This Interesting and Wonderful Factory takes its name from a reference made by The St Ives Times in 1925 to the opening of the Cryséde textile works in the town. Cryséde (pronounced Cris-aid) manufactured wood-block printed silk fabrics and garments in a former pilchard works at the end of Island Road up until 1939. The factory, managed by Alec Walker and Tom Heron (father of artist Patrick Heron), offered the first industrial employment for women in the area. The wood-block designs, adapted from Walker’s plein-air paintings and prints such as Godrevy (c.1920s) and Zennor (c.1920s), depict local views.
Inspired by social and cultural histories, artist Katie Schwab has created this installation based on the story of Cryséde in St Ives between the wars. She has been exploring accounts of labour conditions, the employment of women and collective working, as well as the impact of colonialism on the factory’s signature designs. The colours and shapes presented here are taken directly from Cryséde fabric samples, creating a space where you can be immersed in a patterned landscape of your own making. Here you are invited to play with shape, colour and form to discover new designs.