I’m halfway between two presentations. The first was for the 6 Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers at Stratford where I spoke about orchil and how the trade in lichen dyestuff reached global proportions in the late nineteenth century. I thoroughly enjoyed my day at Stratford which included a talk by co-speaker Joan Baxter on the way the East Sutherland landscape influences her tapestries. Her recent collaborative work with dancers Between the Web and the Loom was interesting and she showed some video clips. But I can’t find any images on the internet to provide a link beyond this one (about the dance) and this one (about the tapestry she wove).
The second presentation is for the Dyes in History and Archaeology Conference (DHA) in La Rochelle, France. That’s later this week, is about something else entirely, and it’s going to be rather sensational.
Friday 4th October
11:45 Treasures from a Leeds Dye Chemist: A Century-Old “Tyrian Purple”?
Isabella Whitworth, Zvi C. Koren
If you want to know more about the sensational, come to La Rochelle. Otherwise, I’m sorry, you may have to wait a little. To download the whole DHA La Rochelle programme, visit this page and follow the links at the bottom.
For the moment, here is a taster in the form of some images. You will see two men, both chemists. There is a brother and a sister, and the son of a famous father.
Lectures and technology
Those who are of ‘a certain age’ will remember that one of the worst things that could happen when giving a lecture was that you dropped all the slides just prior to going on stage then reloaded them upside down, in the wrong order and back to front.
Technology wasn’t satisfied with such piffling levels of stress. So it created Macs and PCs and system updates; memory sticks and SD cards and PowerPoint and embedding. It now arranges that hosts provide an ancient laptop unable to read anything post 1910; it organises missing leads, the wrong leads, deflating batteries, clickers that die, videos that won’t load and projectors which will have nothing to do with your laptop.
I have watched entirely respectable speakers show a presentation devoid of images because they haven’t checked their Mac presentation on a PC – or haven’t embedded their photos.
As a result I am obsessive about options. At the 6 Guilds event I took my own Mac laptop, own projector, requisite leads plus a boggling array of memory sticks and SD cards correctly formatted and checked out on a neighbour’s PC. In fact, the options proved unnecessary as the 6 Guilds laptop was up-to-date, the memory stick loaded, and two super-calm techies were in control.
For DHA, all presentations have to be sent in advance of the Conference which is good sense – in theory. You will be informed that something has arrived, but you still don’t know if the presentation shows exactly the way you designed it. So, when you get there, you need to check – and have some options up your sleeve. I didn’t do the DHA PowerPoint: my co-author did, for which I am deeply grateful. It can all be his fault.