Occult Inspired Mudlark Folk Art

Metal pins.jpg

Now available to buy  in my online shop, an occult folk art inspired box frame display made from repurposed finds from the mysterious tidal Thames.

Tiny metal objects, my favourite foreshore bits and pieces, include copper, brass, iron, lead, tin and alloys, and feature treasured objects such as hand made Tudor pins and hand forged nails, which can date from 15th to late 19th century.

Other small metal objects used are watch parts, fasteners, clasps, curled metals, sea tumbled items, rivets, nail heads. I arrange the objects in the same way I design sigils, with an intention in mind, to bring luck, and ward off evil.

All of the metal items used in this piece of art was found on the foreshore close to Southwark Bridge. The glass fronted box frame is brand new.

Have a look through the other items I have rescued and repurposed as art pieces. Some of them functional and personalised, like my contemporary take on witch bottles, others wearable pieces. Click here to view Old Father Thames Shoppe.

Buried Treasure


❄ Mudlark’s Advent, Day 24 ❄

A tasty little number which I willingly left foreshore side.

Attributing this whacking great bone to a cow or horse, thankfully it’s not human as “It’s a tibia, not femur, as it has no ball joint. Animal tibia tend to be rounded in cross section and often the fibula is fused in. Human tibia is more triangular in cross section. Bovine and horse tibia’s are generally longer and thicker than human, while deer is about the same length.”

Once again the mudlarking community has offered their large grey cells and I do not need to call the police.

Golden Nuggets


❄Mudlark’s Advent, Day 23❄

Two lovely nuggets of fool’s gold (pyrite – a source of natural arsenic, also an unstable material which oxides easily and can play havoc with underground pipe works), and some two tone shells.

I recently read a dreamy speculation that the fabled Dick Whittington thought London’s streets were “paved with gold”, because, in 1580, the tons of pyrite Sir Martin Frobisher brought back from the New World (thought to be gold bearing ore that he gathered on trips funded by Queen Elizabeth I) was finally salvaged and smelted down for use in paving roads.

I love these shells that carry a shimmer like abalone, surrounded with muted concrete. I have no idea why this happens, other than time and tide. Can anyone enlighten me?

Love Me Do

knot ring.jpg

❄Mudlark’s Advent, Day 21❄

Following on with the theme of things I know not much of, here’s a pretty little love knot ring. I’m presuming it’s late Victorian, and still trying to work out what kind of metal it is.

The brilliant minds on Thames Mudlarking Finds have suggested the following: pinchbeck alloy, copper, copper alloy, bronze, nickel, silver. The test for silver is to use “spit and silver foil, and if it smells like rotten eggs when you rub it, that’s silver!”

Age Old

Iron Age.jpg

❄Mudlark’s Advent, Day 20❄
Next up on the list of things I know not much of is this lovely lump of…?

They say Iron Age, Saxon, definitely has some age, reminiscent of La Tene design. I had hoped it was a crossguard decoration from an Iron Age sword.

But…I was also worried it might just be a bit of detail that had fallen off a fancy gate from Strand-on-the-Green in 1995, but I’ve reported it to the Finds Liaison Officer and waiting for an appointment to get it checked out.

Click-clack Soles


❄Mudlark’s Advent, Day 19❄

I find lots of leather soles up and down the foreshore, but here’s the first with copper nails still intact.
I’m not too hot on dating shoes, although I imagine this is Victorian, onwards. Would love to know if you have any ideas or information.
#londonmudlarkers #mudlarkingfinds #diaryofathamesmudlark #leather #coppernails



❄ Mudlark’s Advent, Day 18 ❄

Lone Star ‘Gambler’ cap and spud gun, made in England. .
Featured in catalogues from 1962 – 1988, the Gambler was a die cast metal pistol supplied with a patented cap loading cartridge for firing potato pellets. One collector remembers it thusly…
“The Gambler was so fantastic and so frightening, as kids, we didn’t need to pretend it was a real gun, because it was. It had a barrel that would flip open, it had a bullet inside the barrel, and you could fire the toy like a real gun.”
Unsurprisingly the gun seemed to disappear from shelves in the late 1970s, the same collector coining it ‘The World’s Most Evil Toy’.
Source: Ffrontier.