Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Crate Diggin'

Today was my second visit to the Embroiderers' Guild HQ at Hampton Court to search through the fantastic archive of over 500 samplers in its collection, dating from the 17th century onwards. Being in their archive, surrounded by racks and racks of boxes, is a very similar experience to searching through crates of records "crate diggin" for the non-dj folks out there. I felt the same sense of anticipation and excitement, unwrapping the protective tissue to uncover a beautifully worked piece of fabric, and important piece of social history, as I do when I'm scrabbling around on the floor searching through dusty boxes of records for that rare 7" vinyl or yet to be discovered break-beat. It appears that the museum archivist and the crate digger maybe more closely related than I first appreciated.

Here's two great short films about the joys and some of the perils of crate diggin'.

Kings of Diggin', featuring Showbiz from Showbiz and A.G.
Vinyl Ark

As the project develops, I will be sharing some of my favourite pieces from the Guild's sampler archive with you. If you are interested in researching and exploring the archive for yourself, you can contact the Guild to book onto one of its Collection Study days.

A huge thank you to Lynn Szygenda (Curator at the Embroiderers' Guild) for putting up with me, for her assistance, her generosity, for sharing her knowledge, her ideas, and her humour. I'm really looking forward to continuing working with her and everyone at the Guild, as the project develops.

Find out more about the Embroiderers' Guild's work by clicking here: Embroiderers' Guild.

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