Last year, after retiring, involved a massive tidy up of the house. A de-clutter of the deepest kind. In a box of old photographs I found this one. It’s of a couple of the first dragons I ever made in pottery. My usual theme was of the shaman type influences. Celtic travellers, storytellers, Rune shamans and Guardians of Nature were figures I made and wrote a few stories around.
I remember making a figure with Ingwaz, the Rune of Fertility. The rune, always as inherent within the piece. Exhibited, maybe, in the decoration of the character’s cloak or carried walking staff/book cover. I say ‘maybe’ because each piece was individually made and it is impossible to remember from the hundreds made. A couple bought it and said ‘You never know. It may work!’. Well….Words to that effect. Discussion followed and they were finding it difficult to realise having their first child. The next year at the same organiser’s craft show, the lady was pushing a pram. Beaming, she thanked me! It was a very surreal moment in my life. My wife and myself were struggling to have our first child too. I thought of the things unlooked for. The surprises borne from innocence. My ceramics weren’t meant to be anything other than interesting mythological visuals. Then this!
Our own first child was eventually realised also. I did make a rune stone of Ingwaz carved into a slate pebble after this episode for myself. The pebble came from a stream of running water next to a Welsh chapel. It never spoke to me. Shouted out it’s presence. It was simply one amongst many picked from the water that had a nice shape and size. After carving and saying one of the few choices of Ingwaz incantation poems when carving runes I carried it around for hope. The poems attached to individual runes are interesting studies. Maybe it cast its magical influence. Who knows the full stories of wonders that exist in this awesome life’s journey?
I digress. The Dragons? Made a few, probably about 3 dozen, but they were pretty standard and I couldn’t realise my wished for ‘perfect’ dragon. Clay, in my hands, was dragon form limiting. Well. In my naïve hands it definitely was. My good friend at the time, John Gratton, made metal ones. Dropped weld onto frameworks. Absolutely stunning pieces at a few hundred £s each. I have two. He swapped a few pieces of my pottery for them. Lucky me!
Anyways. The shadow nature in this photograph was because my brother in law was on a photography course and experimenting with backlighting to create silhouettes. I have no other dragon photographs. So no other records.
So I suppose………..
‘Where the Dragons Sleep’……….it is.