Tales from the Circus - Bombadil von Rammstein


To anyone who knows him now, Bombadil's performing life began in the most unlikely manner since he spent his boyhood years as a (somewhat reluctant, it must be said) choirboy.

His days of singing practice & surruptitious wine-drinking were brought to an abrupt end, however, one snowy Christmas Eve.  Whilst walking home from kirche still clad in his Sunday best lederhosen, young Bombadil fell prey to a press-gang & was bundled aboard a brig headed for Batavia, kept below decks for days until they were safely out of sight of European shores.

Once allowed aloft, he swabbed the decks whilst watching the Straits of Hercules glide past...then endless leagues of jungled Africa...the bone-white sands of the Namib...  Rounding the Cape of Good Hope, the crew were terrified to find themselves pursued across precipitous waves by the hideously spectral Flying Dutchman - but thanks largely to our hero's new-found strength & prowess at the helm, the ghostly horror was outrun.

And run they did, across the ocean to India where Bombadil encountered snake-charmers & swamis, magi & mahouts; to Burma with its puppets & pythons, Buddhas & boxers; to Siam, land of cats & phantom krasue, twins & tigers, dragons & drums.

After two long years at sea, the brig at last docked in the East Indies & Bombadil was allowed to roam freely through the bustling city.  Those years had seen the youngster grow from a mere stripling to a notably muscled & tattooed seaman.  Following a glass or two of gin, he was keen to demonstrate his new-found strength...and his effortless hefting of barrels, swinging from beams & snapping of spars caught the eye of a small travelling circus arrayed further along the quay.

Captaine Zachariah set out to investigate - and the rest, as they say, is history...



01.20.2022 |

A Perfect Time for Alice

Well, what an interesting year this has turned out to be.... although by "interesting", I actually mean "unforeseeably crazy".  Maybe that's why "Alice" came to the fore?  Perhaps we have all fallen down a rabbithole...

Alice in Wonderland




Lewis Carroll was not the first to notice the craziness of hatters - apparently the phrase "mad as a hatter" was first used about one Robert Crab, an   eccentric Englishman who, in the 1650s, gave all his goods to the poor and lived on dock leaves and grass.

By the time Alice was written, the prevalence of erratic, flamboyant behaviour (along with less picturesque problems such as drooling, loss of teeth, and peeling skin) among those making felt hats was widely noted. It took longer for the cause to be discovered: the widespread use of mercury in the felting process.

A story passed down in the hat industry gives this account of how such a toxic substance came to be used: In Turkey camel hair was used for felt material, and it was discovered that the felting process was speeded up if the fibers were moistened with camel urine. It is said that in France workmen used their own urine, but one particular workman seemed consistently to produce a superior felt. This person was being treated for syphalis with a mercury compound, and an association was made between mercury treatment of the fibers and an improved felt. Eventually the use of solutions of mercuric nitratewas widespread in the felt industry, and mercury poisoning became endemic.

Fortunately, the Bizarrium's Hatter has only developed pink eyes and a pale complexion and is still quite a handsome chap.


Meanwhile, the March Hare and his Dormouse pal are just waiting for their tea....

11.08.2020 |

New Work in a New Style

Following on from my last post, when I was beginning to assimilate what I learned from Johanna of The Pale Rook...

Epona was my first real success at combining textiles, embroidery, and a little bit of painting into something that felt authentically "Bizarrium".

Magda adds some wire-work to the mix; iron wire will continue to rust and add to her texture.

Lavernia came next, with lashings of antique lace and a whimsical tail.

Just this week, I made Arunas with his quilted wings and tail.

Some may well be headed for Glastonbury very soon, others for the Emporium.  Do come back to find out...

03.01.2020 |

Experiments (Courtesy of the Pale Rook) and Hints of Things to Come

So, a couple of weeks ago I drove from Somerset to Glasgow to attend the first doll-making workshop given by Johanna Flanagan (she of the Pale Rook).  Not that I am an inveterate workshopper (this was only my second, the other being wirework which helped in the development of antlers and fairy wings), but I do believe this was rather special. I am certainly happy with what I learned...


Firstly, a stuffed doll flat-patterned on the spot, adorned with scraps of antique lace.


Then we explored a technique utterly new to me, and one that foxed me at first.  A wire armature padded with a touch of needlefelting, then bound with strips of gauze.  Building out rather than having any pattern at all. Over the course of the weekend I picked at it and developed an idea...but it wasn't until I was home and could take more time that her head was made.  And in case you were concerned, this hare is supposed to be gazing at the moon, not auditioning for a remake of Flashdance.


Over tha past week I have also made my first attempt at translating Johanna's teachings into something in more of my own style. In other words, big hair, more old lace, and black-smudged eyes.  A ways to go yet, but as a starting point she is alright, I suppose

Much experimenting to be done.

Expect new things and new directions in the new decade......

12.08.2019 |
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