Thank You to the Cotton Gin

On an outing to find the latest fabrics to bring into our Dragon Festival and On the Origins of Dragons exhibit we stumbled across a wonderful fabric store called The Cotton Gin in Roanoke VA.


cotton gin exterior.jpg         cotton gin group.jpg

Upon learning about our group and what we do, the kind owner gave us several yards of fabric for free. We can’t say thank you enough.  Your kindness makes the world a better place!


Friends of the DRC

Our newest blog feature is Friends of the DRC.

This section will feature new friends who are interested in dragons. Maybe we will showcase an artist, a musician, a scientist…you will have to check in to see. Today we are featuring :

Rachel Melrose

She can be emailed directly at

I’m 4 1/2. The number in front of that is (5), but I ignore it whenever I can! I trained as a secondary teacher, in Religious Education. I taught that for 15 years, picking up other subjects as I went along. I moved into Adult Education and FE, teaching ICT and Genealogy, then Key Skills and Functional Skills.

I really wanted to be an Astrophysicist, but my Maths and Physics reached a plateau after “O” level. A colleague in FE college turned the Maths lightbulbs back on, so I gained my Level 5 Maths teaching certificate. I also did a Foundation degree in Art, which I combined with the Maths in a project with Cambridge University Maths Department, looking at fractals in Maths and in nature, and the drawing and modelling of 3-D fractals.

I’m also a Reader (Lay Minister) in the Church of England, and am just about to set up an outreach group in the estate in which I live, using my art and craft hobbies as a way into getting to know the people of the estate, to find out how the church can serve them better. The estate is a bit isolated at one end of the group of three villages. We have a community hall, but no other facilities. The shops are all down in Stanstead Abbotts.

One of the types of artwork I hope to use with this venture is Celtic calligraphy and knotwork. I don’t have a website. Being disabled and not able to work, I can’t afford a website and its upkeep. Here are some examples of my work:


If dragons were never real, they should have been! Given the amazing fossil record, surely something in there must have been close, although fire breathing and flying might be a little stretch. I’ve always loved dragons and, when a friend bought me Anne McCaffrey’s “Dragondrums” for a birthday, I was hooked on the series. Her use of science to make the dragons of Pern plausible and to have a reason for being there, being developed from an indigenous life-form, but made Bigger, gave the series veritas.

This being said, my e-book collection is filled with many books and series about dragons of all shapes, forms and colours! There are dragons who are allergic to silver, and those who have stones in their chest which they can choose to share with a rider. There are innately good dragons and really bad ones. Some are small enough to ride on their human’s shoulder, others are big enough to carry a carriage full of people. Some can go invisible. Some can speak, others talk telepathically. Often dragons are very wise or extremely cunning and tricky.

I really wish there were dragons, but the way humans have treated this world, there would not be enough room for the larger ones, especially if they needed large ranges or specialist habitat. Perhaps a small one would be nice, a friendly one, who could sit on my shoulder and share his or her wisdom, or cheer me up with funny antics.

If there were larger, intelligent dragons, maybe they could force the evil and stupid people of this world to change their habits,  clean up the world and care for the plants and animals, restoring ruined habitats.

If only…

New Publication

Co-creators of the DRC, Dr. Poli and Dr. Stoneman, have published a new paper, “Drawing New Boundaries:Finding the Origins of Dragons in Carboniferous Plant Fossils”. You can find the full article on The MIT Press Journals website. The article was Published on November 30th, 2017


Dragons thrive in gaps between and beyond spatial boundaries. Can science help explain their existence? Did humans use investigation of natural phenomena to create bits and pieces of dragon lore across cultures? The researchers used a transdisciplinary lens to reveal unique data among extant dragon origin explanations. These data include fossil evidence and descriptions of Carboniferous era plants, dragon folklore descriptions and locations, and geographic correlations between the fossils and folklore. The hypothesis is that early humans came across these fossils, constructed meaning for them contextualized by current knowledge of the natural world, and created or enhanced dragon lore narratives.


doi: 10.1162/LEON_a_01576.