Volcano Club

Volcano Club only offers one type of membership - and that's lifetime. To become a member send some volcanic themed work to the HQ (volcanoclubhq@gmail.com) and you might get a codename or some other cool shit.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


Following on from the most recent issue, here are pictures of people who look like volcanoes. Let me know if you have any more.
Cyndi Lauper- I'll try and stop going on about much I love her- but look how cool she is!
Little My- should also probably stop going on about how much I love Moomins, her temper adds to her volcanicity and apparently I look like her, may also be due to grumpiness. 
Sideshow Bob- hair is the main way in which a person can resemble a volcano
Amy Winehouse- many reasons for this one
James Dean- smoking enhances a volcano likeness (see above), a personal style icon and the reason why I carry a comb in my pocket.
Brian Blessed- looks and acts like a volcano
Louis Saha- people say this hairstyle was a mistake but the poor boy was just trying to look like a volcano.
Bjork- like many on this list, I just really love her
Steve Bruce- pre eruption
Gerard Depardieu- crater nose
Regan McNeil- is her name, vomit is a bit like lava I suppose. 

So in conclusion most people don't look that much like volcanoes but this has been a very welcome opportunity to tell people how great Cyndi, Little My, James Dean and Bjork are.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Volcanoes of Christmasses past, present and yet to come

Spot the three volcanoes in the picture. Volcano Club Christmas Card from everyone at Volcano Club- so me and Roxy, who is my alter ego, so just me really. You will only be lucky enough to get this card if you receive your copy after Christmas day (to emphasise the unpredictability of volcanoes). Hope everyone had a Happy Christmas and has a good New Year and an especially Merry Melbourne!

Issue Three

Two days later than hoped but here it is- Issue Three. A lovely late Christmas present copies available from all good retailers.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Charley Harper Volcano

I had a lot of time to kill yesterday and I went to the bookshop Magma (I'm only mentioning the name because magma is what's in a volcano so it was kinda like I was actually inside a volcano, which was obviously very enjoyable). Looking through one of my favourite books 'Charley Harper, An Illustrated Life' - which I may or may not be getting for Christmas, I saw an incredibly beautiful volcano which mainly shows the volcano gases. I think it's from the Giant Book of Biology or something similar which is full of brilliant illustrations that are also scientifically accurate.

Google search found this pretty Charley Harper cool poster of Hawaii volcanoes. 

Next Volcano Club Issue will be out on Christmas Eve (two days) so if I see you around the Christmas period you will probably get a copy as a present, if I don't you can probably still have one.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

And of Clay We Are Created

When this is the second paragraph in a story,
First a subterranean sob rocked the cotton fields, curling them like waves of foam. Geologists had set their seismographs weeks before, and they knew that the mountain had awakened again. For some time they had predicted that the heat of the eruption could detach the the eternal from the slopes of the volcano, but no one headed their; warnings; they sounded like the tales of frightened old women. 
you know it's going to be good.  It's pretty much guaranteed that everything good in life will somehow (however tenuously) be linked to volcanoes, the theory has now been proven for Isabel Allende. This is an extract from The Stories of Eva Luna, which is a follow up to the novel 'Eva Luna'. It's a book of short stories told by Eva so it's stories within stories which is always nice. Many of the stories contain the same characters as Eva Luna, this one concerns Rolf Carle who ends up as Eva's lover (don't worry this isn't a spoiler). Rolf is reporting on the volcano erpution and encounters a girl, Azucena, trapped in the rubble as they both struggle for her survival and suffering he is reminded of the forgotten suffering of his childhood.

This was probably my favourite story in the book, but I am slightly volcano biased so the others are all also probably worth reading.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

How do volcanoes in space greet one another?

Io (an answer to the joke and a greeting to readers of this post)

I seem to remember reading that Io (one of Jupiter's Moons) was the only other celestial body in our solar systam to have active volcanoes. My good friend Alice reminded me of this yesterday when she woke me with a text telling the next The Sky at Night episode will be about volcanoes in space. Soon after realising that I hadn't actually been stirred by the fall of another wicket, I remembered this fact about Io, Alice needs confirmation from Sir Patrick, I now think I do too and maybe Io just has the most volcanism. Whatever the case, it has some which is cool so here are some facts about it.

