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Welcoming in the New Year!
 
It is such a great pleasure to go out into the wilds to gather materials for my creations, I relish the time I spend outside and look forward to it, pretty much, more than anything else in my working week! This week welcoming in the New Year, I went to Dartmoor, setting off from Fingle Bridge, a 17th Century packhorse bridge.  The sky was blue and the sun was shining as I set off to investigate the surrounding hill forts of Prestonbury castle and Cranbrook castle.
 
 
 
Today my aim was to gather materials to make pipes; I was searching for ash and hazel to make the stems and the bowls, I also gathered oak, ivy and honeysuckle to make Ogham pendants. Ogham is a sacred alphabet based on trees, trees represent each Glyph or letter and can be used to aid divination, intuition and healing.
 
When I go out collecting wood I usually take my knife and a small pruning saw, occasionally I take a small axe, but today I was just gathering small things. I wear comfortable clothes made from natural fibres in colours that match the beauty of the places that I explore; I like to blend in and be a part of nature, I often go barefoot and aim to walk lightly on the land, I move quietly and take care not to disturb the wildlife, I even try to hide from other humans on the way ! It is such a great joy to me to catch a glimpse of a deer moving silently through the land, or to see a little mouse scuttling through the undergrowth, I have been known to become sidetracked for hours watching wild creatures going about their business. This moring I saw a nuthatch collecting food and stashing it in the bark of an ash tree.
 
 
 
Today I asked for materials to make Ogham pendants and I was led to Oak, Ivy and Honeysuckle which is a vine also known as Woodbine. When I gather wood for pendants I only take well-seasoned wood, I was captivated by the beauty of the Honeysuckle, it has a magical way of twisting around and around other trees which often grow into beautiful twirly spiraled sticks which I sometimes make into wands. When I ask for materials I do so with the reverence that I hold for all living beings, I take what I need and no more, I often make offerings to the Spirit which moves through all things, giving thanks for the generosity of the Unseen.
 
My forays into the wild fill my cup. I am frequently pixie led while I am wandering the hills and valleys, following pathways I have not seen before and moving from magical tree to mossy rock to delicate wild flower without taking heed of where I am going, but somehow if the pixies lead me astray it is for beautiful purposes and I have always found my way home one way or another! If I come across a river, lake or waterfall deep enough to swim in or at least submerge myself I will jump straight in!
 
When it is time to go home it is with great excitement that I take my finds! There is such treasure for me in nature and even more pleasure still at home in my workshop making wonderful things with these beautiful materials. I am very fortunate to take such joy in my work and I give thanks every day for my hands, my inspiration and my heart!
 
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar;
I love not man the less, but Nature more”. G.G. Byron.
 
 
 

 

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