Friday Feature: Cave Crafts pottery

Cave Crafts is based in Hull but I’ve seen them recently at the Lincoln Makers Markets. Their pottery is based on ancient and Medieval designs, ranging from prehistoric-inspired pieces to Medieval, Norse and now (excitingly for me!) Ancient Egyptian pieces.

Cave Crafts was started by Andrew Ketley in 2014 as an outlet for his pottery creations and related services.
Andrew has been a lifelong maker and designer of things, starting, as many have before, with Airfix model kits and scrap wood. These days he produces highly individual thrown pottery in his workshop in East Yorkshire, England, also offering tuition on the wheel. He can be found at various festivals during the summer months, offering sales and ‘hands on’ sessions to festival goers – to date, Andrew estimates that he’s led over 500 individual sessions, with each of them resulting in a worthwhile piece – “Everyone has an innate drive and ability to create – teaching pottery throwing has shown me that the trick is to find the individual key to unlock it and then to give it direction”.
Andrew’s main inspiration for his pottery has been a childhood interest in the occult and a natural sympathy for ‘otherness’, together with his discovery of medieval pottery designs, but underneath all of this is his love for the natural world and its materials.

– from the Cave Crafts website

I’m lucky enough to see the pieces first hand at the Makers Markets but you can also find them on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/cavecraftshandmade
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CaveCraftsHandmade
Website: https://www.cavecraftshandmade.co.uk/

Anyhow, here are some pics of Cave Crafts’ wares!

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I love these quirky guys too:

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The Egyptian pieces are new, and I was told there will be more designs forthcoming. Look at those Bes jars! I haven’t seen anything else like them and think they’re wonderful.

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As a lover of all things Egyptian, but especially anything Amarna-related I couldn’t resist buying a beautiful lotus pattern pot… it makes a lovely tealight holder for my altar. As you can see, it gives out a lovely ambient light in the evening. I can thoroughly recommend Cave Crafts as the pieces are high quality, handmade and really rather beautiful.

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*Note: I have not received anything to write this post. I love spreading the word for handmade and small-scale artisans, artists and creators.

Michelle G, Tamarisk, 2018

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Turning candle leftovers into wax melts

You know those annoying bits that always get left behind when you burn candles? Well, you can turn them into wax melts and save wasting those last bits of candle-goodness.

I usually buy soy or rapeseed wax candles, which are easier to do this with, but it can be done with paraffin or beeswax candles too.

Step one: Release the wax! Use a knife to loosen the wax in the bottom of the jar, then put the wax into a foil cake case.

Step two: Clean the candle container. I would suggest using a paper towel or rag you don’t want to use again for this part. Use the paper towel/ rag to wipe out as much leftover wax bits as possible, and then dispose of it. Next add some washing up liquid into the container, boil enough hot water in the kettle, and pour the water into the container. Leave it to sit for a while, then rinse out. This method is most effective with soy and rapeseed wax, and you may need to use a bit more elbow grease for paraffin and beeswax to get the glass fully cleaned. Re-use or recycle the container, depending on your preferences.

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Devotional Tip: reminders

If you have a chronic illness that affects the memory, or even if you’re a busy person who gets caught up in other things easily, a little reminder can be a valuable tool for devotions. It’s not that devotions and our Deities aren’t important to us, but sometimes the mind (or memory) just doesn’t cooperate.

As a way to help myself I have made a little sign to leave out for Saturdays or Sundays – my usual offerings days – and other times I know I want to do special prayers and offerings, or to give thanks.

(c) Michelle G, Northern Tamarisk, 2018

Friday Finds : Hella items Samhain special

I’m resurrecting Friday Finds, since I haven’t done one for a while. Here are some of my favourite Hella items available on Etsy at the moment:

Hella statue

Hella Statue by L’Artefatto Esoterica (Italy) – https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/263238198/hel-hela-goddess-s-statuette

Hella statue 2

by PantheonSkulptur (Sweden) – https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/523462209/hel-handmade-gilded-statue-steel-finish  –  I personally can attest to the quality of these – I have a gold Hella from PantheonSkulptur

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Advent Calendar for my brother

Question: What can you do to make something your 26 year old brother will actually like?
Answer: Advent calendar filled with money!

I saw some pretty ideas for envelope Advent calendars on Pinterest and thought I’d make my own version. My brother is notoriously picky about presents and usually just wants the money so he can buy his own stuff. It makes for a pretty boring gift-giving experience, so I decided I’d make the Advent calendar with money in for each day. That way he could either open up one envelope per day or open them all on Christmas day and it seems like he has more presents. He has opted for the latter, so my board is currently sitting all sparkly and pristine, awaiting the carnage to come on Christmas day. Poor calendar.

I wanted to use materials that I either already had or could re-use. It’s a slightly more eco-thoughtful way to do things, and can save money on costs too.
I started off with a cheap cork board and covered it with brown paper. I then pinned on some jute fabric with glittery red stars, and added some old red cotton ribbon which was my Nanny Grethe’s. I cut lengths of string and tied them around pins and stuck them in the back of the cork board frame.

The envelopes are just the little ‘wages’ envelopes you can buy in stationary shops. I made sure to get the plain ones so I could decorate them. I used some old Christmas stickers that had been waiting to be put to work for years quite some time, and some number stickers I bought from The Works.
I put the money in each envelope, but decided not to glue them shut so they can be re-used in the future. They are attached to the string with little wooden pegs. Just hook the envelope flap over the back of the string, stick the peg on and voila!

The final touch was a money ‘jar’ I made using an old tablets bottle, some of Nanny Grethe’s old ribbon, some stretchy sparkly cord from a previous Christmas, a little holly embellishment, and a label made from leftover brown paper. The peg was a broken one, so now has a use.

I had a lot of fun making it, and you could even adapt the idea with different themes for different people, age groups or belief systems. Most importantly my brother seems to like it. That’s win-win for me.

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Lincoln Christmas Market – including the Medieval Market!

I made it! Last year mum wasn’t well enough so I didn’t go, and even though I had a migraine overnight I was determined to make it this year. The Lincoln Christmas Market is usually the highlight of my year. It’s spread out across the top of the city, winding through streets and even invading the Cathedral and Castle grounds. If I’ve been feeling ‘bah humbug’ about Christmas music this event usually cures me of it.
Sellers from all over Europe attend, so there’s usually quite a wide variety of items to look at.
Because many of the items are handmade I have included names and links to websites or pages where possible.
The photos are a mix of mine and mum’s, depending on who had the better photos. Most of the buildings photos are mum’s.

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