Stitching Time

Stitching Time

Friday 17th October

Silverdale Library

Experienced stitchers and

first time scribblers all welcomed!

When Dieualcres Abbey was dissolved, among its many treasures were richly embroidered copes: cloaks worn by Abbots and Bishops. Rumour (possibly scurrilous) has it that some of these beautiful pieces were carried away to Hardwick and Hatton Halls and are incorporated into later materials there.

we might make medieval-style panels

we might make medieval-style panels

In our ongoing celebration of the richness that once rested in Leek, join our artists to make sections for a spectacular new robe mixing medieval images with modern heroes and everyday saints in appliqué, drawing, felt and beads. Original copes were adorned with Biblical and saintly images and motifs, so our once, now and next cope will feature medieval designs and modern heroes and future hopes in similar styles

Time: 1 – 3pm

Where: Silverdale Library, Newcastle: High St, Silverdale, Newcastle ST5 6LY, 01782 297444

or we might create our own new designs

or we might create our own new designs


Draw your own Trilobite!

an imagined low tide moment....

an imagined low tide moment….

As our Ancient Landscape project tides run out quietly, we thought we would keep ideas and activities going out there in the wider ancient seas of everyone else’s lives.


We are going to produce several activity blogs to encourage you to explore fossil worlds creatively!


Drawing trilobites

This might seem silly but we’ve found this little activity a useful one to encourage people to really look at and examine their fossils closely. The apttern given here is for a very general trilobite. There are so many different types that your personal one might be a very different shape. We suggest trying this pattern to give you a good sense of trilobitedness and confidence in your pencils. Then look at other trilobites and think about how proportions change….


Tril-11. Draw a cross: if the main line is 3 units long, put the crosspiece at 1 unit with arms of 1 unti each. Make a mark at the halfway point


2. Draw an oval using the tips of the cross as guide


3. Trilobite details

Tril-2 1head: use the tips of cross-piece as guides for the curve of your trilobite’s head and that crosspiece or the half way point as a guide for the back edge of the cephalon (trilobite head)


4. Draw in segments across the thorax – 10 is a good number but on smaller drawing slook crowded 9xercise some artistic license). Look at the symmetry and try to make that what you do on one side you also do on the other


5. Trilobite features: head shield is a cephalon, middle bit: thorax, tail pygidium. Trilobite bean-shaped eyes are compound (lots of small facets)

Underneath: lots of legs and gills

Tril-2 3

6. And just how colourful was a trilobite? Who knows? We do know that on our workshops, groups of Rainbow Trilobites often appear. The originals were probably – possibly – maybe – shades of grey or, like some modern crustaceans, they might have been reds and purples or coloured to suit their preferred habitats….


Developments: try adjusting the intial cross to get a trilobite from different angles. Once you feel confident with quick drawings of these trilobites start shifting the proportions to extend those side spines on the head (look at Fallotaspis and others)

Trilobite fingers

Fingerpuppet trilobites

These can start with either a drawing like the one above or half a drawing, drawn onto a piece of folded card with the fold corresponding to the main line of the cross

Tril-4 1

Cut it out, cut a line in from the edge to the side of the eye (the longer the better usually). Fold thecephalon along this line, folding front over the sides. Staple in place. This will pull the head into a nice curve and the original fold will help shape the rest of the animal.


Tril-4 2Add a ring of card to the underside, slide the puppet onto your finger and off you go! (Why not make one for every finger and have a family of them?)


Other models: the Australian Geological Survey Association do a lovely trilobite model printout. Trilobite sheet:





Ancient Landscapes: summer events

We have some exciting activities

taking place over the holiday period.

Come and join us exploring the ancient environments

that gave us the Peak District

The Longshaw Estate taken from high ground in the Peak District, Derbyshire

All events are free (car parking charges may apply in some places). Family events suitable for children from 4 years and over

You could also visit our main project blog for more details


Event summaries first then fuller details below


1. Tuesday 30th July: Life in ancient seas, at the Moorland Discovery centre, National Trust Longshaw nr Hathersage

– make your own prehistoric rockpool model! Sessions 11 – 1 and 2 -4, no booking needed


2. Thursday 1st August: Monsters from the Limestone, Buxton Museum and Art Gallery: SK17 6DA, making large puppet fossil animals from the depths of the ancient Peak District seas!, 10-30 -12.30, 1.30 – 3.30low- fossils 297


3. Tuesday 6th August: Winnat’s Pass Walk: exploring the millstone grits of the Dark Peak. Meet: Castleton Visitor Centre Car Park, S33 8WP, at 2pm. Walk 2 – 4pm, some steep slopes and off paved footpaths


4. Wednesday 7th August: Life in Ancient Seas at Leek Low-Ilam-179

Brough Park, Leek, 11 – 3: meet the Ancient Landscape team and make your own finger-puppet fossils or ancient seascape


Events in detail

1. Life in ancient seas

Date: Tuesday 30th July 2013

Venue: Moorland Discovery Centre, National Trust Longshaw, nr Hathersage

Times: 11 – 1 and 2 – 4

Booking: no booking needed just drop by and join in

Cost: free: materials provided (donations welcomed)- car parking charges may apply


What’s happening?

