Blog: Autumnal Crafts

It has surprised me that even during this topsy-turvy year, the turning of the seasons still brings the same kind of shift in energy. As the summer ends, I no longer feel like I have the attention span for research; when my poetry teaching begins again this month, I will also lack the time. But instead, I find myself to have lots of inspiration and creative energy. So, perhaps there will be fewer Folkdays, and more Blogs — and that’s just fine. Here are some of the autumnal crafts I’ve been creating most recently!

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Folkdays: Reviewing ‘The Selkie’

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I was delighted when the wonderful Imogen Di Sapia sent me her book, ‘The Selkie: Weaving & The Wild Feminine’. At first glance, flicking through the pages, I was entranced at the beautiful craftmanship of the book itself. I would continue to be spellbound by the folktale, poems, and photographs contained inside.

I only had a basic knowledge of the mythological selkie, from Scottish folklore, before reading this work. I feel very fortunate that my real introduction to the tale was through the words and art of Di Sapia and her collaborators. Hear more about it below.

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Blog: Rose Petal Pigment


To brighten my small flat during lockdown, my parents brought me over some beautiful bouquets of flowers. I noticed, when the stamens of the lilies began to fall, how they stained any surface they touched a deep russet. I decided then to collect them, and try to use their powder as a natural pigment to paint with. Along with the lilies were so many beautiful roses of different colours: when they began to wilt, I laid their petals out to dry in the sun. I’ve since ground them and experimented in painting with them — read more about it below!

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Folkdays: Rainbows

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We’re living in a very precarious and frightening moment in time. Looking back through history, humanity has faced moments like this many times before; look through the lens of folklore and myth, and we see that humans have always been able to combat our fear with creativity.

Today, creativity is being revived in a myriad of different ways, as people all over the globe seek an emotional outlet during the various quarantine measures. Here in the UK, the reoccurring motif has become that of the rainbow. Paintings and collages decorate the windows of homes, places of work, and schools; rainbows can be seen everywhere, from roadsides to the virtual platforms online.

Inspired by this, I thought I would take a look into the folklore and myth surrounding the rainbow, and what it has meant for humans and our creativity.

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Folkdays: Cave Art

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Some weeks, for these Folkdays posts, a topic will reveal itself to me and more-or-less demand to be written about.

That is precisely what happened this week. The phenomenon of prehistoric cave art has been on the peripheries of my mind for a while: a writing residency that I have been working on has led my trail of thought from foraging, to hunter-gatherer communities, to cave art.

At the beginning of this week, the subject came more to the fore, as my family and I watched an fascinating film about cave art. The following morning my partner sent me a link to another, very different but equally inspiring, video on the same subject! It practically asked to be written about, so here it is.

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