Morvargh (Cornish name for Seahorse)Image – Gweniver Exton
At the start of 2017 Laetitia contemplated acquiring an ‘Obby ‘Oss of her own. A smaller ‘Oss skull would be ideal so that she could also be a rider. Laetitia originally searched for the skull of a small horse asking the advice of David Pitt who owns and rides Coppertown Mari. She then discovered the skull of an Icelandic foal with Viking heritage that she herself has a natural connection with being born on the site of an ancient Viking settlement.
Laetitia needed to ensure the skull was in good condition for her requirements and as David Pitt had ‘birthed’ a number of ‘Obby ‘Osses into the folk world the foal was sent immediately to him on purchase. David kept her updated with video footage explaining the work required to make it robust for riding. He explained the skull’s condition and the adult teeth were still embedded deep within the jaw that had not yet emerged. (This Icelandic foal was born and bred on a farm, unfortunately they do not always survive the severe weather there and may be undernourished, these factors are important for survival. )
David worked on the foal in his free time over a period of 3 months and when the skull was ready, he constructed silver ears and a tongue. Laetitia sent him shiny teal baubles for the eyes which he attached to the sockets. David constructed a pole along with the fixtures and fittings for riding and gave the jaw a wonderful ‘snap’.
Our good friend Craig Weatherill informed her that the Cornish phrase for seahorse was Morvargh. Laetitia had given the ‘Oss’ image a lot of thought and it would naturally become a part of her work and connection to the sea.
The three months that passed without seeing or holding Morvargh was a little frustrating, but Laetitia knew her ‘Oss was in expert hands! David Pitt kindly travelled all the way from Wales to deliver her in person at Beltane 2017.
He was accompanied by his beautiful Coppertown Mari. They had dinner together at the local pub the St Buryan Inn and then visited Boscawen-un stone circle together. Cassandra had the wonderful experience of riding Coppertown while David filmed video footage of them.
Coppertown Mari at Boscawen-in Stone Circle.
When David left, it was then time for Laetitia to work on Morvargh. She had already created a new dress for Penkevyll with her new mane and tatters plus two new hearth dolls, so the creative energy had been flowing well.
Laetitia began with the mane by fitting blue hessian material to the skull. She then had the lengthy task of braiding strands of wool together until she had constructed 40 braids and used two large balls of wool. The braids were then sewn to the hessian.
When the mane was complete, Laetitia attached 120 pearls to it plus large mother of pearl shells along the centre parting.
She added a starfish and shells to the skull using a glue recommended by her wonderful friends John and Sue Exton who have had plenty of experience in decorating Mari Celeste and Mari Seren. Ribbons were tied at the sides of the skull along with cockleshells that make a wonderful sound. There are Pirate rings in the ears and the teal dress was constructed from a sheet and netted material.
Morvargh’s first outing was at Penberth Cove on a beautiful warm sunny day.
It was a wonderful to show Morvargh the sea. Their bond had strengthened during the time Laetitia worked on the image and they naturally merged together as one.
Riding is quite an experience, the ground ahead was visible when walking on the stones as the ‘Oss dress has a netted panel at the front. Even though the material is made from thin cotton, the temperature quickly rose within it.
Morvargh will attend sea-related charity events throughout Cornwall.
Chepstow Wassail 2018
Morvargh will visit festivals and events with us when Penkevyll is not available and occasionally they will appear together. Laetitia will update you on their adventures. There is also a Facebook page
An extra special thank you to the wonderful David Pitt for all his hard work and preparation, also to the lovely Craig Weatherill who helped name her and the fabulous John and Sue Exton for helpful hints in decoration of ‘Osses. Thank you also to Cassandra Latham Jones for her support.
Morvargh’s debut at the All Hallows Dark Gathering 2017 in Boscastle…
…and performance with the loveable Mole and Wreckers Morris.
We will be seeing you soon…….