February Miscellany

Creswell Crags Round Up

The big news in February was the discovery of a large number of protective marks in the caves at Creswell Crags. It hit the national and international press. A roundup of the coverage from online sources is listed below:

BBC Creswell Crags: ‘Witches’ marks’ found in cave network ‘Witches’ marks’ found in cave network


Making Your Mark conference – Making Your Mark Symposium
The N Yorkshire Graffiti survey is up and running – North Yorkshire Historic Graffiti Survey

Items of Interest


Museum Finds

In our irregular series Stuff Found In Museums, we have a couple of finds in the Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery.
The first is the daisy wheel motif on a roman game board. The game is Ludo Duodecim Scriptorum. The daisy wheels would be where the coins used in gambling would be placed, possibly as a good luck symbol? The board in the display is a replica, but seems to be include design elements such as a 2nd century board found at Aphrodisias.

Handmade Pendants for Sale

Wooden pendants handmade by Jo West.

These pendants were inspired by the graffiti and protection marks found in some religious buildings and old houses. These are thought to be marks inscribed to ward off evil spirits or bring good fortune to the occupants. I have collected some of these images and inscribed them onto wooden pendants.

The wood for these pendants varies according to what can be ethically sourced. Each piece is sawn out, filed and sanded with several grades of sanding material from rough to smooth, then wire wool. The end of a fine hot wire attached to a pyrography machine, is poked into the wood to produce dots that build the image. Another rub with wire wool then 2-3 coats of sander sealer. Another rub down then 2-3 coats of transparent polish. The pendant is then burnished and a final wax polish is applied to give it the finishing shine.

Each piece takes about 2-3 days from start to finish. More complex designs will take longer.

The cord can be rubber or waxed cotton for vegans or leather. There are standard lengths of approximately 24 cm, or particular lengths can be cut and made up as required. I could take a commission design, if you have a favourite. If very complex, the price may go up a little.

Pendants cost £22 each including UK p&p. Prices can be given for international shipping.

Jo West

If you would like one of the above designs or would like to discuss a commission with Jo, please get in touch with Linda Wilson of Raking Light who will put you in contact with Jo.  Payment is by PayPal.