Come and paddle in a prehistoric sea! Explore life in the Carboniferous Seas of 300 million years ago that eventually gave us the limestone, shale and gritstones of the Peak District. We’ll look at fossils to understand the animals of the times, draw those animals and the corals and seaweeds they lived in. Then visitors can make their own model rockpool as a piece of ancient seaside to take home


Eurypterid 12. Monsters from the Limestone

Date: Thursday 1st August 2013

Venue: Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, terrace Rd, Buxton SK17 6DA

Times: 10.30 – 12.30 and 1.30 – 3.30

Booking: no booking needed just drop by and join in

Cost: free: materials provided (donations welcomed) – car parking charges may apply

Organisers and more information: this is part of the Ancient Landscapes project organised by Stone and Water (


What’s happening?

Exploring life in the Carboniferous Seas that eventually gave us the limestone, shale and gritstones of the Peak District. We’ll look at fossils to understand the animals of those times, and build our own limestone creatures as puppets and masks – make a pet trilobite, wear a giant brachiopod, or have a tame crinoid or nautiloid to ripple home with you….

Basic activity is straightforward with lots of options for people to experiment with


3. Winnat’s Pass WalkClose view of rock formations on the Longshaw Estate, near Wooden Pole, Derbyshire, in October.

Date: Tuesday 6th August 2013

Meeting point: Castleton Visitor Centre Car Park, Castleton, Hope Valley S33 8WP

Times: 2 – 4pm

Booking: no booking needed just drop by and join in

Cost: free: materials provided (donations welcomed) – car parking charges may apply

Organisers and more information: this is part of the Ancient Landscapes project organised by Stone and Water (


What’s happening?

With National Trust Rangers, we will explore the geology of this dramatic gorge, meeting the millstone grit that eventually covered the limestone of the White Peak. A Stone and Water will help the group explore creatively: drawing rocks and shapes, composing instant poems, making up wild stories about the cliffs and caves of the Pass.

This walk will last 2 hours, has some steep slopes and will not remain on paved surfaces. Strong footwear essential and clothing to suit the weather


4. Life in Ancient Seas at Leek PlayDay

Date: Wednesday 7th  August 2013

Venue: Brough Park, Leek (beside the Leek Leisure Centre)

Times: 11 – 3

Booking: no booking needed just drop by and join in

Cost: free: materials provided (donations welcomed) – car parking charges may apply

Organisers and more information: this is part of the Ancient Landscapes project organised by Stone and Water (


What’s happening?

Come and paddle in a prehistoric sea! Explore life in the Carboniferous Seas of 300 million years ago that eventually gave us the limestone, shale and gritstones of the Peak District. We’ll be making personal finger-puppet trilobites and pet ammonites and models of ancient seasides…

seaweed strip 

The tide is running!

Stone and Water have had a lively few weeks.


Our Ancient Landscape project has been inviting people to paddle in a prehistoric Carboniferous sea all over the place, while our Tiny! series of events in Buxton Festival Fringe featured The Return of the Tiny! Pirates. Our working principle with Tiny! is that nothing is much bigger (if at all) than your hand – emphasising the delights of little things and how easy it is to make things quick, small and entertaining

We have visited

silk-worm coral and artwork

silk-worm coral and artwork

Lady Manners School – working with the Year 12 textile students

National Trust at Ilam Park for a Father’s Day event

Buxton Soroptomists where we gave an after-dinner talk complete with fossils, model trilobites and horseshoe crabs, and crochet seaweeds creeping across the tabletops

Peakabout Arts with High Peak Community Arts: with some beautifully deocrated felted kelps unfolding stickily across the workshop

cheerful work at Silverdale

cheerful work at Silverdale

Silverdale Knitting Group offering experienced knitters and crochet-masters new avenues for their creativity – and some fossils to enjoy.

