Saturday, November 23, 2013

Appalachian Hearth Broom (Besom) Making:

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 Appalachian Hearth Broom (Besom) Making:...The oldest technique for making brooms is to me the most elegant...A couple of simple tools, simple materials and easy to learn techniques and lots of practice are all that is required.
The Broom Maker's Tying Frame is available in TheDancingGoats ETSY Store...
As taught at the Ozark Fiber Fling
 
Starting from scratch by growing broom corn or any Sorghum will strengthen the appreciation for the work required to produce a quantity of brooms by hand...
We use simple tools and materials to make durable brooms
 
In a World Made by Hand, the Craft person, Maker holds a special place and
will never want for food nor shelter
Learn this ancient hand craft with our three part You Tube lessons.
...
             Lesson 1 of 3: Introduction and Basics...
                 Lesson 2 of 3: Bind and Weave the Besom
Lesson 3 of 3: Bind off and Trim
...
 
The You Tube Lessons from TheDancingGoats are my way of giving back some of the great lessons and practices others have shared with me...For those that prefer to learn in the privacy of their redoubt: Enjoy
 
If you can afford to attend a retreat or seminar, by all means do so...Learning to make things and becoming a Maker is Good Medicine in lots of ways...
Help make 'The Lost Arts' become, Found Arts...
 
Learn and demonstrate this craft and you will find yourself an
invited demonstrating crafts person at Festival after Festival...
 
Read: World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler
A poignant look at why becoming a maker might be a real good idea...A maker will never go hungry nor want for shelter...in a World Made by Hand...

 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Meet the New Shetland Sheep at Oak Knoll Farm

Meet the New Friends at Oak Knoll Farm
 
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The Shetlands of Oak Knoll Farm...
 
My name is Charlene...I am in charge

 
They all have unique personalities and like different things
 

My name is Precious...I am in charge
 
3 Lambs of the year came with the flock
 
My name is Summer...I would like a taste of that corn if you please?
 
Annabelle is the daughter of Precious and still depends on mom...
 
My name is Annabelle: Wherever everyone else is I am happy
 
One there is always one! Mac the Wether is a cross between a Blue Face Leicester dad and
a Shetland Moorit mom...Wherever the girls like to go...I'm happy...
 
My name is Mac and trouble and adventure are my middle names...


 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Shetland Sheep at Oak Knoll Farm

The Ancient Shetland Breed
 
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We added Shetland Sheep to our Matrix at Oak Knoll Farm...Ancient and primitive, the Shetland Color range is amazing...Kept by the Vikings
 
The Little Shetland Flock
 
Shetland Wool is our choice for teaching hand spinning.
The staple is long. The Wool is soft. The Sheep are very sweet natured...They all have names
 
Building Their Winter Coats
 
Look for our HandSpinners Delight packages next spring in our ETSY Store.
 
 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Broom Corn for the Ozark Fiber Fling

Getting the Broom Corn Ready
 
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37.932681,-91.359129
 
Related the the Sorghum family, broom corn revolutionized broom making in the late 1700's...Heather and Birch twigs made most of the brooms prior to the 1790's
Broom Corn grows up to 10 feet tall...
 
A tall plant with a very durable fiber...After the fibers turn green, they are ready to lay...I leave them like this for about a week.
Laying the Corn
 
 The time to take the seeds off is right after they are cut...
Broom Corn ready for the comb
 
 
Combing the Seeds is a very labor intensive process...
 Getting the Fiber Ready for Broom Making


Fibers and seeds drying on the skirting frame
Harvest...Nature's Amazing Bounty
 
Join The Dancing Goats at the Ozark Fiber Fling and learn how to make Brooms the ancient way with a tying frame and some twine.
Go To: http://www.ozarkfiberfling.com/

An added bonus to the Broom Making Class will be some of the seed in the photo...
Grow and process your own Broom Corn and gain a appreciation for this ancient hand craft...
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fiber U MOPACA Event

Fiber U MOPACA Event
 
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37.678989,-92.653767
MOPACA, http://www.mopaca.org/ hosts an annual learning event
called Fiber U
The Dancing Goats at FIBER U!
 
Classes cover the gamut of learning opportunities in the fiber arts and the vendor selection provides the Tools and Fiber...
Making Tools for Fiber Folks is what we are about...
 
Of the hundred or so crafts shows we have participated in, FIBER U is one of the best.
From the organization, schedule, food, sales & location, FIBER U fits the Goldilocks criteria
of being Just Right!
Bowls for Support Spinners
 
Dedicated and New Makers attended classes and came away with items newly made by hand...
Tools for Makers
 
In a 'World Made by Hand', Makers will never want for food nor shelter...
Learning the ancient hand crafts creates a satisfaction like no other activity I know of.
Read 'World Made by Hand', by James Howard Kunstler to inspire your inner Maker...
 
