Cornwall History in Stamps

Cornwall has a rich, interesting, but much forgotten, history.

In September I was inspired to draw Cornish images.

I like to research and understand what I draw as it helps me be more accurate.

Now that I’ve learned all those things, I thought you might enjoy knowing a snippet of history too.

 

(Artist note: I am building this web site myself and the images don’t always appear accurately. Please click on a button to go to the Shop and see the correct proportions of the stamps. Thank you)

Cornish Fun Facts

•    Kernow is the native language name for Cornwall
•    The Cornish language is of the same linguistic branch as Welsh and Breton but different
•    The Kernowyon people are a Celtic group that pre-date Roman invasion
•    Pheonicians sailed to Cornwall 5000 years ago to acquire copper and tin for forging bronze weapons
•    Cornish mining has existed continuously until 2007, yet one mine may be opened again. Cornwall mined many different metals.
•    Stone Wheal House (Cornish spelling not a typo) ruins of the old mines can still be seen
•    Cornwall is famous for its Pasty (The Cornish never spell it pastie) a fully enclosed pie that was easy for miners to carry to work and eat
•    The Cornish Saint Piran’s Flag is a white cross on a black background, and was integrated into the design of the Union Jack of the United Kingdom.
•    Saint Piran is the patron saint of tin miners
•    Cornwall is now famous for the TV programs Poldark and Doc Martin, especially Port Isaac and Bodmin Moor, yet The Pirates of Penzance pre-dates those
•    King Arthur was said to be born in Tintagel Castle, and Camelot was in Cornwall
•    It is one of the 7 Celtic nations: Brittany (Breizh), Cornwall (Kernow), Wales (Cymru), Scotland (Alba), Ireland (Éire) and the Isle of Man (Mannin or Ellan Vannin), and Galicia in Spain. Some might include the diaspora of the Celtic nations: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.

Cornwall Rubber Stamp Images

Cornish Pasty rubber stamp image by Kim Victoria for Highlander Celtic Stamps

Pasty

The Cornish never spell their pie ‘pastie.’ This was the miners only lunch away from home. There were no bags, containers, refrigeration, ovens, break rooms, or eating implements in the mine. Women made a strong pastry, with a tight edge, to enclose meat and vegetables into a baked pie. The men would keep the pie inside their shirt next to their skin, while they worked, so it would be with them wherever they were, and warm at lunchtime. (I imagine it also had an unique salty, sweaty taste, too.)

Cousin Jack

Cousin Jack is the friendly, generic name to address a miner.
Candles were the source of illumination in the mines until the early 20th century. The hat helmet is felt. A wad of sticky pine tar holds the candle to the hat. The miner wears a “necklace” of the candles he will need to get through the day. The brim of the hat collects the dripping wax.

Cousin Jack Cornish miner rubber stamp image by Kim Victoria for Highlander Cetlic Stamps
Wheelhouse Ruin rubber stamp image by Kim Victoria for Highlander Celtic Stamps

Wheelhouse Ruin

I drew this image from photos of Wheal Coates engine house and stack. The engine powered a huge wooden wheel that lowered miners and raised ore from the mine shaft. Stonework is all that’s left of these industrial complexes. However Wheal Trewavas is being restored by the National Trust. It is perched on a cliff in SW Cornwall, and the Project Manager is amazed that men could have built it 150 years ago without modern equipment since they are finding it especially challenging.

Cornwall stones Mên-an-Tol rubber stamp image by Kim Victoria for Highlander Celtic Stamps

Mên-An-Tol (Holed Stone)

This stone arrangement is believed to be about 3,500 years old and of the Bronze Age. There may have been a full stone circle associated with it, since stones are detected underground in a circle around it.
Historians can only conjecture as to its significance, so I will leave you to investigate that further. What I do know is that the ancients lived with, and connected to, nature in every way. To carve a stone like this took a massive amount of effort, which means they believed it would help them connect with nature even more, whether it was health, fertility, spiritual, something else, or all of the above. Visually speaking, it is totally cool.

Tartan of Cornwall

Each colour in the National Tartan has a special meaning: White on Black for St. Piran’s Banner (The Patron Saint of Tinners), Black and Gold were the colours of the ancient Cornish kings; red is for the beak and legs of the Chough, the Cornish National bird and blue is for the sea surrounding Cornwall. The ancient kingdom of Cornwall is remembered in this tartan, designed by the Cornish poet, E.E. Morton-Nance. 1984 . He regarded tartan as the “heritage of all Celts” and extoll brave Cornishmen to wear the kilt of black and saffron, “Tints blazoned by her ancient Kings”.

Tartan of Cornwall

Cornwall Stamping

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Cornwall is Celtic too!

I’ve created a lot of images for Scotland, Ireland and even Wales, but have neglected Cornwall and do apologize for this oversight. So now I’ve got some for you who have Cornish heritage, and for those of you who simply like this fascinating corner of the United Kingdom.

This post is about some of the stamping play I’ve been doing with the new group of Cornish theme stamps.
I hope you get some fun ideas here.

The stamps are available from the Etsy Shop as clear polymer only.

Miner's Mainstay, Cornish rubber stamps by Kim Victoria for Highlander Celtic Stamps

Miner’s Mainstay

The Pasty was a miners daily meal. Read the fun story in the newsletter or the next blog.
Miner is embossed with black, the Pastys with Distress ink, all masked, cosmetic sponges used to dab on Distress inks, remove masks

Mists of Time

Black embossing for the mine ruin, then dark gray Distress ink for the miner and pasty. I used cosmetic sponges to dab and swirl Distress inks to create a misty, ghostly effect.

Mists of Time, Cornish miner, rubber stamps by Kim Victoria for Highlander Celtic Stamps
Life Light, Cornish miner rubber stamp art by Kim Victoria for Highlander Celtic Stamps

Life Light

Using a reverse mask of the miner, I used a cosmetic sponge and white embossing ink rubbed onto dark blue cardstock, then heat-set the ink with NO embossing powder. Then I embossed with black powder the miner, being careful to wipe off the tip of the candle part of the image first. I created a little more of a cloud of light with the white ink, heat-set it, then used colored pencils to add to the effect. Black dye ink stroked on the bottom of the card adds depth.

Light of the Past

Simple embossing with black ink & powder, and lots of colored pencils.

Light of the Past, Cornish miner and mine ruin rubber stamp art by Kim Victoria for Highlander Celtic Stamps

Cornish Holed Stone – Mên-an-Tol

All Trading Card size.
Starting with dark blue card stock, emboss the stones with clear ink and powder. The moon stamp is from Stampscapes. Then I simply used colored pencils to play with the lighting effects.
The third one is purple embossing ink and colored pencils.

Night Magic – Men-an-Tol
Mystic Moon – Men-an-Tol
Solstice Shadows – Men-an-Tol

Night Magic by Kim Victoria, Highlander Stamps stones of Cornwall, Mên -an-Tol
Mystic Moon, Cornwall Mên-an-Tol stones rubber stamp art by Kim Victoria for Highlander Celtic Stamps
Solstice Shadows, Cornwall Mên-an-Tol stones rubber stamp art by Kim Victoria for Highlander Celtic Stamps

Cornwall Collage

Just the holed stone of Mên-an-Tol with a mine ruin you can see to this day. Notice the tiny person to give it scale.  Images embossed in black, then colored with pencils, finally mask the image and over-stamp with the Knot-work square.

Cornwall stone and mine ruin rubber stamp art by Kim Victoria for Highlander Celtic Stamps