Sunday, December 21, 2014

The House of Rain Book Review

TheImaginariumForge, is the ETSY Shop BLOG of TheDancingGoats…

House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest… by Craig Childs
A Review
One of the essential American Archaeology titles in TheDancingGoats Library
Chaco Canyon Complex
Staring through enigma’s lens. Stand above Chaco Wash and look down on Pueblo Bonito… Stand on top of Chimney Rock, look at Huerfano Mesa, Dzil Na'oodilii to the Navajo & you are looking at the signaling station to let Chaco know of the great 19 year cycle of the Moon. Roads that run straight for hundreds of miles. Construction techniques identified without plausible conjecture as to how they were carried out. Fajada Butte's Great Calendar…Enigmas all…
Craig knows what the archaeologists have forgotten. There were
many more people in the Southwest than is widely acknowledged, time is deep and current
explanations are too simple. Not hindered by the vicious politics of archaeological academia
Craig asks questions that others dare not. His answers are neither political nor archaeological.
They are sociological conjecture supported by compelling logic…
The best one so far by the wild man of the desert… ( )

Unbelievable Masonry Techniques
All of this complex stone work was covered with Adobe. What aesthetic could account for this? 

Odd Alignments
Windows where none should dwell...except the Sun or the Moon at season's tide change...

Kivas Everywhere

No wood within a hundred miles...No water...The wood from the wrecked buildings was used as firewood by the early archaeologists...Was the region around the great lunar observatory at Chimney Rock also the source of the thousands of  logs for the Kiva's and Pueblo's?  Once every 19 years the moon passes through Chimney Rock's the twin towers...
A remarkable event...What changes did it trigger?
Did it correlate with similar observations at the great lunar monitor on Fajada Butte?

Friday, November 21, 2014

A List of the Colonial Trades

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Miles to Go and A Library to Build:

Maker notes for my students...
A List of the Colonial Trades at the End...
·         The time it takes to learn to be a journey person Maker is significant…
·         It requires an extensive library that targets colonial skill sets from the 16 & 1700’s

Basket Reed for Besoms
Study and Practice:
-Build 1st Principle Skills
-Read about a chosen trade
-Try a simple project
-Build on success
-Challenge your skill set every day

Finnish Landrace and Shetland Fleece Ready to Card
In an extremely local economy the ability to practice a trade is invaluable.

The Woodworker and Allied Trades, Leather Worker an Allied Trades
and Spinning & Weaving embodied a significant proportion of daily activity
during Colonial times.
Anyone practicing these skilled trades found themselves valued members of their society.

Our Fleece Dyed with Cushing Acid Dye

Pick a trade...
Build a library...
Practice a Craft...
For the World Made by Hand
Trades in Colonial America during the 16/1700’s
·         Apothecary - acted as pharmacist, doctor, dentist, and general storekeeper
·         Basket Maker
·         Barber - cut hair; also was a surgeon
·         Beekeeper: Wax & Honey
·         Blacksmith-Armorer - made things from iron and repaired weapons
·         Bookbinder
·         Breeches maker/ Tailor
·         Brick maker
·         Broom Maker
·         Cabinetmaker - made and repaired furniture
·         Carpenter-joiner - built interiors of ships and houses
·         Chandler - made candles
·         Coach maker - made coaches and wagons
·         Cooper - made containers of wood, such as barrels
·         Cutler - made, sold, and repaired knives and scissors
·         Distiller- Medicine/Fuel/Spirits
·         Dressmaker
·         Doctor
·         Farmer
·         Farrier - shoed horses and acted as a veterinarian
·         Goldsmith - made hollow ware (bowls, cups, and vases) and jewelry
·         Gunsmith
·         Colonial Trade Craft
·         Hatter
·         Harness Maker
·         Leather dresser
·         Milliner - made dresses and hats and sold accessories
·         Music Teacher
·         Orchard/Soft Fruit Farmer
·         Pewter/Tinsmith
·         Printer - published the newspaper, sold books and other printed materials, and often served as postmaster
·         Rope maker
·         Saddler - made saddles, harnesses, and other leather items
·         Shoemaker/ Cobbler
·         Silversmith
·         Spinner
·         Tavern Keeper - provided meals, drinks, entertainment, and lodging
·         Tinker
-         Tinsmith
·         Tool Maker
·         Treen Maker, Spoons & Kitchen Items
·         Weaver
·         Wheelwright - made wheels and carts
·         Wigmaker
·         Whitesmith - made things of iron and steel, then polished them to make them look like silver


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Broom Making at the Ozark Fiber Fling

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Join Us for a fun weekend at The Ozark Fiber Fling: Classes in the Fiber Arts including my class on tying the Hearth or Welsh Hand Fasting Besom!
Finished Besoms at Festival

Harvest of the Broom Corn is done by hand as no machine process can save the
sorghum fiber used for making the Brooms...An added benefit  comes form saving the Broom Corn seeds...Some to grow and the Chickens go nuts for the Sorghum Seeds...

