First of all, many apologies to any of you who have followed the link from Social Media or my business card only to find a place-holder, and many thanks for checking back!
When I made the decision to become a full-time Historical Interpreter in April I had every intention of getting the Website up and running within a few weeks, regularly publishing Blogs, details of my Schools and Outreach Programs and galleries of my reproductions.
Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately!) I got very busy building up stock, visiting Schools with Wordsmith Crafts and as part of the Viking School Visits Team, and planning some pretty cool stuff at Stoneheap Wood with my very good friends (and owners of the wood) Amy & Micah.
And then some respite, right? Again, no! After finishing off some commissions and completely reorganising the workshop, it was time to embark on #thegreatvikingholiday Part I. My Norwegian adventure with Adam Parsons (Blue Axe Reproductions) and our friends, will be recounted in a future post, suffice to say it involved a replica long-ship and more museum time than you could shake a stick at.
It seemed we'd only been back for a heartbeat when we embarked upon #thegreatvikingholiday Part II, doing some outreach in Repton (where the Viking Great Army wintered) and met the amazing Dr Cat Jarman, who has been leading excavations at the site, before heading off to the Isle of Man for the opening of Tynwald (the Manx Parliament, and the oldest in the world!) and then some School Visits before coming back up the road via Carham for a re-enactment of the battle that took place there in 1018.
Suddenly it's the end of July and we're just back from the Heysham Viking Festival with a visit to Moorforge looming, but it's high-time things started to appear on the Website!
So, over the coming weeks I'll be doing some work on the site, publishing some of the adventures we've had and generally bringing things up-to-date.
I've got a loose vision of the kinds of things that will be appearing here: you can expect articles on different aspects of the Early Medieval Period, posts around the reproductions I make and diaries of the amazing places I have been lucky enough to visit.
Every week exciting new discoveries and ideas are coming out of academia and professional archaeology, but it can take years before they filter into popular histories in an accurate and accessible format.
The ethos of Gear & Graith is to help speed this process up and to act as another conduit between Historians and Archaeologists (already doing excellent outreach work!) and the general public, especially those of school age!
Right! I need to head back to the workshop to finish off a few things before heading down to the Moorforge Viking Settlement this weekend, so I'll finish here - don't forget to check back for more updates next week!