It is a joy to find what we need on the ground beneath our feet. ‘Making good use of the things that we find, things that the everyday folks leave behind…’ British folks who were kids in the 1970’s will remember the Wombles, wonderful resourceful animated characters who lived in Wimbledon Common and were proto up-cyclers, foragers and green champions. The show should be brought back, it would be so on-trend.
I’ve been finding some great materials this year, here’s a few pictures.
Red Devon clay, as I found it on a rainy day it formed these useful lumps.
Starting my wild basket in the woods with a ‘god’s eye’ of split hazel withies, followed with long strands of ivy.
Here’s my latest improv basket, made in the woods of Wiltshire. It’s just the right size for gathering nuts and berries, roots and leaves, which is what I was living on for four days. More about that later!
Eagle feathers and deer antlers found for me in Aberdeenshire by Anneke. The feathers adorn my boat, the antlers will make a variety of things, tools for flint-knapping, a peg board, and possibly another toggle, for a new buckskin bag I am planning. Once the skins are finished… That’s a big job, and I hope to get round to it next week. In the shell is the gum exuded from wild cherry trees, which I use in place of gum Arabic to make watercolours.
Also found this week, lots of fresh water mussel shells left by the rooks, which I use for palettes and mixing ochre paints with the gum.
Thanks to all who came and made this course so great. There’ll be much more on this website soon, but for now here’s a few pictures. Paul’s Wyrd School is launched, and Wild Twins was everything we’d hoped for and more, as the folks who attended brought so much expertise, enthusiasm and openness. Paul brought his wild writing, and I brought a very large bag of rocks and feathers… and we worked all week in a light-filled room 12 feet from the edge of the ocean, pulling apart our old notions, listening to the land and water speak, watching the sea otters watch us back, and responding freshly with our materials of earth.
The new Dark Mountain features a detail from a rock drawing I made in Portland this February. Full blog post and pictures here.
Today I have been working on images on birch bark, here’s a few images from the day’s work. Birch bark, ochre and cherry tree gum paint, sticks, oak gall ink, a feather brush. That’s all.
Go to Paulkingsnorth.net/course for more details, price and venue. We’ll be out in nature and waist deep in story, myth, beauty and radical connection to the land. Artists will respond to writers and vice versa. Image and text will re-join as they should, twins who are too often split apart in the world of adult books. This course will suit any one who writes, paints or draws, at what ever level, who sincerely wants to reconnect to land, wild nature (inner and outer) and to the deep red thread of story in their work.
Welcome to the blog. This will be updated often with the natural materials, news and workshops being made here on the river, and on my travels.
In Spring and Autumn 2017 I taught on Fire and Shadow, an eight month long Dark Mountain course. We made archaic materials out in the wild, and took as much time in making them around the camp fire as using them. I have put great pictures and more info on the Workshops page.