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.


Pocktorian Textiles, cont.

19 02 2010

I am SO delighted! I have heard today that UnLtd accepts Anne LaVene (of St. Lawrence Textile Centre in the St. Lawrence church on St. Benedict St. in Norwich) as an appropriate person to accept the grant and continue Pocktorian’s work.

To give you a hint of who she is, check out these sites:





I don’t know how much she knows about the other textile skills, but when it comes to the knitting machine, she knows everything! Her designs are very original.

She’s had St. Lawrence open for over a year and is very strong in making connections, but St. Lawrence doesn’t have heat or water or good light in general, however picturesque it is, which Pocktorian Textiles will offer her, along with all the great opportunities that come in a constant stream from UnLtd.

As for me, I will feel a whole lot better about leaving the UK being able to say that I created and left behind what I consider a significant contribution to the UK. It will also make my case stronger for working in the same area in the US.


26 01 2010

A part of me wants to repeat the title of this post over and over again for about 10 pages or so, and then about 10 more pages of THANK YOU,  UNLTD!  But I’ve got too much else to do.

I got almost the whole amount I asked for, which means that Pocktorian can be immediately entirely equipped on what I call the second level. For example, first level includes a drop spindle. Second level includes a spinning wheel. (Third level includes an electric spinner or even setting up a service for spinning the yarn of local farmers into marketable yarn.

It also means I can do a bit of advertising every month and set up a selling website for the resident designers and for the shop area.

Some of the things I put on the initial list, I already have, or I already have a source for at a price less than I had initially estimated. (How could I have anticipated someone coming in and offering me a Finnish spinning wheel with accessories?) But that just makes room  sewing machine with more embroidery potential? (I may not be partial to machine embroidery but maybe one of the other designers will be.) Or the addition of a basic industrial sewing machine? (Thinking of you, prospective yurt maker.) Or perhaps an 8-harness floor loom instead of a 4 harness table loom? (But the floor loom I know I could get for the funds allowed would not be as portable for taking around to schools.)

Oh! The possibilities!

Those possibilities make me want to make a few more solid efforts to make absolutely sure that I absolutely must go home. So that’s what I’ll be doing over the next day or so.

I talked over all the possibilities with my sister tonight, and she wondered whether I might possibly be able to manage Pocktorian Textiles virtually. It’s entriguing, because it would entail learning to use technology that it would an excellent idea for my designers to have knowledge of.