Thursday, 29 November 2018

Winter skies - a free public event

Winter Skies
a wolf runs through the heavens....
who would fly in your winter sky?
Saturday 15th December
Buxton Museum and Art Gallery 

Who would fly in your winter sky?
Join us at the museum to make seasonal mobiles mixing drawing with glitter, shimmer and natural materials. Decorations to bring a bit of the wild winter skies full of stars and stories, and a landscape swept with snow and ice into your home

  • Time: 1 - 4 pm
  • Where: Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Terrrace Rd, Buxton, SK17 6DA
  • Free
  • No booking needed
  • Materials provided
  • Allow 30 minutes to make your mobile
  • Children under 7 must bring a grown-up with them

A BM125 event, part of a series of events and other activities celebrating the Museum's 125th birthday. Visit the Museum blog to find out more about BM125 activities with mermaids, music, sabre-toothed cats in Dove Holes and all sorts of adventures!
wild boar in a winter forest under a flight of black birds

Monday, 26 November 2018

Festive trolls for sale!

Trolls for treats and wonders 
original Troll portraits and pictures
Troll-line,2 detail
treat yourself to a troll
buy for a friend, 
a loved one or the folk who really loathe.
....there is a troll for everyone somewhere!
Shake out your pound-pigs, aggravate your penny-toads, the Trolls are here!

A set of original troll portraits are available for sale…..

These are originals, not prints, card mounted. Each picture comes with a snippet of a story or a nibble of a poem that gives something of the story of that individual - or that moment of that Troll's life

As there is only one copy of each piece, if you would like one, please email me direct to claim your copy. Payment can be through Paypal - or BACS - which we can sort out when the sale is confirmed. Price includes First Class UK postage, overseas postage will be added to cost - confirmed with order


Doorkeeper troll, 1
Mount 20 x 20cm, picture 12 x 12 cm
Price £25 SOLD!

Doorkeeper troll, 2
Mount 20 x 20cm, picture 12 x 12 cm
Price £25 SOLD!

Doorkeeper troll, 3
Mount 20 x 20cm, picture 12 x 12 cm
SOLD!Price £25

Calluna: a heather troll from the Roaches
Mount 35 x 28cm, picture 21 x 30cm approx
Price: £40 SOLD!

Puffin trow, 1
Mount 35 x 28cm, picture 21 x 30cm approx
SOLD!Price: £40

Puffin trow, 2
Mount 35 x 28cm, picture 21 x 30cm approx
Price: £40 SOLD!


Mount 20 x 20cm, picture 12 x 12 cm
 SOLD!Price £25


Bog Cotton,

Mount 21 x 15cm, picture 16 x 10cm
Price £25

Mount 21 x 15cm, picture 16 x 10cm
Price £25

Dripple the Dreep
Mount 21 x 15cm, picture 14 x 8cm
Price £20

The Troll of Nesting Mice
Mount 20 x 20cm, picture 12 x 12 cm
Price £25 SOLD!

Sidewise, 1
Mount 21 x 15cm, picture 14 x 8cm
Price £20

Sidewise, 2
Mount 21 x 15cm, picture 14 x 8cm
Price £20 SOLD!

Troll-line, 2
Mount 35 x 28cm, picture 21 x 30cm approx
Price: £40 SOLD!

Troll-line, 3
Mount 35 x 28cm, picture 21 x 30cm approx
Price: £40

Troll-line, 4
Mount 35 x 28cm, picture 21 x 30cm approx
Price: £40

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

A long, dark forest...Gawain 2018


November 2018

There was a long dark forest,

wicked woods, wild, wind-blown and whistling woods,

Where twirling leaves trembled on tall, terrifying trees,

With treacherous twigs to tempt you to a terrible fate

a dragon in a castle....

We are having a wintry Gawain and the Green Knight season this month
visiting Wooden Spoon royalty

The Sir Gawain project saw a lively and successful weekend. There was painting, a new artwork from Sue Prince (with mass community participation, paintbrushes and pennies), walks, talks and excitements from Clive Foden, and  some 40 people, and more, joining us (Creeping Toad, Stone and Water and Sarah Males) on Saturday to make a cast of medieval characters on wooden spoons at the Foxlowe Arts Centre in Leek
Gawain might find new foes, or new friends, in Leek

I am also working with the children of St Bartholomew’s C of E Primary School, Longnor, and Manifold C of E Academy, Warslow, to write the further adventures of Gawain. These are taking shape in exciting and unpredictable ways and now we are making puppets to animate our narrative poems….
a journey through an enchanted wood

