Sunday, December 30, 2012

TheImaginariumForge, is the ETSY Shop BLOG of TheDancingGoats…


Heritage Craft First Principles: A series of video lessons on topics that underlie the traditional crafts...
Skills are like an onion & layers are built upon, one after another
Short Lessons are free on our You Tube Channel: TheDancingGoats!
All Photography is Copyright TheDancingGoats...
The Goats that Dance and Start to Fly...
 
Among First Principles, Knots are the most basic skill. Keep them simple, tie them correctly and use them in the right places for the task & they will serve you well...

12th Night Approaches and the Days Begin to Lengthen...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

TheImaginariumForge, is the ETSY Shop BLOG of TheDancingGoats…
Http://TheDancingGoats.com

Late Autumn Slumber & Pre Solstice Clockwork Shadows, my new Time Lapse on our You Tube Channel
All Photography is Copyright TheDancingGoats...
 

Things that are very fast and very slow...are fascinating. The apparent motion of time is just the movement of a machine and the original clockwork was the Sky, Gaia, Sol, Luna & the Wanderers.

Chimney Rock from the Observation Kiva
 

Shadows...Angles...The Sun's path across a window...Like the great gnomon at the Chimney Rock Archeological Site...Once in 19 years it serves as a marker against the night sky and frames the Moonrise...
 
Water is 1000 feet away, straight down...

 The great Chacoan watchtower and signaling station for monitoring the sky's motion. Observe...Repeat...
 
Just like the 'Beacon of Gondor', Chimney rock was a light tower for signaling Chaco Prime of the once in 19 years major standstill of the moon...In the 3rd photo, right in the middle of the horizon is the direction of Chaco Canyon...6700+ observations required just to catch the major standstill a second time...
 
Chimney Rock: A deeply mysterious and deeply sacred place...Where the Clockwork of the Sky, like a shadow on a window could predict events and perhaps be understood...
 
One of the Great Mysteries in North America...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Music and Making:
Another Interlude from:


Use the poets name: 'Frost', for a special discount through the holidays on our ETSY site: http://www.etsy.com/people/TheDancingGoats
 
Making things for sale for our craft and fiber festivals is always a challenge.
I never cut corners or hasten a process for the sake of production…
A new Time Lapse Video is up on You Tube on our channel:
Making Whorls is the 1st step in the assembly of the various fiber tools we offer...

 
The Pressure Chuck...
 

There are Journey Person practices though, that take advantage of ‘The Economy of Motion’...The ‘Pressure Chuck’ is one innovation in Turning that elevates productivity in an amazing way…
A very simple cone with a very flat end surface acts as the driver & allows a ‘plate’ to be turned like a spindle with no waste. The Lathe is a 1946 Atlas Screw Making Engine...
 

A Drop Spindle Whorl
 
The Music Track in the video is John Serrie and is an example of the ethereal landscapes that aid a Maker's concentration.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Music and Making:
An Interlude from:
 
Use the poets name: 'Frost', for a special discount through the holidays on our ETSY site: http://www.etsy.com/people/TheDancingGoats

 
Almost everyone that comes through our studios always and dependably will ask, “What are you listening to”?
Autumn Slumber in 1000NM IR: A perfect companion to an Ambient Groove

 Making is a transcendent experience to me and the “Maker Zone”, where hours pass by in the blink of an eye, are the “raison d'etre” or “Reason to be”…

 Leonardo wrote about it, as did Durer…The mystical landscape of the mind where certain triggers alter the very flow of time…
Source of a thousand woodcarvings...

Music, especially the more ethereal landscapes of the Space and Techno-Tribal artists are one of the tools that comprise enrty to “The Maker Zone”…
The woven flight of the lampyridae weave an Ambient Symphony of light
 Select Ambient Artists for Makers include:

John Serrie….Premiere Space Music Artist: http://www.thousandstar.com/index2.html
try, Planetary Chronicles 1 and 2
Steve Roach…Tribal Ambient Projekt Master: http://www.steveroach.com/
try, Western Spaces or Kiva, recorded with Hopi Elders…
Anything from the Spotted Peccary Label: http://spottedpeccary.com/
try, When Thunder Sleeps…
All of the Between Interval discs are very unusual ambient journeys… http://spottedpeccary.com/artists/between-interval/
Coyote Oldman was way ahead of the Ambient curve  http://coyoteoldman.com/collections/music
try Thunder Chord or Tear of the Moon…
Ambient Light is a Similar Wavelength

 

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Et in Arcadia ego
Follow Autumn's Red Lanterns
 
 A new video illustrating the use of the Russian spindle is up on You Tube.
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheDancingGoats
 
The compromise Russians that I make have been very popular and are used
by folks that make long trips on busses and trains. The spindles are very compact and portable and by practice, all of the action stays close to your personal space.