The seeds are stripped off with a comb as soon as they are gathered....
Wait too long and the fiber becomes brittle and will break up when combing the seeds..... Corn Harvest is usually around Labor day weekend in the southern reaches of Zone 6 in Little Egypt...
Hung up to dry, the fibers will turn golden yellow and be ready for tying into brooms...
A Festival Favorite..Broom Making
Learn and demonstrate this skill and you will be invited to more festivals than you can possibly attend

Laying or tabling the corn is done after the fibers turn green...
A pastoral scene at Oak Knoll Farm...The Shetland and Finnish Landrace Sheep on Paddock 2, The big old goofy Maremma Dog,
The Broom Corn & Sunflower patch...

Broom Corn harvested and Sunflowers ready to dry for the chickens...

See you at The Ozark Fiber Fling!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Shearing Days at Oak Knoll Farm

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The ultimate goal of a decade of conversation comes to pass at Oak Knoll Farm!
Shearing Days!
Winter's Fleece Ready to Shear
On the stand and some extra attention from the Sheep Whisperers...A chance to look them over and make sure of their health...Trim the little hooves and blanket shear the fleece.
Dori the Finnish Landrace Baby Getting the Full Treatment
5 Shetland & 4 Finnish Landrace Sheep make their home with us...Fili is a rare Finn gelding that survived the procedure long ago and has come to live with us. His son Kili is always by his side...
They are very gentle natured...

Finn Wethers, Fili & Kili

 What would two stressful days be without a treat of the beloved Alfalfa pellets?
The secret to successful management...Lets us lead them and they never need to be chased...
All Shorn and Looking for a Treat
 I shear using a technique called the Blanket & leave about an inch of fleece on them.
Don't want them getting sunburned or cold when the weather changes.
After Two Long Days & Headed back to the Fold

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Learn the Drop Spindle Park and Draft Method

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Learn to use the Drop Spindle
Festival Spinning: Waterloo IL
The Drop Spindle is the common spindle form seen at festival and is an effective spinning tool. In the early anthropology texts, it is only seen in North Africa in the valley of the Nile, so I like to call this form, ‘Spin Like an Egyptian’…
I have found that many folks have trouble learning to spin with these & my new You Tube videos show the pathway I teach for learning this spindle form.
Park & Draft…
Do one thing at a time, till both are mastered, then combine into the graceful fluid motions that accomplished Drop Spinners affect…
A good example of a 1st Principles lesson
Meet the Denizens of Oak Knoll Farm!

Bear the Maremma, LGD and one of his charges: Vincent the hardware store orphan...

We are a No-Kill Farm and take in sheep that would otherwise be taken to market.
A Wether is a neutered Male sheep...They can not breed or make lambs, so most folks don't keep them...They are gentle natured and very affectionate pets, that share their very fine fleece once a year...

Dori & Oin the Finnish Landrace Wethers
Dori & Oin are named after Dwarves in the Hobbit and are fine companions...Dori is our fuzzy Oak Knoll Farm ambassador...I call him the Therapy Sheep and he melts the hardest heart.
Mac the Shetland/BFL Cross Wether
Mac knows how to open gates and creates all sorts of trouble...Can not stay mad at him though!
Join us this year at our festivals...MOPACA at the end of March, then, Waterloo Sheep and Wool on April 12...Waterloo IL...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Spinning: Plying with the Support Spindle

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When it is -15 degrees...It's time to catch up on making some Folk Ways lessons.
Winter's Cloak and the Road Less Traveled by...
 Plying with the Supported Spindle is our newest YT and one that has been requested often.
Spindles & Bowls at FIBER U!
The Spindles of the World class I teach is very popular and the bottom whorl support spindle is the easiest to learn and master for singles and plying.
My Hand Turned Spindles
All that is required to make the hand spun in the photo is a Tibetan Spindle or any of the supported spindles and a Nostepinne...A small bag, these tools, some roving and any spot will do for hours of Making...
Hand spun and over-dyed Shetland and Finnish Landrace Wool.