Gawain

November 2018

a dragon waits…

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

We are having a wintry Gawain and the Green Knight season this month

wooden spoon royalty

a new friend, or a new foe?

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 (Stone and Water, Creeping Toad, and Sarah Males) on Saturday to make a cast of medieval characters on wooden spoons at the Foxlowe Arts Centre 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….

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

(Manifold)

enchanted forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 

the Mermaid Pool at Blakemere

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,

Ever 

 

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….

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

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The Lost Castles of….

The Lost Castles of Cheadle and Leek

Ruin

Cheadle Library

Tuesday 17th Feb 2015 

~

Leek Library

Friday 20th Feb 2015

We have two lively days coming up. The same details apply to both so they are presented together here….

Times:Pop-up Castle 1

morning: 10 – 12

afternoon 1 – 3

What are we doing?

Join artists from Stone and Water to design and make your own pop-up castle, or palace or wild witch’s house – and make some puppet people to live in them!

Cost:

These events are free. Materials are provided.

Who can join in?

The activity is suitable for 8s and overs (that includes grown-ups). Younger children are welcome but please bring a grown-up with you!

Pop-up castle 2

Space in both libraries is limited so it might be worth giving the relevant library a call and booking a space

Contact details and directions:

Tuesday: Cheadle Library

Friday: Leek Library

Who is helping?

Who is helping?

Workshops in Leek: once, now and next are gathering momentum

We’ve been telling medieval stories and designing modern reliquaries on Apple Day at the Dove Valley Centre

Apple Day 3

Groups at Borderland Voices have been illuminating their own manuscripts

work has already started: illuminations

work has already started: illuminations

working on a new Cope, mixing traditional medieval motifs (saints and Biblical scenes)with modern issues – who are the contemporary heroes we should respect and incorporate into a new cope.

Low-cope workshop

Low-cope details

youth groups have started decorating tiny Abbey lanterns and designing their own Rose Windows

Low-youth club 4

Low- youth club 3

All these events will feed into later ones – take a look at the events list – and come and join in somewhere!

This work is being supported by a whole moorlandfull of sponsors

Workshops led by Borderland Voices are being supported by

Staffordshire County Council Arts

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Churnet Valley Living Landscapes

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Lloyds TSB

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Your Moorlands

your moorlands 2013

Workshops coordinated by Stone and Water are being covered by an Awards for All grant

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Thanks to all these organisations!

Without your help, none of these challenges, excitements,                                                                                              discussions and inspirations would be possible!

Unrolling Leek!

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Unrolling Leek!

on a long piece of paper!

Saturday 18th October

2 – 4 pm

Foxlowe Arts Centre

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Enjoying October’s Big Draw theme with events running across the country, we’ll be drawing all your favourite places in Leek on one huge piece of paper. Whether you like Brough Park or the Foxlowe, or both, or William Plummer’s anchor memorial, that strange old house down the road, the Market Place on market day to your own back garden, everywhere works!

who knows the secret places of the town?

who knows the secret places of the town?

The long frieze will stay with our team and contribute to the Birthday Party for a Lost Abbey event on Saturday 25th (details will follow!) so if you’d like a small piece of Leek to take home, we’ll make pop-up cards of your favourite places

Saturday morning there is another Leek: once, now and next event in Leek Library so why not join us there for some stories before an afternoon of scribbling! Old stories, new adventures

At the same time, our friends from Borderland Voices will be inviting people to add words to our pictures, growing lines, and patterns and poems alongside drawings and shaping Leek through poems and paragraphs…

Details

Date: Saturday 18th October 2014

Time: 2 – 4pm: free, no booking needed, just turn up and join in – but we’ll say “no new participants” after 3.30

Where: Foxlowe arts Centre, Market Place, Leek, ST13 6AD

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2013 BV logo blue-yellow + text copyAbbey people

Ancient Adventures

Ancient Adventures

pop-up landscapes emerge into stories

pop-up landscapes emerge into stories

Tuesday 28th October

Leek Library

W Bridgford 8

 

Exploring the lost medieval landscapes of Leek,  come along and make your own medieval castle or pop up abbey. Then make some tiny puppets to tell some of the lost tales of Leek!

Where: Leek Library, Church St, Leek

When: 10am – 12noon or 1.00 – 3pm. This event is free and no booking is needed: just drop by and join in – but give yourself about 45 minutes to go adventuring

Children 7 years old or less need to bring a sort of sensible or at least well-behaved grown-up with them, please

Supported by Staffordshire County Council Library Service

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Old stories, new adventures

Old stories, new adventures

a story growing with scribbles, scrawls and exciting ideas...

a story growing with scribbles, scrawls and exciting ideas…

Saturday 18th october

Leek Library

Join our storyteller to listen to old tales of the Moorlands: of giants and mermaids and magic and monsters! Then create your own stories about life and adventures in Leek

When: 10am – 12 noon

Where: Leek Library, Church St, Leek

Cost: none! a free event. You are welcome to come for the whole time or a bit of it

Younger children (7 and under) need to bring a grown-up with them to scare

who will inhabit the adventures of Leek?

who will inhabit the adventures of Leek?

Thanks: the pictures in this posting are from a Summer Reading Challenge workshop in Derbyshire. Why not have a wander through a mythical maze?

Supported by Staffordshire County Council Library Service

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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