New Photo Galleries on the Blog

I have been enjoying myself this morning. I have been using the new addition to the WordPress tools and adding photo galleries to my new pages. Just click on any of the photos above and it will take you to a slideshow. This is so cooool (sorry- slipped into adolescence there?) After uploading a whole new range of photos into my media gallery, I have opted for slideshows on most of the pages, it has enabled me to use some of the photos I was unable to fit into the book which is very satisfying.

When choosing photographs for Androula’s Kitchen, I was frustrated because there were so many that I wanted to use, really I would have been happy just making a photo book! Maybe next time. It seems to be a whole lot quicker to upload as well, which is a real boon when you have quite a selection. You may have noticed, if you are a regular reader of this blog, that the site has been having a bit of an overhaul. I wanted to match up to the great job Short Run Press made of my book. I hope that by having some permanent pages it will help people see more clearly what the site and the book is about and give a taste of information I cover in the book. It’s an ongoing process, so far there is the Arts & Crafts page with a drop down menu for pottery and weaving, I will add baskets and lace later. There will also be a food page with access to the recipes as well as a bit of information on food culture.

Let me know what you think. I like a good bit of feedback and please, feel free to share amongst your friends.

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Weavers Unite!- Cyprus on a Plate

Weavers at the Handicraft Centre weaving fythkiotika

I’m very excited …it doesn’t take much.

Today, while searching WordPress for other blogs relating to topics I cover in my book ‘Androula’s Kitchen’, I came across Phitiotika. It is a site set up by two British artists Maura McKee and Sarah Dixon, they both have connections with Cyprus and had a strong empathy with the weavers of Fyti who are struggling to keep their weaving traditions alive in a dwindling village. They, like myself, feel there should be a way to carry on the strong traditions and heritage of weaving in  Cyprus, through the younger generations by encouraging innovation and diversity.

Throughout the centuries Cyprus has had a reputation for fine weaving. Each region had their own specialities and styles. At one time their was an abundance of silk and silk weaving was commonplace. Each family would own a loom and the women of the household wove all the  linen needed for everyday life  including their clothing and bedding. Silk worms were cultivated, cotton grown and there were plenty of sheep to supply wool.  Silk is no longer cultivated and the weaving of silk has not been practised in Cyprus since the 1960s. Life has changed rapidly and people live different lives where there is no necessity to make everything themselves with mass production and cheap imports.

Fyti, in the Paphos region of Cyprus, has a very particular style of weaving which incorporates patterns of coloured wools. The patterns are mostly geometric and each weaver would make their own patterns usually telling a story. Maura McKee and Sarah Dixon are working together with The Laona Foundation to come up with a plan for conserving and recording the weaving practises of Fyti while setting in place  initiatives which will encourage Cypriot artists to embrace and improvise on this valuable heritage as well as academics, artists, textile collectors and weavers internationally, with the help of the internet. Sarah has experience of working on cultural and conservation projects in several countries. Their aim:

“The aim of this proposed project is to reinvigorate and recontextualise Phiti weaving, and to support Phiti weavers in their practice. We are setting out to catalyse a process of conserving and adapting tradition.”

You can find out more on their blog, the link is on the blogroll and join their Facebook page.

I wish them both every success in this endeavour as this issue is close to my heart.

WEAVERS UNITE!