An Ancient Tool Form

 As a veteran festival craftsman, my inspiration & muse is derived from Tolkien’s vision of rural England during Victorian times and his nostalgia for fabled lost Arcadia

 My heirloom items are handmade, recycled, rescued, repurposed & lovingly crafted and finished. A Maker knows that Arcadia is not lost...
Arcadia Reclaimed

 You Tube, certainly opens up a new world for the traditional crafts & my videos are a way of giving back some of the things I have learned. A convergent synthesis seems to be evolving on the craft spaces within You Tube…and the Maker community is sharing an ever rising instructional set of tools for Journeyperson Makers and those that dream of becoming…

 Through You Tube, Navajo craftsperson, Clara Sherman helped me learn the principles of the use and to deduce the construction of this wonderful form of spinning wheel. Though her hands are now still, her voice and gentle native wisdom still speaks…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Sherman &
www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_p7OIghMVw

Recently, Greasemoth's wonderful & amazing time lapse of her use of the Navajo Spindle added to the ability to understand how to utilize this fascinating wheel type…The thing I find fascinating about the time lapses, hers, mine and others, are the long cycle cadences of motion that are not apparent in real time. Good job Coral!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN0lf3Tdss8

Who says that we cannot reach the Shire or Fabled Arcadia? That it is not real…Not me, not Coral & certainly not Clara who never left…
Aldo Loved the Autumn...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Imaginarium Forge is the ETSY Shop BLOG of The Dancing Goats:

New Videos on YouTube: Learning to Draft & Use of the Nostepinne

 Our Folk Ways Retreat will feature intensive hands on Northern Folk School style instruction with a varied palette of instructors.
TheDancingGoats At the Waterloo Sheep Festival
At the All Missouri Spin In

Free instructional videos on our YouTube channel are designed as an example of our classes and to help with the beginning 'First Principles’ of various craft practices…Often the only barrier to becoming a Maker: Learning the Basics…That's 1st Principles
The Drop Spindle Dance

 Become a Maker, with The Dancing Goats traditional Folk Ways Tools & Instruction.
Russian Spindles with Fiber

 The first two lessons are posted on YouTube…The first of many…

 Learning to Draft: Drafting Fiber is a core First Principle in Spinning of all types…

Use of the Nostepinne: A cool and ancient tool, the Nostepinne makes Center pull balls of yarn…Any old smooth stick with parallel sides will do, but I like for a tool to have style & be useful at the same time…
Long John Silver's Nostepinne for Craft Yarns
 

Monday, September 24, 2012

TheDancingGoats.com at the Chautauqua Festival at Chillicothe MO…September 8 & 9, 2012

This year there was a Sheep to Shawl Demonstration in the Tradional Artisans Compound...From shorn fiber to finished Shawl in 2 days of effort by dedicated fiber artisans.
 
Loom and Swawl:
 
The Weaver works his ancient magic…
 
The spun fleece is placed on a bobbin in a shuttle on the loom and the weaver works an amazing pattern into the cloth…
 
A lovely Shawl...
 
From the Imaginarium Forge:
There was a time, when every piece of fabric was hand spun…That time will come again…
Every sail on every ship…Every garment…The tents that kept out the night, hand spun all.
The spindle in all its forms is one of the oldest tools. It will probably be with us at the end of all things.
When, every sail on every ship…Every garment…The tents that keep out the night, will be once again, hand spun all.
 

The Dancing Goats at the Chautauqua Festival at Chillicothe MO…September 8 & 9, 2012
This year there was a Sheep to Shawl Demonstration...From shorn fiber to finished Shawl in 2 days of effort by dedicated fiber artisans.
Finished Shawl in the next post!
 
A washed wool fleece is put through the various processes to prepare for the final step…Weaving…
Baa Baa Brownish Sheep!
 
A Picker does the initial loosening of the fleece and helps get rid of much of the vegetable matter
The Working End of the Picker
 
The fiber is then ready for a pass or three through the hand drum carder…
A Carder Aligns the Fibers for Spinning
 

A pass through a DIZ is the final step prior to spinning…Usual hole sizes are 1/8, 1/4 & 3/8ths inches or 2, 3 & 5MM & is up to the taste of the Spinner for roving size.
A DIZ has a small hole to pass fiber through
The spinners use a wheel to turn the processed fiber into yarn, which is then placed on a shuttle for the weaving.
One of many types of spinning wheel
 
See the Loom & finished Shawl in the next Imaginarium BLOG post!
 
