blog – at least it is in my view – please feel free to use that as well.