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Rushes from Trading Journeys

The Stove Network’s Trading Journeys began with artist Alice Francis and her fine friend Douglas setting off for Wigtown

Alice and Dougal travelled the highways and byways of Galloway for three days to get to Wigtown
Alice and Dougal travelled the highways and byways of Galloway for three days to get to Wigtown
Alice Francis and Dougal in Creetown
Passing through Creetown
jam making in Gatehouse
Meanwhile in Gatehouse of Fleet some serious outdoor science was underway
Phoebe Makes Jam
Artist Phoebe Marshall explains the finer points of bramble and apple jam making
Charcoal Making
Charcoal making was also on the agenda….crucial to what was to come in Wigtown
Bicycle Powered Foundry on the move
On the Morning of 27th September Uula, Lorraine, Arny and Inti were first on the road – pedalling the bicycle powered foundry through the Galloway Forest Park towards Wigtown
Creetown Ferry Bell
Meanwhile in Creetown the Ferry Bell was decked out with it’s flags
Ringing the ferry bell
…the Bell was rung
Boat Launch Creetown
…and the boats were launched
Boats heading for Wigtown
carrying their precious cargo of charcoal, the boats headed for Wigtown following the long disused route of the Creetown-Wigtown ferry
Flyers in Wigtown
Word was getting around in Wigtown
 Alice and Dougal in Wigtown
Alice and Douglas had arrived in Wigtown and made a standard from the tins they had collected
Trading Journeys Camp
The Wigtown Showfield was transformed into a Trading Journeys Camp
drumming in field
Where you could drum….
Moxie and her Troubadours
….compose a ballad with ‘Stove Herald’ Moxie and her troubadours…..
Mould making 1
…..make a mould for one of the 45 Wigtown Spoons under the close eye of artist Katie Anderson….
Jam making in showfield
….make jam……
Tea and scones
…..eat jam with scones and tea…..
Boat arriving Wigtown
Then the boats arrived at Wigtown Harbour
Procession 1
It was time for the Trading Journeys procession to move everything we had gathered from the Showfield to the Town Centre
Boat in Procession
One of the boats joined in
IMG_8477
…so did the foundry and the horse and cart…
arriving at County Buildings
…the procession arrived at County Buildings and made camp once more
Will and Megaphone
Will explained what would happen next
Firing up the foundry
everyone had a shot of firing up the foundry with pedal power
Dampers and Jam
Dampers and Jam were cooked
moulds waiting
the moulds people had made waited patiently
when the scrap aluminium melted in the foundry it was poured into the moulds
when the scrap aluminium melted in the foundry it was poured into the moulds
waiting for moulds to cool
Katie knows how long to wait….
opening the moulds
A Wigtown Spoon fresh from the mould
spoon moulds
freshly cast spoons waiting to be claimed by the people who had made the moulds
Finished Spoon 1
One of the first finished spoons – cleaned up by its owner……the wee copper tags had edition numbers 1-45
Finished Spoon 2
This beauty was made by our new friend Helen who had travelled all the way from Manchester to be part of Trading Journeys!
Spoon Dancers
The mysterious Spoon Dancers brought the day to a spectacular climax
Spoon dancers + tribe
The Trading Journeys Young Team who had been part of things all day – joined the Spoon Dancers for their exit stage left

HAPPY DAYS!

Photography by: Kim Ayres, Matt Baker, Colin Hattersley, Will Marshall and Colin Tennant

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Trading Journeys: On Yer Bike

Our third intrepid traveller, Uula Jero will leave Balmacllelan on Saturday morning, picking up keen cyclists at New Galloway and making their way down to Wigtown, passing through the picturesque Galloway Forest Park. If cycling is your thing, you are very welcome to join Uula at New Galloway. If you are interested please send us a quick email to [email protected] and we’ll pass on the necessary details.