Our artist Sarah, reports: “A lovely afternoon at Silverdale Library with the knitting group. We set off travelling back through time, as far back as 360m years ago, thinking about life in shallow seas. Images of corals, sea lilies and brachiopods living in our landscapes, long, long ago and far, far away. Today we have fossils, clear and tangible memories of life at that time. And our challenge? To help the reef grow, creating with crochet, fossilising with felt and knitting new creatures to populate this ancient landscape.

Hooks and needles, stitching and stabbing (needle felt!) and a busy room all combined to produce twisting coral shapes and felted fish, jellies and stars. Some Silverdale folks plan to visit Buxton”

And a reply from the Knitting group: “I just wanted to extend my thanks on behalf of the ladies who attended the session yesterday .We all had a brilliant time! Thank you again for arranging it for us. A couple of the ladies mentioned on the way out that they are going to drive up to Buxton for the open day! All in all I think it was very successful and I wish that Sarah could come to us every Friday!!”


giant ammonite drawing

giant ammonite drawing



the Tiny! Pirates are on their way back!

the Tiny! Pirates are coming back!





The Tide Comes In!

An ancient sea in Hartington!

 low- fossils 297

 On Sunday 12th May from 1 – 5pm, the ancient landscapes of the Peak District will come to life again (albeit a bit woolly and fluffy) in Hartington

fingertip corals

fingertip corals

As part of the events to launch the Village Trail, our Ancient Landscape will be on show. Visitors will be welcome to dip their fingers into the woolly tentacles of ancient sea anemones and risk a nibbling by trilobites

Visitors will also be able to add their own fingertip corals or other creatures to the growing reef and to make their own Prehistoric Rockpool or Personal Trilobite to take home

you never know just what you'll find in an ancient rockpool

you never know just what you’ll find in an ancient rockpool

Event details

Date: Sunday 12th May 2013,

Time: 1pm – 5pm

Costs: our activities are free (not sure about others)

Venue: Village Hall, Hartington, Hide Lane, Buxton, SK17 0AW

Other activities include fossils to look at, the Village Trail to follow, activities with the Peak Park Rangers and the chance to enjoy one of the Peak District’s lovely villages!

Low-Puppets 9749

dipping your fingers into an ancient landscape can be a risky undertaking!

Sunshine and Trilobites

Miller’s Dale, Saturday 6th April

Early morning: sorted and ready for action

Early morning: sorted and ready for action

A sunny day in the Peak District! This felt like an exciting release after weeks of cold snow and slippery roads and visitors came rushing out to bask in the sunshine.  And the stones were waiting!

rummaging in the fossil-pot

rummaging in the fossil-pot

limestone fossils and fingertip corals

limestone fossils and fingertip corals

galena in fluorspar?

galena in fluorspar?

ancient animal finger-puppets

ancient animal finger-puppets

We had a lovely day working with visitors to this peaceful stopping point on the Monsall Trail

We rummaged in the fossil-pot (thanks to the National Park Rangers for the wonderful chunks of limestone!)

We made new fingertip corals and personal trilobites

40 people went off to look at fossils along the Trail (thanks again to the Rangers for leading these)


a fossil-expedition setting off

a fossil-expedition setting off

prehistoric rockpool

prehistoric rockpool

personal nautiloid

personal nautiloid

And the rest of us (another 60 during the day), looked at stones, handled fossils, made models and enjoyed the sunshine!

Fossils, Art and Inspiration


Fossils, Art and Inspiration

2 days of art for grown-ups

Sunday 10th and Sunday 17ht March 2013

at the Dove Valley Centre, nr Longnor

experimenting with needle-felt and crochet

experimenting with needle-felt and crochet

two days of activities with artists from Stone and Water




These days are partly training for our existing volunteers, training for possible new volunteers and also just days for adults who’d like to have a go themselves. We have worried about the wording of these – we want to offer days for adults and teenagers rather than families – we do a lot of activities for family groups but sometimes it is good for grow-ups to have some creative time that is just for themselves…

These days also mark the overlap between the end of  our “Exploring with Stories” project and the start of the next phase of “Ancient Landscapes




Inspired by fossils from local limestone and the rich landscapes of the Upper Dove Valley, we’ll share skills, ideas and techniques giving ourselves time to experiment and reflect


No experience needed – just join in and have a go!

Workshops are free and materials are provided but spaces are limited so please book a place (either day or both)

Further details sent with confirmation


Sunday 10th: crochet your own coral, needle-felt a fish, printing fossils, small models of monsters

Sunday 17th: making tiny people, plankton cloths, casting fossils, just drawing, fossil lanterns


Booking and more information:

07791 096857

creating our own ancient rockpools

creating our own ancient rockpools