Family Crafts: Magic Bowls at John Rylands Library

Sarah Gaffney-Lang, Families Editor
Exterior shot of John Rylands Library, venue for magic bowls event
Image courtesy of John Rylands Library

Family crafts: Magic bowls at John Rylands Research Institute and Library, City Centre 20 February 2020 Entrance is free — Visit now

Make your very own magic bowls to capture demons and bring you good luck! John Rylands Library might not seem like an obvious place to entertain the children but it’s architecture and atmosphere will have most kids mesmerised.

They’ve a host of family craft activities throughout school holidays and this February half term you can join them to make magic bowls, inspired by their current exhibition’s incantation bowl. Join in this free craft session and learn how ancient people used spells to keep them safe from harm.

Magic bowls event. Image shows The historic Reading Room in John Rylands Library
Image courtesy of John Rylands Library.

In the library’s current exhibition, Seeing the Invisible, we are introduced to “the most influential community you may never have heard of”, the expert Syriac translators of the medieval Middle East. Ancient manuscripts on display reveal translations by the Syriac Christians, which created a link through which the medieval Arabic speaking world could access the medical knowledge and wisdom of ancient Greece.

Explore fascinating occult books, talismanic objects and medical textbooks from Renaissance Europe. The exhibition traces the surprising roots of modern medicine and includes a mysterious incantation bowl, which should inspire some creativity so you can create your own bowl to take home!

John Rylands Library is a true gem and for families perhaps a hidden treasure not normally on their radars. Founded by Enriqueta Rylands in memory of her husband John Rylands, it was intended as a gift to the people of Manchester. It took ten years to build and was opened to the public on 1 January 1900.

Today the library is part of The University of Manchester but it is still open to everyone, whether you want to study, research the collection, get involved in events or simply wander around, enjoying the striking gothic architecture and how this calming space makes you feel.

Magic Bowls event is recommended for families with children aged 5+

No need to book, just drop in.

Family crafts: Magic bowls at John Rylands Research Institute and Library, City Centre 20 February 2020 Entrance is free Visit now

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