Io has high orbital eccentricity, which means it is an elliptical shape, this means it has large gravitational pull, resulting in large tidal heating and this causes it's volcanism. Earth's volcanoes are due to magma movement from the geothermal activity or something like that (I really hope no physicists read the blog, actually I don't think anyone really reads it, so I should definitely make more stuff up).  There are three types of eruptions that occur on Io; intra-patera eruptions, flow-dominated eruptions and explosion dominated eruptions. Intra-patera eruptions occur in pateras which are caldera-like depressions on the moons surface, these can eruptions can be divided into those that with lava flows and those with lava lakes (a pool connected to a magma reservoir). Flow dominated eruptions seem to be similar to earth's Hawaiian eruption in that they continue for long periods of time and are often from lava tubes and fissures. Like Plinian eruptions, Explosion dominated eruptions are spectacular and violent, they occur when a magma body reaches a fissure and often produce lava fountains.

Hopefully there will more on this in next weeks The Sky at Night so I will be able to fill in all those gaps in my extraterrestrial volcano knowledge and pass on some wisdom. Issue Three will be out for in time for Christmas and I'm pretty sure that everyone you know would want a copy of the magazine so get ordering.
Finally here is another blog with a volcano of the week feature- definitely a copy of mine! http://www.gishbartimes.org/2010_08_01_archive.html

Thursday, 2 December 2010

A pun involving snow and volcanoes

As in England we have had a lot of snow it seemed the only plausible way to celebrate was to have a snowball fight, mulled wine, mince pies and brandy cream and to make a volcano out of snow. This did however create a large debate between Emma, Isaac and me over what to call said volcano made from snow; hence the post title. The best puns we could think of involving snow and volcanoes are volcansnow, voliceno, or snowcano, in order to avoid arguments started combining puns and came up with such gems as snowcansnow, volicesnow and eventually settled on snowicesnow. But I couldn't put this as the title because it makes no sense.

This is the volcano (snowicesnow) pre-eruption. I don't think I really need to explain how to make this, the only tips I will give are that the angle of the volcano shouldn't be more than 45degrees. If this volcano it is entirely the fault of Emma and Isaac who probably both need some volcano education or volcation. Those of you who like things to be scientifically accurate could make a magma chamber, which should be made early on and then the rest of the volcano built around it.

This is the volcano after eruption, to get this effect all you need to do is chuck some leaves over the volcano.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Dinosaurs, Cakes, Volcanoes

Due to having been on a godforsaken Scottish island I haven't recently done any Volcano Club work for which I apologise. The reasons for being in Scotland were entirely unvolcano related however it was actually pretty great and I did see lots of lovely fungi and birds.

I would also like to make an appeal that if anyone wants to make me a cake soon (which is a no doubt a lot of people) then could they please use these candles.
 Because as well as making a volcano cake, which have previously been proved to be great, it could have dinosaurs on it. And then it could be an amazing story cake showing a possible dinosaur extinction theory. This states that the extinction, which occurred around 65 million years ago was due to a supervolcano in modern day India. This theory is supported by evidence showing massive eruptions with huge large flows from this era. Whether its true or not, it would make a truly amazing cake.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Mount Merapi

Recently Indonesia has been shaken by natural disasters including an earthquake and tsunami, now the second large eruption of Mount Merapi in less than two weeks. It is unusual for large eruptions to occur in quick succession, as an eruption releases the pressure inside the magma chamber. It is thought that pressure was building behind a newly formed lava dome which could be seen rising between the two eruptions on 25th October and 5th November. Yesterdays eruption is Mount Merapi's largest since 1870 and there is currently a 20km safety zone around the volcano. Mount Merapi (mountain of fire in Javanese) is a 3,000m high stratovolcano, as Indonesia's most active volcano it can frequently been seen smoking. As a decade volcano Mount Merapi is well monitored and due to the numerous earthquakes in the area the Alert Level was raised to 4, the highest on the scale on the 25th October.

Sadly this has done little to prevent the damage done in Indonesia, the death toll is currently at 122 and there are thousands more injured and in emergency shelters. The eruption on the 25th October killed Mardijan, Mount Merapi's gate-keeper, his role was to calm the volcanoes angry spirits and it was in doing this that he died, on the slopes of Mount Merapi, which he considered his home. So soon after the event, it is impossible to tell the magnitude of devastation these eruptions will cause, however it is likely that amount of dead and injured will rise and unlikely that the those living around Mount Merapi live's will ever be the same again.

Thursday, 4 November 2010


This is an even lazier post than the previous one, although I did do a page of the new zine today so pressure is building in the metaphorical magma chamber. Earlier today when on a popular quiz website I thought I would search for volcano to see if there were any quizzes, there are a good few, which I'm sure everyone would love to try out!
I found out that I really can't spell; apart from of course Eyjafjalljokull which is a word I have no trouble with. I also don't know as many US states as I used to, my knowledge of wars and explorers is also shocking. The only other piece of news from today is that by putting any word inbetween vol and no i.e. volquizno you get a great pun, the next zine issue should prove this. 

