Saturday, 19 July 2008

Woolcraft at Galgael at the Glasgow River Festival

whilst we write up the notes, check this:
our photo album

and a wee video

we found also this:
Thanks coal2k for a picture of Sunday's main attraction: Mary at the wheel

The Galgael were as always the best show on the fair - everybody agrees on that!
The 9 wool crafters women took their turns over Saturday and Sunday and it was great to talk to people, make contac
ts, kindle interest, and get new ideas for kids crafts and wool crafts.
What sold most were of course the small wee things, such as the felted bracelet. We did not selll any of the rugs as we had hoped - but then this is maybe not the kind of scene where people want to spent that kind of m
oney, esp in our current credit crunch climate. The more important it would be to get people to spin their own wool and make their own clothes, weaving or knitting? Knitting wool for sure was not being sold - so we need to find better ways of 'educating' the public, as one team member put it.

Making your own rag rugs - when Flora brought hers on Sunday - seemed to jog the older people's memories and the younger ones got interested, too, as it means recycling and make new out of old.

The definite crowd pleaser was the spinning demos. Surely every visitor who went with a camera through the tent must have one or more pictures of Mary or Laryna (or one of the other girls) spinning the ancient tune. And indeed, like tune it seemed - that action of the wheel turning, and the fluff transforming into thin thread: people of all ages stood transfixed and like hypnotised as they watched and listened as the wheel turned...

The other popular action was kiddies crafts: be it making felt balls or weaving bracelets on cardboard or having a go on a one of the little looms, or the big frame - again this ancient movement of fingers and threads on looms, and the creating of some semblance of a cloth, reaches very deep in everyones soul, regardless of age, race or gender!

Next year we must have a full length strip on the big frame loom again: as this is most popular with the kids, because - not only in actual fact is it easier than the little frames, but it just feels also so much more 'real' on the upright frame!

As said before: Hazel's bracelets sold well - but even more so sold her cards which she had to cramp in at the wool craft stall on Saturday, as there was no other space in the tent. On Sunday she had more space than to herself. It was a great encouragement for her!

Laryna's mobiles went, too, but more because the customers were connected with German crafts, where these things are more custom. Again: do we need to educate folks? How can people feel that a mobile out of fine light colourful wool is so much more heartwarming for young and old than anything plastic? As the mobiles are a little bit of work they can not be sold too cheaply (Laryna reduced them already from £12 to £8), the best route is really this: workshops for the mothers so they can make them themsleves!

We hope that we will get some commissions for workshops and demos out of our presence at the River Festival. And maybe even a few more craft-skilled women to take turns in delivering them as a pride for Galgael community and for themselves?

Next on our agenda, and in preparation also for next years Riverfest is teaming up with the Gaelic Waulking Song group and have a bash at proper waulking the cloth in ture Gaelic style!
Before that... making more of the little things that people can afford to buy, including the also popular bead craft-kits,........ and advertising our bigger products, such as the rugs and handspun knitting wool?

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