Monday, October 08, 2007

A tale of two cities

Sorry to mislead you right in the beginning - this is a tale of just one city, Tilburg in the Netherlands. And it's not even a real story, just a collection of photos.

I visited Tilburg during last weekend, and in many aspects it reminds me of Tampere, my home town. Tilburg was the center of textile industry but little by little the activity there ceased. Again, that's pretty much what happened in Tampere as well. I wonder whom I should contact to suggest that these places start a sister city project.

The main target of this visit was to see the activity of the textile weekend before their local museum closes for renovations. This one special weekend contains lectures, workshops and crafts markets and was well advertised within the city. However, here in Brussels which is only some 120 kilometres away, one has hardly ever heard of it... (and now that I've got into complaining mood, it seemed to me that the organisers assumed that everybody was familiar with the surroundings, so no detailed map was necessary. There was indeed a map with several red dots on it, but no explanations were given, whether they were galleries or workshops or something else. So, I missed some venues and only realised that after returning home and checking the details on my computer; "hey, I didn't see that at all, where was it?" Anyway, in general it was really interesting to get there and even if I missed out on the yarn and wool market, it's not like I'd run out of stash in the near future anyway. Oh, and then I met a really nice lady, Ineke, and I really hope she finds her way over here. That's one of the highlights of this kind of gatherings: you never know who you're bumping into. So many interesting people involved in all sorts of fields of expertise - if you just open your mouth and start talking, you never know where you'll find yourself next year.

Let us start with a couple of photos from the city. This highrise building was standing right next to the railway station. I would imagine that a) those balconies can create a bit of friction between the neighbours. "Why do the Joneses have a balcony and we don't?", and b) the temperature get mighty hot in them.

What's that green thing? Is somebody keeping a gym ball on the balcony? Just be careful, please, and remember that the walls are made of glass.

Too bad that this panorama option decreases the finished photo. I know that people like to use bicyles in the Netherlands, but even so, seeing the area around the railway station was some sort of shock. It was just a sea of bicycles.

Again, being a shoe lover, I noticed something odd which might have gone unnoticed for some. Just look at branches of this tree.

Yep, there were dozens of shoes hanging from it. I would have gone closer to take some photos, but there was a suspicious group sitting near it. Having met by two not-so-pleasant men in the first ten minutes in the city, I had no desire to meet any more locals. Sorry. (What would you make of it, if on a peaceful Sunday morning you were to be approached by someone begging for money and a few minutes later, someone else *offering* your money? On Sunday morning! Come on!)

Go fishing instead!

The museum shows the whole procedure of turning wool or cotton or other materials into yarn. Spinning, twining, dyeing, weaving, knitting - you name it, there was a machine for each and every stage of the procedure.

I just thought that this is a place my mother should see.

From my point of view, these tubular knitting machines were the most interesting ones.
There was a machine that would knit tubular socks with a heel. I have a short video in my camera, all I need now is some assistance as how to add it here in the blog. Help, please!

Some first stages in treatment of the material.

This was really impressive too: this big wheel was connected to a steam engine which gave power to most of the machinery.

Save energy, lose weight! This is a pedal-powered loom.

Tapestries are local specialities. There was a whole tufting gallery with several different artistic styles of tufting.

Some patterns were based on paintings.

I don't know what really happened here, but it sure was a beautiful sight, all those yarns being put together.

Oh, and all the colours! Difficult to keep one's hands off.


Tuazophia said...

Moi! Oletkohan saanut sähköpostiani koskien sukkapuikkoja - pelkään, että sähköpostissani on jotain vikaa, kun en ole saanut vastausta. Laita vaikka blogiin kommenttiviestiä, niin tiedän, että tulee perille.

KirsiÄr said...

Urbaanilegendan mukaan puussa tai vaikkapa puhelin/sähkölangoissa roikkuvilla kengillä merkitään, mistä saa kamaa. mutta voihan tuo olla installaatiokin.

AnneV said...

Tuazophia: ei oo meilissä vikaa, vika on täällä meidän päässä. :-D Eiku alkuperäisen suunnitelman mukaan mun piti ostaa sulle ne puuttuvat tikut tuolta Lontsikan messuilta, mutta nyt näyttää erittäin vahvasti siltä etten oo menossa sinne. Heh. Nyt on tiistai, ei oo lippuja ja perjantaina tarttis lähteä, joten...

Kirsi: Aa-haa, no se selittää paljon. Kato näin viaton ja sinisilmäinen mä oon, en ollu tuommoisesta kuullutkaan. Kenkämäärästä ja valikoimasta päätellen tarjonta olisi ollut laaja.

José said...

Ah, we nearly met twice! Yesterday you found a bookcrossing book released by me at the S'nB meetup in Rotterdam, and I was not there to notice (which is one of the funs of bc: seeing a book being found an cherished) and I was in Tilburg on Saturday during that latest textile weekend. I live close by, and I'm one of the moms of the tilburg S'nB. So if you come to Tilburg again,please do so on a Tuesday and join us S'-ing and B'-ing!