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Songs of the Volcano

This is quite a lazy post for which I apologise, but basically I have been listening to some volcano related music recently. And when I say related I really just mean songs or bands with the word volcano in. If it was actually music made by volcanoes then that would be far more impressive and worth blogging about. Firstly we have Volcano Choir, who are very Bon Ivery (probably due to the fact that they have one of Bon Iver's members in) so great if you like that sort of thing.
The second piece of volcano music is from Islands, they are Canadian; if that fact doesn't make you want to listen to them, then nothing will. (thanks to Chris for pointing them out)

Hopefully I will do a less lazy post soon. Fashion issue is coming along nicely, so soon you should all be dressing like lovely volcanoes.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Things learnt at Compton Verney

Finally went to the Volcano: from Turner to Warhol exhibition at Compton Verney on Saturday. It was supposed to be my brothers birthday outing, but he didn't actually make it, due to some drunken escapade involving a lost bag and a gay club (which is definitely enough information for me). I will probably do more in-depth posts on lots of the stuff there but here is a brief summary of things I learnt and saw about volcanoes.

1. Volcanoes are a lot more popular than even I thought; the exhibition catalogue had completely sold out, which is a shame as I was kinda hoping to do all my up and coming blog posts based entirely on that
2. The angle of a volcano should never be more than 30 degrees, I need to correct this in my volcano drawings

Good Volcano- John Ruskin                                                                  
Bad Volcano- Augusta Ward

3. Andy Warhol knew about the stages of a volcanic eruption
4. In this painting the people and plants wouldn't actually be able to be that close to a volcano as they'd be incinerated. Probably the best thing in the exhibition was the geologists view on the artwork saying if they were scientifically accurate, as well as being informative they were very very funny.
Vesuvius Erupting at Night
Pierre-Jacques Volaire
5. Pictures without volcanoes aren't as good as those with them in (I was already pretty sure about this)
6. The best pictures are of erupting volcanoes
7. I really really want to go to Iceland (the country not the supermarket)
8. Vesuvius is easily the most documented volcano, maybe because of its proximity to civilisation (or Western civilisation)
 9. Me and my mummy are really good at guessing restaurant menus (not so much to do with volcanoes)

I will hopefully do more posts on the exhibition as it was pretty great it would really help if I could get an exhibition guide; otherwise I'm gonna have to like remember stuff or just make it up.
Issue Three (fashion one) is coming along nicely,but contributions would be good as I'm pretty lazy.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Quilting volcanoes

If there's one thing I love almost as much as volcanoes then it would have to be quilts. In proof of this statement; I have been making a patchwork quilt since I was 7 years old (although this may actually prove my laziness and inability to finish anything). So it was a pretty exciting moment when during research for Piton de le Fournaise, I found a website displaying a collection of quilts devoted to the earth and sky. Also some are actually quite good other subject matters other than volcanoes include Stonehenge, tea cultivation and The Yankee Stadium.

Piton de la Fournaise- Henriette Bonte
Geyser parc Yellowstone- Anne Coidan Lenoir

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Piton de la Fournaise

I saw a very exciting facebook status update from my friend Julia yesterday
the active volcano on my little island is erupting!
So I had to investigate the matter further, the volcano in question is Piton de la Fournaise (peak of the furnace) on the island Reunion in the Indian Ocean. It a shield volcano and one of the most active in the world. The current eruption technically started last November and has a VEI 1, so it's on a pretty minor scale. The volcano does seem to be more a tourist attraction than a danger to humans, which is good and everyone seems to be safe which again is good.

Also its very very pretty.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

The Volcano People

This film looks amazing it's set in the Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia which I have written about before but what I didn't know is that it's home to the moat active volcanoes in the world and therefore incredibly beautiful. The indigenous who live there are called the Eveny people, they are of Mongolian descent and are practised in the ancient art of throat singing which is obviously great. Like the rest of the former Soviet Union the area was totally shaken up by its break up, however being so vast and far away we tend to forget about Siberia especially as it is as much a part of Asia as Europe. The film is about them and their relationship to nature particularly volcanoes (obviously). From this trailer it seems that they believe in living in tune with nature and not going against its grain. Which is something I've been thinking about a lot recently, I think we'd all probably be a lot happier if we did it more; I heard a good interview with Antony Hegarty and Bjork in which she was saying that she feels happy and energised in Iceland because it still has links to nature unlike cities like New York. I'm getting off topic now, but this is definitely a post for another time. In the meantime here's the trailer

"The Volcano People" Trailer from Webmaster on Vimeo.
This is my favourite quote
disaster happens but opportunity often lies at its wake.
It's a very beautiful way of looking at the world and I'm really excited about seeing the film.

