Pocktorian Becomes a US-Only Entity

24 03 2010

I received a couple of e-mails yesterday from Anne LaVene that were so ugly I’m tempted to post copies of each one here. I’ll resist the temptation and be better than that.

Suffice it to say that Anne made it totally obvious that she did not share my vision for Pocktorian and had no interest in helping other Norwich textile businesses start up. Nor did she seem to appreciate at all the support and opportunities being constantly offered by UnLtd.

Therefore, I forwarded the specific e-mail in which she expressed that to UnLtd withdrawing my support for Anne taking over Pocktorian-UK, and suggesting that they reconsider their support for her and consider cutting off the grant. Apparently, they had already come to that conclusion themselves.

I was rather upset by this last evening. I feel bad that the textile graduates of Norwich, UK will not have this possibility for starting a business in Norwich. Also, since I have been getting copies of all the e-mails full of opportunities for holders of UnLtd’s level 1 grants, I am sure that, had I been able to stay in the UK and head Pocktorian-UK, or had Anne actually taken advantage of those on its behalf, Pocktorian-UK would be well on its way, and several other businesses would already be on their way also.

I know this because of the replies that have been coming in to a Gumtree ad I placed over a month before I left the UK. I’ve been passing them on to Anne. The good news is that I also passed one of those on to UnLtd, and they suggested that she apply for an UnLtd grant of her own. So even from here in the US, I’ve been able to facilitate at least one textile business to be in the Norwich area.

This is long enough. My next post will be about what I’ve been doing in Charlottesville to begin to envision the right version of Pocktorian for Charlottesville. I do welcome any comments and suggestions, particularly from Charlottesville textile artists and any Norwich textile people who have ambitions to start businesses locally.


Tiles, Crochet, and Madonna

4 07 2009

No, I’m not going to try to connect those three things.

Tiles has to do with a trend report I saw a few days ago on


about some marvelous sgraffato tiles.


Being me, I couldn’t help thinking I’d like to try that. So today I stopped by a tile store to see if they sold bisque tiles that I could theoretically paint a glaze on, scratch my own designs on, and get fired. They had one possibility at a pretty low cost, so now to find an appropriate glaze and way to fire them, or to find real bisque tiles (not at one of those pottery painting places where it would cost a fortune). I’ll report of future progress on this idea.

Crochet has to do with the advanced crochet class I taught today. Some years ago I earned my living, a pretty poor one, mostly making crocheted sweaters. In the process, I figured out for myself how to do almost anything you’d see in a knitted sweater in crochet, particularly the textural bits. I also invented several patterns. Today we had a student at the center who already knew the basics, so I taught her some of these stitches. Afterwards, it occurred to me that there were several groups of them that I could offer as advanced crochet classes. Got to prepare an announcement and post on


which is like Craigslist for the UK.

I’ve now spent a good deal of the evening watching a Madonna performance from her recent Sticky and Sweet tour. She has always been an influence on fashion, and I don’t watch any performance without noting the costumes, so of course I took notice of these. She wore Hammer pants in satin for some of the show, and two dreadlocked dancers wore some very wide pleated or gathered eastern-style pants, which was a very interesting look I will keep an eye out for. I wish I knew the name of that garment. But what I will be looking for in the charity shops, just for the fun of it, will be some American style football shoulder pads. Her’s were glittered and beaded and sequined to a fare-the-well, which would be a fun project, whatever the results.

With ideas and influences as disparate as these in a single day, is it any wonder that my creative life splits in so many directions?