Uula will be somewhat unmistakable as he brings with him, not just one of his amazing cargo bikes, but also a pedal powered foundry! Remember the charcoal that the boats are bringing from Creetown (see earlier post here), the foundry is charcoal fueled and the creetown charcoal will contribute to the heat necessary to melt and cast our very own Wigtown spoons! (more about Billy Marshall and his spoons here)

One of our early foundry tests. We do not reccomend coal as it is a bit too much for our liking! Image thanks to The Hidden Mill
One of our early foundry tests. We do not reccomend coal as it is a bit too much for our liking! Image thanks to The Hidden Mill
Early test pours in Balmaclellan
Early test pours in Balmaclellan

The spoons will be cast in front of a live audience outside the Wigtown County Buildings as part of Trading Journeys on Saturday evening, the 27th of September. We are making a very limited edition of spoons, so if you would like your very own Wigtown spoon come along to our spoon mould crafting workshop during the afternoon. Workshops will take place from 12 noon in Southfield Park, and are free to everyone.

Our foundry had it's first outing as part of our Nithraid earlier this month in Dumfries, where we cast Nithraid buttons!
Our foundry had it’s first outing as part of our Nithraid earlier this month in Dumfries, where we cast Nithraid buttons! Image: Galina Walls
Mould making workshops as part of Nithraid 2014. The moulds are made from cuttlefish if you are interested! Image: Galina Walls
Mould making workshops as part of Nithraid 2014. The moulds are made from cuttlefish if you are interested! Image: Galina Walls

We will also be holding drumming and flag making workshops in preparation for our procession prior to the spoon pour. The procession is open to all to join in.

Full details of the running order of the event are available on our website Trading Journeys page here.

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Trading Journeys: Part Two

If boats aren’t your thing, and you like a more measured pace, keep your eyes open for Alice Francis is travelling with her horse who are making a three day trip to Wigtown from Auchencairn.

As they travel Alice will be creating a standard that will form the head of the Wigtown Trading Journey’s procession that will take place on Saturday afternoon. She will also be recounting the story of Billy Marshall, who supposedly had lived 120 years in southern Scotland and always claimed to be the “King of the Gypsies”. He was ,also, referred to as the “Caird of Barullion”. Caird (a skilled gypsy) referring to ceardon (a skilled worker who practices some trade or handicraft). Barullion is the name of a range of hills in the county of Wigtonshire in the council area of Dummfries-Galloway, in southern Scotland. Another so-called title of his was “King of the Randies”. The word Randies in this context may be referring to a type of macho, virile, man that despised all rule and authority.

Billy Marshall is buried in Kirkcudbright, and his grave features the curious crossed spoons on the reverse.

The crossed spoons possibly may represent a wish for his people that they may never go hungry, for the coins at his grave site may have been left there with a goodluck wish, but originally they were left there for a poor travelling gypsy to be able to buy another meal. The spoons probably represent horn spoons, which have been popular in Europe and Scandinavia as far back as medieval times, being, also popular with the Vikings. Horn spoon making has been a tradition among gypsies since the 1600’s, and possibly had been a labor of love for Billy Marshall.

If you find that you have a hidden talent for spoon playing, bring that new talent along to Wigtown on Saturday, it’s bound to come in useful!

For more details on the stove network’s Trading Journeys, head across to our project page here

Trading Journeys has been created as part of the Wigtown Book Festival

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Crossing the Cree

Suffering from withdrawal symptoms from last weekends Nithraid? Never fear, there is another opportunity to join us as we make the journey to Wigtown Book Festival on Saturday, 27th of September. And we’re not just taking the A75 from Dumfries. Stove members are each making their own journeys the the former county town with its inheritance of martyrdom in Covenanting times and its modern booktown status, once the central crossroads in trading routes and pilgrimage routes through the West of the region.

First off Mark Zygadlo will be hoping for a little more wind than on Nithraid day as he and a flotilla of intrepid sailors make the journey across the Cree from the Ferry Bell at Creetown across the water to the old Wigtown Harbour. This flotilla is being kept to small numbers for safety reasons but if you wish to join the sailors there may still be an additional space left, please get in touch asap to Mark: [email protected]

button and uula-2lowres
Maneuvers 1 and 2, the boats are to be launched from a small slipway alongside the A75 before paddling under the road bridge.

Each boat will carry a small cargo of charcoal made at Creetown Primary School with the help of Phoebe and Will Marshall. This will be used to power Uula Jero’s pedal-powered foundry… but more on that later!

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 16.37.09
The route follows the Cree before making it’s way up the Bladnoch. The flotilla will be guided by Alan Wykes in his motor who knows the Bladnoch channel.

For more details on the stove network’s Trading Journeys, head across to our project page here

Trading Journeys has been created as part of the Wigtown Book Festival

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