Thursday, 14 October 2010


This picture is taken from the amazing volcanism blog, which is a lot more serious than volcano club. It has information on all the ongoing volcanic activity. As seen in this beautiful map (think I am joining the rest of my family with their map obsession) so pretty useful if you're going anywhere that has unstable plate tectonics.
Another pretty exciting feature is Saturday Volcano Art which has really beautiful volcano pictures, there's also a quote of the day. Basically its a lot better than volcano club so in way don't want to put the link up, but as a volcano enthusiast, it's my duty to share great volcano stuff.
Maybe I should write to them, tell them I love them and they'll give me a job (the blog writers not the volcanoes).

Monday, 11 October 2010

Volcano of the Week #8 - Lakagígar

Lakagigar or Laki is Iceland's premier volcano, it's close to the the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur and lots of other Icelandic places that I've never heard of. The mountain is called Laki, however as it is actually the fissure vents that have the volcanic activity so the volcano's name is Lakagígar (craters of Laki). Lakagígar's largest known eruption was on 8th June 1783, the entire eruption lasted until 7th February 1784. Though in this time the eruption downgraded from a massive Strombolian with a VEI of 6 to a gentle Hawaiian. The consequences of this eruption were huge and pretty much caused the French Revolution. The resulting problems termed The Mist Hardships killed off a quarter of Iceland's human population and half of the cattle and horses. 

It was not just Iceland that was affected by this natural disaster mainly due to the size of the eruption; Europe's entire industrial output of sulphur dioxide in 2006 was only a third of that from Lakagigar. The following year weather was extreme in Europe with hot, hazy summers and harsh winters (the New-England winter in 1784 was also notably cold). In Britain around 30,000 died from sulphur poisoning and around 8,000 from the cold which contained 28 days of unbroken frost. The frost had bad effects on harvests throughout Europe; leading to famine and, in France, political unrest which climaxed as the Revolution in 1789. France was not the country to suffer from Lakagigar-induced famine as Egypt lost around a sixth of its population to famine in 1784. 

Like the last Volcano of the Week I'll end with another great religious quote this time from Jón Steingrímsson's fire sermon given as the people of Kirkjubaejarklaustur were in church surrounded by lava flow
"This past week, and the two prior to it, more poison fell from the sky than words can describe: ash, volcanic hairs, rain full of sulfur and saltpeter, all of it mixed with sand. The snouts, nostrils, and feet of livestock grazing or walking on the grass turned bright yellow and raw. All water went tepid and light blue in color and gravel slides turned gray. All the earth's plants burned, withered and turned gray, one after another, as the fire increased and neared the settlements."

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

stuff and volcanoes

Firstly, an amazing website for all those of you who want some hard  facts. It has loads of information on every volcano on earth and its eruptions; kinda like a volcano facebook (or volcanobook)  comes in very handy for writing Volcano of the Week.

Secondly, the next couple of issues of volcano club magazine are in the pipeline, one is about fashion (and volcanoes) the other has a working title of 'Love, Lust and Lava'. Submissions will be gratefully received for either, I've already had some great ideas, whichever has the most material should be going to print in October.

Thirdly, hoping to go to this amazing looking exhibition soon and will write a full review. http://www.comptonverney.org.uk/modules/events/event.aspx?e=2&title=volcano_turner_to_warhol

Happy Volcanoes!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Volcano of the Week #7 - Avachinsky-Koryaksky

A confession- Avachinsky and Koryaksky are actually 2 different volcanoes (but as volcano-savvy readers, I'm sure you have already noticed this error)
Putin arriving at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

These volcanoes are in Russia, the far east of Russia where both survival and plate tectonics are less stable than the in metropolitan Moscow and St Petersburg; reminding us of the many sides to this vast country. It lies on the pacific ring of fire and the Kamchatka Peninsula contains around 30 active volcanoes including Avachinsky and Koryaksky. These two volcanoes are listed as Decade Volcanoes due to their proximity to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky; the main city of Kamchatka Krai. The city has a population of around 200,000, is Russia's largest submarine base and temperatures range from -30°C to 30°C. Avanchinsky is a stratovolcano that last erupted in 2001, a major eruption (VEI= 4) took plave in 1945 and is 2,741m high. Koryaksky last erupted more recently than its neighbour in 2009. It is also taller than Koryasky 3,456m but eruptions tend to be less violent.



