We've been enjoying beautiful weather here in the Amber Valley for the last few days so I've been working with the window open. As I write there are swifts, swallows and house martins flying over and the roses are in full bloom.
It's that time of year when we can enjoy crafting outside for a change. I have just added my latest pattern to my Etsy and Payhip stores: meet Gallia, Goddess of Gaul.
This design is based on an image found on a Roman coin dating from the middle of the first century. The region that the Romans called Gaul covered much of central Europe from France to Switzerland and parts of Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. You may also have heard of it as the home of Asterix and his friends!
There are a number of variations on this image on different coins. Some are described as being a captive Gaulish woman but others are said to show the land of Gaul represented as a goddess. There is a reference to Gallia in an inscription on the remains of a Roman garrison near Hadrian's Wall called Vindolanda but very little is known about her. It may be that she was more of a symbol, like Britannia or Marianne.
Whatever she may have meant to the people of Gaul, she is a strong image of ancient womanhood. Rather than being made to look pretty, she has dishevelled hair and a defiant gaze which speaks to women in the 21st century.
You can buy the pattern by clicking on the Etsy listing at the top of the page or by clicking here to go to my Payhip shop.
(c) Karen Eley/The Hawthorn Tree