Posted by: bschutzgruber | July 21, 2014

Waulking and Art Fair and more…. oh my!

July has been a month filled with one event after another!  

Starting with demonstrating in the Textiles Tent at the Saline Celtic Festival which combines my 2 artistic loves…. stories and weaving.

IMG_20140712_090647_303    IMG_20140712_090704_412

The weather was sunny and relatively cool for a Michigan summer so attendance was good for the festival.  Mary Underwood and CJ Kohoyda-Inglis organized the Textile Tent filling it with fabulous fiber folk so besides my weaving demonstration, there were members of The Spinners Flock demonstrating different forms of spinning and knitting.

One of highlights of our tent is ‘Waulking the Tweed’ with Frances Acar leading us in song.  ‘Waulking’ is the Scottish Gaelic word for fulling.  Woven woolen fabric needs to be ‘fulled’ when it comes off the loom.  Pressure, warmth and moisture creates tiny pockets of air that lift up the woolen fibers making the surface softer, thicker and more weather resistant.  Before the days of machines this was done by hand with friends and family in a community event – each bringing fabric that needed to be fulled.  If there was not a table long enough for the fabric, doors were often taken off hinges and set on the ground or saw horses for the work surface.  Songs were sung to set the pace, rhythm and coordinate movement.  By measuring the woolen fabric after every 2 or 3 songs controlled shrinkage can be achieved.  The songs are call-and-response with the leader singing the verses and everyone else singing the refrain.  Many of the songs were about how wonderful, intelligent or handsome a husband/lover is OR how that husband/lover is a no good rogue and lowlife.  (Some things haven’t changed over the centuries!)

Right on the heels of Celtic Festival came the Ann Arbor Art Fairs.
For 4 days more than 1,000 artists sprawl over 27 blocks of Ann Arbor as 4 separate nationally recognised art fairs are going on simultaneously.  The weather was fantastic and nearly 500,000 people came over the 4 days.  My work, along with 15 other guild members, was part of the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild booth in the State Street Area Art Fair.  It certainly ‘took a village’ or in this case a guild (16 sellers and 20 volunteers) – to build, man, and take down our booth.

IMG_20140715_092843_564  IMG_20140715_092854_482

IMG_20140715_095055_809   IMG_5885 felt jacket silk purses small purses  IMG_5878 IMG_5843 IMG_5838

And finally…. the month closes out with the National Storytelling Network Conference in Mesa, Arizona filled with master classes, keynotes, workshops, storytelling concerts and swaps.  Here I’ll connect with storytellers from across the country and help with the 8th season of the Fringe Performances.




  1. Thank you for the video and explanation on the waulking. I’d heard about this but never seen it done.

  2. […] posts (Doin’ Demos, Weaving at Cobblestone Farm, and Waulking and Art Fair and more) I’ve talked about how I enjoy demonstrating weaving, felt making, and other fiber […]

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