Art and graft - An illustrator brings the county's craftsmanship heritage into vivid focus

PUBLISHED: 00:16 25 December 2010 | UPDATED: 18:21 20 February 2013

Terry Sutton

Terry Sutton

A Yorkshire illustrator has brought the county's rich heritage of craftsmanship into vivid focus, as Jo Haywood reports

Art and graft

A Yorkshire illustrator has brought the countys rich heritage of craftsmanship into vivid focus, as Jo Haywood reports

The art at the heart of industry is often easy to miss. But Cleckheaton illustrator Terry Sutton has seen past the grime, oil and rust to bring a new dignity and elegance to Yorkshires industrial achievements in a new book that pays tribute to the countys craftsmen and women.
His book, Hard Graft: Yorkshire At Work (20, The Dovecote Press), is a pictorial love letter to the lathes, drills and machine tools that created the countys mines, built its steam engines and powered its looms, waterwheels and mills.
By the end of the 19th century, pottery from Leeds, fine Sheffield cutlery, textile machinery and locomotives were being exported to all corners of the globe. The 20th century added to the list with Jowett cars from Bradford, Panther motorcycles from Cleckheaton, tractors from David Browns Meltham works and the iconic Mallard, the world record-holding steam loco built at the Doncaster works of the LNER.
But for every world-renowned name, there were countless craftsmen and women whose efforts went largely unsung, like the stonemasons who built the abbeys and churches, the boatbuilders and the furniture, clock and organ makers.
In his 75 original watercolours and countless carefully chosen engravings and photographs, Terry celebrates the achievements of them all and pays homage to Yorkshires industrious past and its undeniable appetite for hard graft.
Back in 2003 I first set eyes on the slotter, a machine tool made in Keighley a century ago and now on display at Bradford Industrial Museum, he said, talking about what inspired the book. It might not have been love at first sight, but the moment became the unlikely starting point for what has since been a fascinating and enlightening odyssey down a few avenues of Yorkshires industrial past.
Terry began his career as a graphic design student at the School of Art & Design in Batley. He then moved on to work in advertising, as a lecturer in graphic design and, latterly, as a freelance illustrator. Hard Graft is his second book. Illustrations and photographs from his first Yesterdays Yorkshire have been exhibited at Bradford Industrial Museum, Piece Hall Gallery, Halifax Museum and Dewsbury Museum.
Inspiration for both has come from his family background, steeped in the mills, mining and engineering of the industrial West Riding.
And it was during his boyhood in the 1950s that he was first captivated by the sight and sound of steam locomotives, then commonplace on the railways.
Terrys subsequent career in art and design increased his admiration for the engineers, stonemasons and carpenters whose creative achievements and craftsmanship tended to take third place behind landscape and architecture when extolling Yorkshires virtues as a beautiful county.
Objects of exquisite beauty were created amidst the abrasive clamour of the mining and heavy industries, he explained.
This striking blend of contrasts personifies the richness and variety of Yorkshires craft skills and industrial achievements.

Latest from the Yorkshire Life