Read Something, Learn Something, Make Something...Every Day.

 
 
 
 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Last Two Finished

The Last Two Finished

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Look for these bowls and others on our ETSY site:

The Mirromere...

The Last Two Bowls from the giant walnut beam are finished and
will be posted on our ETSY site.  Some of the most beautiful wood that
I have had the privilege to work with…

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Last Two

The Last Two
 
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Turning Burls, Figuring and Knots at my lathes is the ultimate expression of my art and muse.

The Atlas & Delta Lathes

I call the patterns that emerge, Gaia’s Fractal Tapestry, patterns woven in the secret dark that only the lathe can tell. In the lore of my Powhatan ancestors, everything is alive and has a spirit…Spirits that can be heard by listening with the right senses.
 

Bowls Ready for Turquoise Inlay
 
Locked away in the dark, waiting for the hand to unveil and convey their message.
Beauty…
Turquoise, fallen shard of the sky, embedded in a jewelers matrix in a place not expected.




Gaia's Fractal Tapestry
 
The two Walnut Burl bowls are the last ones from a giant beam that came from a wreck of an ancient barn…A Walnut 6 by 6, 12 feet long. Iron heavy, Only metal cutting band saw blades would cut it up…
Turned into 5 dozen bowls that never left more than one or two on our tables at a time…

Monday, June 24, 2013


Making and the Foundation Pyramid
 
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Every successful working artisan I have known conducts their business in surprisingly similar ways and that practice is what I call “The Foundation Pyramid”…
 Supplies
 
The Metaphor of the pyramid’s stable base is supported by more than one leg geometrically & whether its 3 or 4 sided, those aspects, when combined, add up to more than the sum of the parts…
 Result of the Muse...
 
A 3 sided pyramid suits my ideas of symmetry.
Making, Teaching & Selling Supplies keep me busy and constitute the example that I share with aspiring Artisans…
Classes for the Aspiring Artisan...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cosmic Irony: The Most Difficult Photo

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Just put my Geo Tags into Google Maps to zoom in on the location!
 
As a dedicated practitioner of Luminous Landscape style photography, long hours are spent sighting, framing, planning and travel for a photographic window that lasts for about 15 minutes at dawn and dusk

Photographic Hunting Ground...
 
The photo taken at mesa arch captures the holy grail of desert photography, Lemon, Orange and Purple in lurid grandeur… The 50 other photographers at the location that morning left the experience something less than satisfying.  38.388007,-109.864537
Mesa Arch at Mid Summer Sunrise
 
Best and favorite though are not the same. 37.937378,-107.811756…Humor in a photo, especially Irony is an exceptionally difficult assignment …I found what they hide in Telluride quite by accident…Neither gold, nor herbs, but a little dog next to a sign…Of the tens of thousands of photos taken over decades, this is one of my favorites.
Layers of Irony...
 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Natural History Study: Swallowtail Butterflies
Open the Pages of Wonder
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Http://TheDancingGoats.com

If you have a budding naturalist or want to create one, I know of no better way to start than with the Bronze Fennel Plant. I have kept them as Garden Sentinels for 3 decades
Hiding Among the Fronds
 
Their foliage alone deserves garden space, but they hold a secret treasure: They are an integral part of the metamorphosis cycle of the Swallowtail Butterfly.
 
Fennel & Butterflies...
The giant fliers lay their eggs on the fennel branches and the caterpillars will consume much of the plant in a good butterfly year. The plant always recovers from this service to Gaia in no time.
 
Intricate Fractal Patterns
The caterpillars grow with amazing speed then go off to hide to await the final transformation into the most amazing and beautiful butterfly.
 

The Moss Rose
 
Bronze Fennel is perennial and once started will spread by seed & are easy to dig and share with others
 
Rosa Mundi
Old World Own Root Roses, Garlic Chives & Bronze Fennel are the three primary legs of my Companion Garden Pyramid.

 
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Ecology of the Honey Bee: Spring Nectar Flow
 
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The Hive is a dynamic living single organism made of up many parts. An ancient part of Gaia’s biosphere, they help multiply Gaia’s bounty through their tireless efforts…
Our most active Hive
 
We periodically open the hives for inspection to look for signs of trouble… 
Careful and Quiet Action
 
Queens in waiting…
 
New Royalty
 
A little sugar water and the bees forget about the big slow primates…
 
Looks OK
 
Lots and lots of very active bees and the supers are full of honey…
 
A Long Held Goal & One Shard of
a Dream Remembered...