Tag Archives: limestone

Fingerfulls of trilobites


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a rare sighting of trilobites in the River Dove in Dovedale….

This is another of a number of posts replacing activity sessions which we have had to cancel. Fingerfossils is a Creeping Toad event in conjunction with Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and Stone and Water. Based in Buxton in the Peak District, we all collaborate and support each other as we can, working closely with the Babbling Vagabonds and The Green Man Gallery. If you enjoy this activity, try visiting the others for more ideas!

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garden wall limestone from Buxton

Buxton is built on, and often, of, limestone, limestone that was formed in ancient tropical seas. 300 million years ago when our stone was being made there were no dinosaurs, no pteradactyls or tyrannosaurs, no giant reptiles swimming in prehistoric seas. Those ancient seas were still full of life and Buxton Museum has a wonderful collection of fossils from Carboniferous Seas. There are ammonites and lamellibranchs, corals and crinoids and trilobites. Trilobites are quite rare in our stones but they are there and are such fascinating animals they will be our first puppets in this session


Making your own trilobites

Low Trilobite 1You will need:

  • Some scrap card – doesn’t need to be big but card that can fold without cracking is good
  • drawing pencil
  • Coloured pencils or pens
  • Scissors
  • A small stapler or roll of sticky tape


Low Trilobite 2Step 1: draw your trilobite

Fold the card in half longways and draw half a trilobite against the fold. You could use one of these photos for ideas or look up trilobite on the web -there were lots of different types: large, small, smooth, spiky, lumpy…..

Keep the card folded and cut out the trilobite


Low Trilobite 4Step 2: add some colour

Flatten out the card, copy your design onto the plain half and then colour it in. We don’t know what colours trilobites were. They might have been camouflaged – sandy, seaweedy, rocky colours. They might have been bright as rainbows – we don’t know. You can decide!


Low Trilobite 7Step 3: fitting onto fingers

Use a piece of scrap card to cut a stirp about 1cm wide and maybe 12 cm long. Roll this into a ring that will slide easily up and down a finger. Position the ring on the underside of the trilobite, about the middle, slip your stapler in and fix in place. No stapler? You could tape it in place instead, or glue it. You can always tape over staples if you worry that they might scratch your finger.

Low Trilobite 98Step 4: Trilobite adventures

Now put the trilobite on your finger and set off to tell a trilobite tale! If you have a garden, you might go exploring (add another trilobite as a friend?). Through the undersea flowerbeds of the Back Garden Ocean. Past the lair of the Terrible Worms (= compost heap), over the Muddy Wellington Boots of Despair. No garden? How about a swim across the sandy seafloor of The Bed, clamber over the Coral Reef of Cushions, slide down the Book Mountains and onto the Carpet Wastes


Low Trilobite 117OTHER ANIMALS

If you are looking at pictures of Carboniferous Sea Creatures, you might have a go at some others. Eurypterids might be made in the same way as trilobites but with bigger card. Some of those spectacular sharks and fishes we’ll look at in the next activity – or you could create yourself just now



Why not try an ammonite? Like an octopus in a shell – look at Nautilus on a film platform.  Nautilus have survived for hundreds of millions of years. The ammonites were their cousins – growing large (up to 2 m across) and tough, they lasted right through to the end of dinosaur days


Step 1: Ammonite shells

Fold card in half

Draw a shell on the card and cut out through both pieces of card so you have 2 shells.

Step 2: colour

Set the shells side by side and colour them in – make sure you lie them down as mirror images – facing each other so they make a pair

Step 3: tentacles

I used an extra piece of card to make a tentacly head (with wobbly eyes) that I rolled into my finger-tube

Step 4: fitting it all together

Then I stapled the top of the shells together and fitted them on the tentacle ring. I used two extra bits of cards to add two longer tentacles (like a squid or cuttlefish).

what story waits here….

 Enjoy! Why not send us photos of any finger-fossils you make or record their adventures on a phone and send them in?

Reach us either  at

Coming soon –

something monstrous swimming in those ancient Carboniferous Seas as we look at how to make your own prehistoric sharks and fabulous finned fishes


The Tide Comes In!

An ancient sea in Hartington!

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 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!

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

a Carboniferous Landscape in progress


Work on our latest Ancient Landscape proceeds. We are mixing geology and palaeontology with a very liberal dose of imaginative creativity to reveal the ancient, marine environments that gave rise to the limestone that lies under our hills

the group was as busy as ever

The latest session with a Project eARTh group working at the Fairfield Community Centre in Buxton has produced some disconcerting results…..


forms taking shape


animal? plant? no-one was very sure


confusion continued with this lengthy find. We wondered what you’d think if you fished it up into a boat…..


and the question ahs to be, “But what is it?”

Ancient Landscapes

This blog is going to begin in the middle of a project. Over the next few days, we’ll fill in the background to “Ancient Landscapes” and our own organisation

Ancient Landscapes, May 2012

we’ve had a busy few days as the second phase of this project begins, or maybe as the tide runs again toward the full

crocheting ancient landscapes takes concentration….

With Ancient Landscapes, we are looking at the limestone of the Peak District where we live and the fossils that rock contains. Then mixing observation, deduction and wild imagination, we work to create the original environments that spawned our limestone as installations in crochet, knitting, clay, beads, felt and anything else that takes our artists fancy!

concentration and cups of tea….

The first installation is on display in Leek for the next two weeks as part of the Borderland Voices exhibit in the Emporium Art Exhibition (details to follow)

Meanwhile, a new group has taken up the challenge of extending the ancient landscape and a session at Buxton Museum last week, led on to a workshop at Fairfield Community Centre today. Five more sessions will follow and then we’ll see just how our coral garden grows before it unfolds its glories again in the Buxton Art Trail in the summer

the first stage installation on display in Leek


Our use of crochet in Ancient Landscapes was inspired by the global Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project (http://crochetcoralreef.org/) whose influence we acknowledge even though we couldn’t afford to sign into their network as a community group.

The connection between those techniques, other artforms and our Peak District landscapes comes from ourselves, Stone and Water, our Buxton-based community group dedicated to celebrating the creativity of the people and landscapes of the Peaks.