 

 

The Imaginarium Forge is the The Dancing Goats ETSY Shop BLOG!
The Dancing Goats at the Chautauqua Festival at Chillicothe MO…September 8 & 9, 2012

Festival Time

Part of the traditional craft village, we demonstrated traditional fiber tools while the rest of the fiber folks worked at the Sheep to Shawl demonstration. Weavers, Potters, Broom Maker, Decoy Carvers, Dulcimer maker, Basket Makers and a Story Teller…Makers all!
Chautauqua, Chillicothe MO
 
Become a Maker with tools and instructions through The Dancing Goats, Folk Ways Retreat
Show Time!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


The Spiral Dance of the Chimney Swift:
At the World Sheep Festival Campground
Bethel MO:
Two Videos on You Tube of the Swift's Evening Sky Dance


 Natural History phenomenon fascinated all of the great naturalists and close observation of nature changed them. Leopold, Krutch, Muir, Darwin, Thoreau…Riveted by the natural world and Gaia’s vanishing wonders.

 So are we & our travels to the regional festivals always present opportunities for observing the natural world…
A Quiet Moment after Festival's Close
 

 Chimney Swifts, along with all of their avian kind are ancient creatures and their counter clockwise spiral stretches into ‘The Dark and Backward Abysm of Time’, to quote the bard.

 I’m sure they do not care, but they are my favorite little bird & always make sure not to disturb their nests in any dwelling…CO detectors are a good idea if you cohabit with them…

 The colony at the campground at the Bethel World Sheep Festival is the largest I have ever seen and rivals the spectacle at Carlsbad…As best figure, they always start to gather around the time of the boundary between Civil and Nautical Twilight…That’s around the time the first stars begin to shine in dark sky locations. Several thousand of them live in one old school chimney.

 The show lasts for about 15 minutes and they swirl round and round in a big social visit before diving into their vertical stack of a home…My own little colony of Swifts seem to get more vocal as the time draws near to migrate…

 I have looked into the eyes of a couple of them I have saved in the past & there is a brightly burning intelligence and spirit bound up in a very small and delicate package…

 Where did they live before we came along?
What are they saying to each other?
Do they look forward to their winter sojourn?
Where do they go in the winter?
What is up with the Counter Clockwise Spiral?

 The unanswered and unanswerable questions in natural history are always more fascinating than the things we have answered…

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Http://TheDancingGoats.com at The World Sheep Festival
Bethel MO September 1 & 2 2012

Symbiosis:
 
How long have we been partners and lived in Symbiosis with the creatures we call farm animals?
Much further back than anyone currently believes is my guess.
The mysteries surrounding the varied forms of plant and animal domestication that human kind performed in deep prehistory, keep getting pushed back by new discoveries…
 
Shep working the flock
 

The different varieties of the Shepherd Dog is one example. To see them work is a wonder to behold & is also one of the reasons we like the  regional Sheep and Wool festivals…There is usually a competition to see which dogs perform the ancient rituals and commands the best…
Time to Go Where Shep & Shepherd desire
 

Perform they do…The dogs in line waiting their turn are always more riveted by the competition than anyone else there & watch the moves of their fellows with thoughtful contemplation…If that sounds far fetched…Go watch them some time…
 
Bunnies: Another Favorite...
 
A little orange bunny: The hit of the show...
 
Bunnies, especially the angoras, who lived in the tents of the middle east, seem to almost like their confinement…Their coat and wool is exceptionally soft.
 
Confinement is Safety!
 
 

 
The Dancing Goats at The Bethel Missouri World Sheep Festival: Visit Http://thedancinggoats.com
 
Spinning Tools come in a Cornucopia of Forms
 
Preparations at one time were targeted at Festival Season which starts for us on Labor Day Weekend. The Internet makes Festival Season lots of fun…I pick only the best shows to go back to & have strict criteria set for our return to any venue…For everything else, look for us on ETSY & EBAY...
 
 
The Distaff & The Bowl: Necessary Accessories
 
My target for inventory is around 500 items to fit in a 10 by 10 space…My customers like variety and Spinning & Weaving tools have been made in an amazing array of forms throughout endless millennia …We combine the old with the new in our line of spinning, weaving and knitting tools and see traditional tools forms as a place to start…No rules…Just Guidelines! Much like Captain Barbosa’s Pirate Code…
Striking a Match to the Smoldering Fire in the Mind...
 
