Tag Archive: Hoffman Kiln

IMG_0273Another excellent sketching day in Llanymynech. We spent the morning down around the Llanymynech Limeworks, exploring the Hoffman Kiln, the railway lines and the canal wharfs – in the sunshine, no less! Lunch at Underhill Farm, with tea, coffee and the warmth of the calving shed classroom provided as the sunshine dissolved into hail and sleet. With the return of the blue skies, we headed up the hill for the afternoon, enjoying the last of the day’s sunshine up in the quarry itself.

Good to get out into the landscape once more, and I think everyone found more than enough to hold their attention through the afternoon. I worked on about two dozen sketches, trying to work as quickly as possible. Rob and Chloe also sketched quickly, both working with pencil, shaping out the massed quarry cliffs in pools of graphite. Malcolm concentrated on landscape, getting a view down onto the Hoffman Kiln from the hill above. Diana was doing some great mixed-media sketches, working over potato-prints made earlier in the morning in her sketchbook; Gill even brought in moss and mud into her drawings of the quarry cliffs.

We also had a big idea session over lunch about the Art & Craft fair in May. As promised, I will write up all the ideas we had and post it a bit later on this week – give everyone a chance to see what other people are thinking of doing and maybe spark off more ideas.

Suggestions for next month’s sketching day include Bersham Woods near Wrexham, The Ceiriog Valley, or back to Chester or even Llanymynech again! Any other suggestions?

Sketching day at Llanymynech - panel from Limescapes comic (2012)

Sketching day at Llanymynech – panel from Limescapes comic (2012)

Had a great sketching day at Llanymynech Rocks on Sunday.  About ten of us met up at the quarry carpark and braved the chill for a morning and afternoon of exploring, photographing, painting and drawing. We were met there by Steve Evison from Underhill Farm, where we stopped for lunch and a welcome cup of tea. Actually, it wasn’t nearly as cold as I expected it to be, and as the day wore on, it was actually quite warm in the sunshine. After lunch, Steve took a group of us on a tour of the older limekilns underneath the brow of the quarries, and then up to the toposcope for a view out over the canal, the railway line and the long oval of the Hoffman Kiln across the other side of the B-road.

This was not our first visit either to Underhill Farm or to the “limescapes” in Llanymynech, but it confirmed it as a place rich in creative possibilities. A number of us are now starting works that focus on the quarry, the limekilns and the wider natural and heritage landscapes that surround the quarry. Dorothy was muttering enthusiastically about centring at least part of her MA work on the quarry, Al was interested in also directing some of his course work towards the area, and I know Gill has also been working on a series of paintings set up in the quarries. I’ve also now started work on two graphic novel projects – one which Steve and I have talked about previously, about the heritage and environment of the quarries and the limekilns, bringing a number of different aspects – industrial history, archaeology, geology, social and community history and leisure – together; the second a more explorative graphic work which uses the quarry as its geographical focus.

With all this interest in the quarries and the kilns, I’m glad we’ve got a good working relationship with Underhill Farm. Both Steve and Irene are keen to have us Inside Out artists make the most of the place, and would welcome individuals or small groups back to use the farm as a base for working and sketching days. I know a number of us will be returning individually through the winter, making headway with our individual projects – but if anyone is interested in another sketching day out at the quarry, just say so!


Decasia – Bill Morrison with live soundtrack by Barry Edwards; Llanymynech Limeworks. Photo by FJ Evans.

Here’s a shot of the screening of Bill Morrison’s film Decasia in the Hoffman lime kiln at Llanymynech. Kinokulture had built a custom-made screen to fit under the arch of the kiln ceiling. It’s a great idea – exactly the sort of thing that can really be used to bring the space alive for illuminations and projections.

The screening was really atmospheric, particularly with Barry Edwards performing a live soundtrack to the screening. Really nice to see the limeworks being used for yet another art event.

Anyone got ideas for next year?

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