Cardiff City – Wales – Photos

Cardiff Castle dragon

Cardiff Castle dragon

Cardiff is, of course, the capital city of Wales and it was a real treat to visit there last week.  What a friendly reception we had from anyone we met.

I’ve been to Cardiff before now (my daughter and I went there shopping a couple of times when we lived in Ludlow), but I had never visited Cardiff Castle.  It is guarded by this magnificent dragon set quite near the entrance to the castle grounds.




Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle

The castle itself is very imposing, lying right in the city.  It is set in a corner of the grounds, with various buildings displaying exhibitions set in what must once have been the castle walls.  It was a hot day when I visited and I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t climb up into the castle – those steps looked very steep!

Roman mural

Roman mural

Inside the reception hall there was a magnificent mural depicting Roman soldiers.  The Romans occupied Cardiff and most of Wales from about 55AD.  They built a large fortification here while they were still conquering Wales, but this later became a smaller fortification once the fighting was over. I thought that this magnificent mural was much older, but in fact it is relatively recent.  This part with the Roman chariot caught my eye but there were many other interesting scenes displayed.

Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay

This is a wonderful waterfront development with much to see and do.  The red building is known as Pierhead and was originally built for the Bute Docks Company.  Cardiff at one time was the world’s largest exporter of coal.

The Pierhead is now an information and conference centre, with some lovely original tiles on the walls.

Norwegian church

Norwegian church

As such a large harbour, Cardiff was home to many sailors from other nations.  Roald Dahl was born here and christened in the Norwegian Church which is also within the Bay area.

The Welsh National Assembly lies within the area, but I couldn’t get far enough away to take any photos – you’ll have to take my word for it that it’s a lovely building!

Millennium Centre

Millennium Centre

The Millenium Centre is the national arts centre for Wales and contains restaurants and theatres, also hosting the National Dance Company of Wales, amongst other arts organisations.

Floor tile pattern

Floor tile pattern

Quilt inspiration?  Oh yes, there was plenty of that.  This lovely floor tile pattern will one day be adapted into a quilt design.

If you’ve been to Cardiff you must be wandering how I managed to miss all the other lovely attractions of this city, but I was only there a day so I’m aware that there’s much more that I didn’t see.  I loved Cardiff so much that I will definitely return there.

 

Wednesbury Museum Art Gallery

Wednesbury Museum Art Gallery

Wednesbury Museum Art Gallery

The Wednesbury Museum Art Gallery isn’t far from here and I’m glad that I’ve finally been to visit it.  It’s one of the Sandwell & Dudley museums (so it’s free to visit!).  I had a very pleasant hour meandering among the displays – and picking up lots of quilt inspiration.

Ruskin pottery

Ruskin pottery

Ruskin Pottery

I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t heard of Ruskin Pottery but the display of their pottery was magnificent.  They were famed for the different glazes that they used on their vases and pots.  I would love to pretend to be knowledgeable and tell you which glaze this vase has, but after I had read the label it went straight out of my head.

An array of pottery

An array of pottery

The different glazes that they pioneered included souffle, described by the company as being suggestive of the rich hues seen in rock pools at low tide.  Then there was lustre glaze, giving a pearly sheen, and flambe glaze which gave rich vibrant colours.

Many different products

Many different products

They kept their recipes for the glazes secret and they have never been revealed.  They often involved multiple firings at controlled temperatures.  It was really interesting reading about these gorgeous products.

As you can see from the photo, the company produced many pottery items, not just vases and pots.  The company began in 1898 and was renamed Ruskin in 1902 as a tribute to the writings of John Ruskin.

Chance Glass

Chance Glass

Chance Glass

The next display was of Chance Glass products.  The etched design has been re produced in many quilts – I can’t remember if they are called dahlia or chrysanthemum quilts.  It is definitely on my list of quilts to make.

Chance Glass was renowned for its specialised glass.  At one time their workshops covered 30 acres in Smethwick.  They produced the glass to build the Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition, as well as the clock faces for Big Ben during one of its previous facelifts.

They provided much of the specialised glass needed for lighthouses around the world.  Apparently they made the glass for a lighthouse in Tasmania (over 300 pieces) and shipped it there without any instructions.  That must have been quite a jigsaw!

Gorgeous colours

Gorgeous colours

Of course, it was the smaller glass items that interested me.  These two items were particularly beautiful.  I wonder if you could adapt the plate to a fussy cut dresden plate design for a quilt.

Community area

Community area

Community area

There was a fascinating community area in the Wednesbury Musetum Art Gallery.  Amongst the artwork was this house which combined painting with stuffed felt shapes to give depth to some of the aspects like roofs and trees.  That could also be adapted to a quilt design.

Racing horses

Racing horses

Then there was this marvellous picture of racing horses.  The streaks behind the horses gave a wonderful feeling of speed – I must try that one day using quilting to give that feeling of motion.

Stained glass technique

Stained glass technique

And finally one more picture that intrigued me.  This is a picture, not a window, but it could be made using black sashing as in stained glass quilts and some free flowing fabric creating the dress.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your trip around the Wendesbury Museum Art Gallery with me – I certainly loved it.