 
Learning to make things…To become a maker…That is what we help people do at shows…Demonstrating and teaching the ancient traditional craft practices based on the Northern Folk school tradition is what the TheDancingGoats Folk Ways Retreat is all about…




Monday, September 3, 2012


The Dancing Goats at the Bethel Missouri World Sheep Festival:
 
The Start to a Muddy Weekend...

After the summer's drought, the rains of Isaac are welcome in the Midwest, even at the expense of festival time…The odd summer has been disturbing and fatal for many creatures and plants & whoever has made it this far has been given a reprieve. My newest time lapse covers about ten minutes at sunset on August 31st 2012 as one of the northern bands of Isaac’s remains rotated in overhead: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheDancingGoats

The little community of Bethel Missouri, annually hosts our favorite festival…We are veteran craft show vendors and of the scores of shows we have participated in, The World Sheep Festival is one of the best. As a maker of Spinning & Weaving tools, we look for shows that are fiber related and are not too big and not too small…A Goldilocks conundrum if you will. The World Sheep Festival is JUST RIGHT…
The Table is Set...

A 10 by 10 space is all we require at festival and we will demonstrate traditional craft tools & deploy about 500 items…I call the first step of configuring the booth, ‘ Setting the Table’…
Find the Poet’s name at the end of the video and use it on our ETSY Site: http://www.etsy.com/people/TheDancingGoats
For a 10% discount on any item…

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Dancing Goats Folk Ways Retreat:

Oak Knoll Farm OKF is a small holding in the heart of Little Egypt...OKF is named after the long closed commercial operation, Oak Knoll Nursery & has two mature Chestnut Oaks planted long ago by Eddie the Nurseryman at the top of the knoll.

OKF in Little Egypt

The Folk Retreat will feature intensive weekends Friday through Sundays...Visiting and resident Maker Artisans will practice their respective crafts and retreat participants will be able to 'Learn or Enhance' their Maker Skills...

A Specialty: Wood turning

A varied palette of Maker Artisans: Wood turning, Woodcarving, Hot Glass, Cold Glass, Nantucket Basket Making, Hand Thrown Raku Ceramics, Appalachian Broom Making, Spinning, Weaving, Rug Hooking, Knitting & Found Object Modification

The Forge of the Minds Eye!

Based on the North Country Retreat, students will become Makers working alongside Journey person Artisans...

Varied Studios, Including Our Specialty Craft Tents



Long days...That do not seem like it...Time flows differently in 'The Maker Zone'!

Watch our You Tube Channel, TheDancingGoats for informative videos, lessons and our activities as we build the Folk Retreat: Http://TheDancingGoats.com

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


A Wood-Turners Muse:
A Matched Boxwood Pair


Of all of the thousands of odds and ends I have handled and sold over the last 30 years these 2 little Apothecary Spoons are among the most treasured.
Finial Detail

Probably used in a pharmacy in Victorian England...They are too odd, broken and arcane to have much monetary value, but look at the craftsman work in their making...

Broken but not damaged!

Boxwood & Lathe Turned & the little bowls are carved.

A Delicate Touch in the Making
I have been turning for 30 years and cannot produce items of this skill level at a marketable price.
Is a plastic measuring spoon a better alternative? Perhaps so, perhaps not…These items always provide an example of what to work for in my turnings…Quality effort that was probably just a Journeyman effort on the part of the turner that made these items. They are items I come back to and aspire to…

Like Tolkien, I feel we have lost something in our headlong rush to mass produce and consume…Perhaps these little spoons were in use in the shire?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Visit TheDancingGoats on ETSY:
Unique Turned Fiber Tools in Native American Hardwoods

The formula for a Russian Spindle includes a Wood Turning Tool that is simply amazing.
Russian Spindle Ingredients


The English Oval Skew from Robert Sorby has cut the turning time on these complex spindles in half…

 No tool is probably responsible for turning more turners away from the lathe than the Skew…When things go wrong with this tool, they become the object example of what not to do…& most turnings on the bad end of a Skew mistake do not survive. It's Oval profile makes for a smooth surface on a long cut...


 I will use it nonetheless & its application drives all other thoughts from my mind while in use…Very much of a Zen like experience when used well...There is really no other way to make a cut across the grain of a burl and leave a mirror smooth finish. The Burl in the Photo is spinning at 1100RPM and is stopped with a 1/4000th’s second exposure…This is one photo from the Time Lapse Sequences previously posted on You Tube!