Celebrating Highland Women. (traditional songs and doll making). Sat 15th November, 10.30 – 5.30pm. Asheville, price $65.
A day to celebrate the archetype of Highland women – ancestors from the marginal Celtic lands of Scotland, perched at the very edge of the Atlantic.
A guided meditation will take us to the most westerly lands, perched at the very edge of the Atlantic where views open up to huge vistas where the sea meets the sky (a very sacred space in celtic belief) and the concept of sacred thresholds or thin places.
In the afternoon we will begin by learning a waulking song in Gaelic, these are the songs the women sang as they worked. When tweed comes off the loom it’s stiff and the weave can be quite loose, after being soaked in stale urine (which helped fix the dye and partially soften the cloth they women then sewed the tweed together so it formed one continual circle. They worked together swapping gossip as the worked the wet cloth, in effect felting it – reducing it’s size by slapping it down on a table or hard surface which shrunk it making it shrinking it and making it softer. The cloth was always worked in a clockwise direction and as it was unlucky to sing the same song twice – songs were very long with lots of verses.
In the afternoon of we will make our own ‘Highland women’ needle felted doll, while all art materials and tweed (not tartan) will be provided you are encouraged to bring small personal and meaningful embellishments. We’ll combing earthly colors, incorporate elements of Celtic spirituality and make our doll a tweed cloak.
Articles on waulking, tweed & links to listen to waulking songs:
Making Harris tweed: From Shearing to Stamping (click on photo for short film)
Molloy & Sons. Donegal Tweed Makers, Eire. (click on photo for short film)
http://www.waulk.org/index.asp?pageid=176756 (including information on Harris Tweed)
http://vimeo.com/20467842 Waulking song & video