But the long road home was waiting

A perilous path through the wild wastes

Where a wild wood grew over the hilltops

Through the dales

There were terribly twisty trees 

Where owls rested on the branches

And wary wolves watched from the shade

There were robbers in those woods

But fighting fierce foxes and

Struggling bravely to battle big, bad badgers

Gawain finally made it through the fierce forest


Gawain crossing hills
Through the woods in safety

Gawain stopped by a cool, relaxing pool,

The home,

But he did not know it

Of mysterious mermaids,

secretive mermaids

Who can sing, or scream, as loud as trumpets

Mean as monsters

Swift as snakes,

With claws as sharp as sharks’ teeth

they would drag you down, down to the depths

Down to your drowned death

And of those mermaids there was one

Who had once asked the fairies of the forest

For a friendly favour, a wild and wonderful wish,

To become the most mysterious, the most marvelous,

The most powerful mermaid,

the Mermaid Pool at Blakemere
Gawain rested by the water, trailing his tired toes in

The cool refreshing water

When he felt a tug on his leg,

A hand pulling him into the dark water,

And down, down, down….


So many people to thank here - all those artists, puppeteers and poets and Borderland Voices  who are coordinating my Gawain workshops in the schools

Sunday, 11 November 2018

A museum of shadows

Lights and Shadows

museum visitors - or exhibits?

 Saturday 24th November

1 - 4 pm

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

a geode
From sinister shadows to the glow of cave crystals, join us for an afternoon celebrating the shapes and colours of the Museum collection. We’ll be making plastic “windows” – panels you could hang in your own window or roll into a tube to stand over a light

The event is free and we’ll provide materials. 
There is no need to book but allow 30 – 45 minutes for your activity

A BM125 event celebrating 125 years of Buxton Museum and Art Gallery!

Where to go: Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Terrace Rd, Buxton, SK17 6DA, 
01629 533540

a window full of dungeon.....

Next events: after this, the next events at the Museum are
Lantern Making Workshops
Saturday 1 December, 10am – 12.30pm & 1pm – 3.30pm
Join Buxton Sparkles to make a lantern for the annual community lantern parade on 8th December.
Free, drop in, all ages welcome.

Winter Skies 
Saturday 15 December, between 1pm and 4pm
Make a mobile that captures the wonder of a winter night, using natural and scrap materials. There might be floating feathers, shining stars or a Santa in his sleigh. Bring your imagination and we’ll bring all the materials you need. With me, Creeping Toad.
Free, drop in, allow 30 minutes to take part.
...or a window full of dragons

Sunday, 4 November 2018

a haunted town

The hauntings of Buxton

Buxton Opera House

October 2018

the company*
Two short workshops in Buxton Opera House last week as part of their spooky Hallowe'en season revealed all sorts of previously unknown horrors in the woods and streets of this old town….

mapping a haunted world
Take a walk through the wild woods of Buxton.
Slip behind the blood-dripping trees,
Past the witches’ broomstick ash,
Past the rocks, the ruins, the quarry,
Under the rocks, under the hill,
Lies a cave of bats and sharp stones, spiders and webs
And a cupboard in that cave is full of showroom dummies.
There will be a party there,
A party for bats and beasts and bogles, and you if you want to join in
But be careful!
Do not eat enchanted food, do not sip enchanted drinks,
Some cakes are chocolate with icing spiders but others are poisoned with bat poo

Keep going,
Keep going,
Don’t stop,
Through the spooky woods,
Past the twisted trees
Between the red-berried holly
And its fierce and spiky leaves
Down the long path
Through all the forest’s dangers
To the mysterious house
Where an old man waits
Dead for a thousand years and no-one has cut the grass in his garden in all that time

And beyond the woods
A ruined church waits
With a graveyard
Where the dead do not rest easy in their graves

On Hallowe’en night
When the rain drops red onto the green leaves of trees,
That’s when the bones walk


 A challenge
If you wait under the broomstick tree until those broomsticks are ripe they will fall like conkers or acorns. If you can catch one before it touches the ground when its magic instantly drains away, you could spend the night flying like the witches through the sky.

Our workshops were short and very full of ideas and drawing, talking, scribbling, making and performing so we didn’t get much time for our stars to pose on their sinister black carpet for photos. We sent our young puppeteers and storymakers back out into the wide world with words, stories, puppets and terrible deeds to tell of…

With many thanks to the puppeteers of the Theatrical Phantoms
workshops and to Buxton Opera House for getting it all going in the first place!
* if anyone does not want themselves to be seen in the photos, let me know