An eruption of Avachinsky was recorded in 1779 on Captain Cook's final voyage by John Ledyard
On the 15th it continued calm until noon when it clouded up and became very black and dark: the two mountains Peter and Paul were covered with the atmosphere near half way from their summits down, and at two o'clock we had again a small shock of an earthquake, and heard a hollow rumbling noise in the air, and the atmosphere continuing to condense, it became almost as dark as night, and the face of heaven looked very wild: we singled the stops of the sheet-anchor and eased the ship aloft at all the portentous appearances. Between three and four the mountain Paul exploded with a tremendous shock that convulsed everything around us: The report that attended the explosion was very loud at first, but gradually decreased until it subsided to a sound like that of grumbling distant thunder
The volcanoes here are referred to as Peter and Paul, the biblical nature of which is a reminder of how in this period unexplained events were thought of as in terms of God.

Sunday, 19 September 2010


Volcotto is a little known dish that is essentially a risotto shaped like a volcano. There are three main components to the dish, a mushroom risotto, sweet potato purée and cherry tomato sauce. If you are thinking, like a masterchef judge, that these ingredients don't belong on the same plate, you'd be right, but it does look pretty fantastic. Although if this dish was on masterchef the more likely response would be- 'why the fuck are you making food that looks like a volcano this is ridiculous'. But if like me and Isaac you have too much time on your hands then here's how you can make the dish.

Mushroom Risotto
(it should be noted that a risotto is best made in one go, don't make half then realised you have to go and see Joanna Newsom and then come back and complete at midnight. Having said this, if you do get a chance see Joanna go, she's definitely worth ruining a risotto for)
-1 onion
-1 clove garlic
-mushrooms (around a punnet, portobello are probably best but any will do)
-risotto rice
-white wine, approx a glass
-thyme, pepper
Lightly fry the finely chopped onion and garlic in olive oil, when they are soft add the mushrooms. Add the risotto rice and coat in the oil, add a couple of ladle fulls of stock and the pepper and thyme. As the stock gets absorbed add more, add the wine towards the end of the cooking time.

Sweet potato purée
Bake 2 sweet potatoes in foil for around 45 minuets. When cooked remove the skin and mash with olive oil and some cinnamon.

Cherry Tomato Sauce
Finely chop two cloves garlic and fry lightly in olive oil. Add halved cherry tomatoes, use about a punnet. Season with thyme, sugar and salt. Cover and cook until it's a sauce.

To assemble- shape your risotto in a big mound with a small caldera (making a magma chamber is not necessary). Spoon on the sweet potato purée in a lava like fashion, pour on the tomato sauce, this should be fairly runny so it will be harder to control. Finish with toasted pine nuts.

Chef and Visionary- Augusta Ward
Volcano Architect and Lava Art Director- Isaac Crompton

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Volcano of the Week #6- Yellowstone Supervolcano

This is a pretty super volcano (I should really stop making volcano jokes), it's located in Wyoming in the first ever nation park Yellowstone. While the volcano is inactive it is responsible for some of the largest ever eruptions; three notable ones (all VEI=8) occurred 2.1 million, 1.3 million, and 640,000 years ago. The volcano also helped shape the beautiful landscape of the national park, there are volcaniclastic piles in Yukon, Canada; calderas in Idaho and volcanic fields in Nevada and Oregon created by the hotspot. Due to the age of the volcano and ever changing landscape it difficult to tell exactly when and how these volcanic feature where created. However it is known that the Yellowstone caldera formed during the eruption of the Henry's Fork Caldera which was in turn formed by the Island Park Caldera.

Today there is very little volcanic activity in the national park, the most recent lava flow was 70,00 years ago. The Park is however famed for its Old Faithful Geyser which is a result of the volcanic hotspot, the uneasy plate tectonics and ever mobile magma also produce many earthquakes. The caldera floor is moving constantly moving upwards and the and was rising at an unprecedented 7.6cm a year between 2004-2008. This volcano is not likely to erupt any time soon.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Volcano of the Week #5- Mount Sinabung

It's been awhile and this is more an eruption of the week but Volcano of the Week is a great feature. The Indonesian volcano Mount Sinabung erupted this Sunday, the most remarkable feature of this is that the Sumatran volcano had previously been dormant for approx 4000 years. Mount Sinabung is stratovolcano located in the Ring of Fire, it is 2,460m high. As the volcano is not extensively monitored (like the decade volcanoes) and it has been inactive for so long, little is known about the full and potential aftermath of the eruption. However there was sufficient time to evacuate residents from the area and into shelters. While like the Eyjafallajoekull eruption this is eruption is small in global and historical scales, it has caused a large amount of destruction the area. The evacuation of the area will probably last at least a week and crops will be ruined causing even more upheaval in a country which is already so poor. Just another reminder of natures strength and power.