Sue Rossiter working on a sculpture

Hand to Hand exhibition pays tribute to North Devon’s Glove Workers

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An innovative art exhibition celebrating one of North Devon’s most important industries opens on 11th June until 30th July 2016 at White Moose in Barnstaple.

Once a world centre for glove making in the 19th and early 20th Century, the North Devon glove industry provided employment and craft skills for generations of local families.

In its heyday 200 people were employed at the Pilton factory and 600 at the Vaughan’s factory in Torrington plus many more outworkers at home. But with local factories now closed this important part of North Devon’s heritage is in danger of being forgotten.

“I have always been fascinated by local industrial heritage, so was delighted when local ceramic artist Sue Rossiter approached us to be involved with her Hand to Hand project and exhibition,” says Stella Levy, who co owns White Moose.

“Sue’s research made me realise what a significant impact glove making had in this area and the sheer amount of workers (mainly women) who were employed in this industry.

“It must have caused great hardship on families when the many glove factories were eventually closed down and I am interested in seeing the forthcoming glovers’ film interviews of living glove makers talking about their experiences of working in these factories.”

The Hand to Hand project pays tribute to these glove workers with ceramic artwork inspired by the glove production process, equipment and machinery of the time and combining stitch-like mark-making, leather-like surface qualities and colours developed from local earth pigments.


Glove Industry Talks: Wed 15 June, 6:30 pm, Free. Great Torrington Heritage Museum 
Wed 27th July 6.30pm, £5 per person including a refreshment. White Moose

Ex-Glover Memory Box Art Workshops: Sat 18 June & Sat 30 July, 10:30 am – 5 pm, Free, Sandy Brown Museum Appledore (A former glove factory)

Local Glovers’ Stories Film Screening: Thurs 14 Jul, 6:30 pm, £5 per person incl refreshment, White Moose.

Hand to Hand has been made possible with; public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, funding from The Craft Pottery Association, The Elmgrant Trust, The Old Glove Factory Development Ltd and Mazzard Investments Limited and support from partners: The Sandy Brown Museum, Torrington Museum and White Moose.

For gallery opening times, event information and booking details visit: or email:


(from a press release)



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