My interest in coracles began in 1995 when I attended a coracle making course, held at the Beamish museum in the North-East. The course was held in conjunction with a series of talks held on the Island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland focusing on the historical and spiritual symbolism of the coracle.
This was my first “hands on” experience with a coracle and it affected me on a number of levels. Firstly, as a carpenter I appreciated the care and craftsmanship that goes into building such a vessel; secondly, the symbol of the coracle – travel, adventure, uncertainty, danger, and excitement – and that it is never a finished project, but requires time, patience and hard work, attitudes of life that I hold in respect.
Coracle Workshop at Beamish – Teacher: Terry Kenny. 1995.
In 1996, along with the support of my family I began leading coracle workshops helping others to build their own coracles, sometimes this included exploring the different spiritual facets of the symbol of the coracle through storytelling, drama and the audio-visual arts.
Coracle Workshop at Ironbridge: Kevin Grimley. 2004.
Over the last 12 years as well as providing workshops, I have been showing the craft of coracle making at various country shows around the country, schools. In 1998, I was approached by Pinewood Studios to make a coracle for a film called ‘Timeline’, staring Anna Friel and Billy Connelly. At the turn of the century, I was approached by various TV programmes, Coast, Waterworld and Everything Must Go
Anne Friel in Timeline.
TV Crew on the set of ‘Everything Must Go’.
Despite the advertising gained through the TV programmes, my main interest lies in helping people either make their own coracles or simply allow people to sail in one. Recently I have been involved with archaeological centres and countryside parks providing workshops and exhibitions.
Coracle Workshop at Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, West Sussex.
Coracle tent at the Hertfordshire Country Show
Often at the country shows we provide an opportunity for adults and children to ride in a coracle.
Coracle Exhibition at the Northwick Roman Society Show