the shoemakers

On December 2nd 1848 Mary Slessor, the Scottish missionary was  in Aberdeen.

Mary was the second of seven children of Robert and Mary Slessor. Her father, originally from Buchan, was a shoemaker by trade. In 1859, the family moved to Dundee in search of work. Robert Slessor was an alcoholic and, unable to keep up shoemaking, took a job as a labourer in a mill. Her mother, a skilled weaver, also went to work in the mills. The Slessors lived in the slums of Dundee. Before long, Mary’s father died of pneumonia, and both her brothers also died, leaving behind only Mary, her mother, and two sisters.

Mary’s mother, a devout Presbyterian was an avid reader of a monthly missionary magazine and Mary through this decided she wanted to help in the missions in Africa she was 27 when she heard that David Livingstone, the famous missionary and explorer, had died, and decided she wanted to follow in his footsteps.

She went on to become one of the most famous missionaries on the 19th century. Ma’ Slessor as she became known established schools, healed the ill, stopped battles, promoted trade and fearlessly persuaded cannibals - in dawn discussions that there was a better way to live.  One group of people called the Efik believed that giving birth to twins was evil,  the woman would be burnt alive and the twins were taken and left for dead in the desert. Slessor lived with the Efik for three years and managed to convince the Efik that this belief was wrong stopping the killings.Slessor adopted every child she found abandoned, and sent out twins missioners to find, protect and care for them at the Mission House. Some mission compounds were alive with babies. Slessor once saved a pair of twins, a boy and a girl, but the boy did not survive. Mary took the girl as her daughter and called her Janie. During her years working at the missions in East Africa she is said have saved hundreds of twins. 

Mary Slessor often succumbed to malaria but did not let that deffer from what she seen as her duty to god and in early January 1915, while at her remote station near Use Ikot Oku, she suffered a particularly severe fever. Slessor died on 13 January 1915.

I know some of you might not have heard of Mary Slessor but those of you in Scotland will recognise her instantly as you have been carrying her around in your wallets, purses and pockets for years.


Amanda Shoemaker
Seattle, WA
Nikon D7000

You are a self-confessed forest dweller. How do you think that helps you capture nature so intimately? Tell us about your experience with nature so far.

I have lived in Western Washington my whole life. Here in the more urban areas of Washington, it’s easy to forget the natural world around you. When I started doing photography, I began to notice things that many people forgot or simply didn’t take the time to appreciate. Photography definitely brought me closer to nature and I’m glad that it did. I feel at peace in the forest so I find myself going there often. I love to explore and I love to go on road trips to see all of the different landscapes Washington has to offer. There is a certain energy that the dark forests of Washington emit and I want to capture that. I want others to experience what I experience from being there. This connection that I have and the feelings that are created while being alone there are definitely a direct inspiration towards the intimate images I create.

Tumblr: @autumns-aurora
Flickr: @bloodbirds
Instagram: @birchwhite



world of warcraft Cutthroat Kitchen

  • four contestants
  • Nomi, probably. burns everything
  • Gravy
  • some undead guy. No jaw. keeps cooking human flesh. my vote is tehd shoemaker
  • a tauren. one of the challenges is a hamburger
  • hosted by Khadgar. let’s get real he’s basically mage Alton Brown
  • Illidan is a special judge. none of the meat is cooked properly