Carved reliefs tell the story of port's pilchard industry
One of the most alluring attractions during this month's open studios festival is likely to be the home of husband and wife team Red and Ruth Simpson, writes Frank Ruhrmund.
For several years the couple have lived and worked at number 27, North Corner in Newlyn, a house once occupied by celebrated artists Ernest and Dod Procter, who converted a fish cellar at the back of the property into a studio.
Fortunately, some of the original granite posts, beams and pressing ledges survived the conversion. It is a piece of Newlyn history and a reminder of the days when pilchards were plentiful, netted by rowing boats, salted, put into barrels and shipped abroad.
Inspired by this industry which for a long while in Cornwall was second only to mining, Red Simpson (pictured) has now designed and made reliefs that tell its story. Displayed in their house, Red and Ruth are now opening their doors from October 5 to 7 and offering the public a rare opportunity to see them.
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Renowned, in particular, for their jewellery, the couple will also be showing sculptures, paintings and etchings.
Another family team throwing open their studio doors are mother and daughter Daphne and Emma McClure. Situated in Florence Place, opposite the former doctors' surgery, they plan an "environmental knit-in". Eager to draw attention to the excessive use of plastic bags, members of the public can help them knit a 35ft scarf.
"We feel that everyone should be made aware of the great Pacific garbage patch, a plastic soup in the Pacific Ocean which stretches from Japan to Hawaii and is held in place by underwater currents called gyres," said Daphne. "Plastic pollution in the oceans of the world is a serious problem. Such flotsam can choke, entangle and kill wildlife and is also dangerous to humans."
Daphne and Emma McClure will be selling their hand-painted and signed cotton bags and donating part of the proceeds to the Seaman's Mission.
Others taking part in the open studios event are Annie Metcalfe, Mark Nicholls, Rosanne Tellam, Sarah Williams, Bernard and Audrey Evans, Charlie Richards, Jim Whitlock, Ken Gill, Joy Batten, Jenni Spencer Smith, Diana Dixon, Josh Sim, Susannah Clemence, Michael Johnson, Lincoln Kirby Bell and the Newlyn Art School.