Here we have summarised memorable and key discussions from our first workshop about materials and making techniques. We hope that volunteers will take the chance to add further comments and thoughts.
We had an interesting discussion about the original spun glass that still appears in the upper part of some windows; you can still see the whirl from when the glass was made before it was cut. Those that have spent time in these rooms have noticed that this glass makes shapes on the floor and ceiling as the sun passes through it and changes through the day. But furthermore, light is a huge factor in how many materials are experienced. The different experience of materials through the seasons, especially how in a long, low winter light one notices different things.
The visibility of time on materials, such as the wearing of the stone steps in the basement or the patina of the original timber, was also of particular interest to some of the group. The histories of the grounds and house are varied – and some bits have handsomely shown the passing of time!
When we discussed materials the amount of carved surfaces, whether from wood, marble or stone at the outer eye-catchers, was an aspect the group discussed at length. Timber doors to the Long Gallery are detailed, ornately crafted on the inside but plainer on the other side (and not many people notice that when they go around the house).
The ‘softness’ of the marble fireplaces, carved from such a hard material, was seen as very evocative use of material. The marble fireplace was discussed as a real favourite feature of the existing Drawing Room, although it has a mixed provenance of classical and rococo stylings it is seen a very luscious object in that room because of its material quality.
The tactile door knobs have very fine detail on them, and they look especially small on the larger doors in the house. It was mentioned that there are actually lots of finely detailed brass fittings on the shutters and elsewhere if you go looking for them.