Whilst Rachel is over in Provincetown in the USA a team of seamstresses at Gainsborough Old Hall has been busy working on the Tudor style dress that will be digitally scanned to form the basis of the sculpture which will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the historic Mayflower voyage of 1620.
Gainsborough Old Hall is a key landmark in Mayflower Pilgrim history, as it was owned by William Hickman who was a key member of the separatist movement. You can read more about this here.
The Old Hall has taught historical sewing techniques and run workshops for women’s groups for many years and there is currently a team which is helping to create a full-sized Tudor dress, which, once completed, Rachel will take to be cast in bronze to form the Pilgrim Woman sculpture as part of her Language of Sculpture – A spirit of Mayflower Project.
Using their pattern cutting and sewing skills the team of ladies has been busy working on the various sections of a dress design which will be a full sized Tudor-style dress with a fitted kirtle and full skirt, complete with under garments, and created using traditional techniques to ensure it is as close to an original version as possible. The team is also making an experimental foundation garment that will carry wires to add movement for the eventual digital scanning; this is something that is completely new for the group. Find out more about the Old Hall’s Community Textile Project here.
Over in the USA Rachel has been busy teaching visitors to the Provincetown Museum and Pilgrim Monument (PMPM) how to weave using the Macramé method. The museum is close to the spot where the first pilgrims set foot in America and the visit is providing Rachel with plenty of inspiration for the project.
Rachel will complete her residency at the PMPM and return to the UK to carry on developing the project further, the next stage will be to visit women’s groups within the areas where the Mayflower Pilgrims originated from, known as the ‘Pilgrim Roots’ areas, these include Nottingham, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire, to create a series woven panels to include on the final dress and combine them with those she created during her eight-day journey on board a cargo ship, which set sail from Liverpool Docks at the end of July, and whilst in Provincetown.