Anglo-Saxon theme jewellery making workshops for the Landscapes project in the Forest of Bowland, Area of Natural Beauty at Roughlee Village Centre, near Pendle, Lancashire
I’d already been teaching jewellery making for a number of years, when ‘out of the blue’, I was contacted by the event’s organiser of the Forest of Bowland Landscapes project and asked if I’d be interested in teaching some jewellery making workshops that explored the local history and heritage.
This was something new for me, but I’ve always been interested in the history of art and surface pattern decoration, so I felt it was a great opportunity to combine my passion for jewellery making with my interest in history.
For many years I’ve been captivated by the amazing artwork of ancient civilizations, especially their use of spirals and scrolls. Across the ages, many different civilizations across the world have used spiral designs in their artwork as surface pattern decoration.
Many examples of Anglo Saxons using spiral and scroll-work patterns have been discovered, carved into stones, wood, ivory and used to adorn and decorate their books, jewellery, utensils and weapons.
I researched the history of the Anglo-Saxons and its links with the Lancashire and Forest of Bowland area. I found that many place names in the Forest of Bowland originate from Anglo-Saxon settlements. Luckily, I also discovered there were some Anglo-Saxon stones in Whalley, near Clitheroe and on my visit there I was able to see and make out the beautifully carved scrolls and other patterns on the 3 stones.
The jewellery making workshops inspired by the scroll decoration on the Anglo-Saxon stones in Whalley, covered a brief introduction to the Anglo Saxons, their links with the Forest of Bowland and their artwork, followed by making scroll designs in copper wire and using them to create earrings and a pendant strung onto a beaded cord necklace.
It was great that there was a complete mix of different people taking part in the workshops – women, men, family groups and couples – and that everyone loved taking part in the workshop.
“I really enjoyed teaching these workshops, researching the Anglo-Saxons and combining my jewellery making with my interest in history.” Samantha