Saturday, September 4, 2010

Whimmy Diddles & Weaving . . .

Since the camera's charger left Colorado yesterday and the battery is so low I thought I'd take a look back at what was happening around this time last year.  Which, appropriately enough was the Guild's Annual Heritage Days held at the Folk Art Center!

Alwin Wagener forging a steel Whimmy Diddle.

We'll definitely be going to Heritage Days again next weekend in a couple of weeks (the 18th & 19th).  It's a weekend of that much Free Fun for Everyone!  This year will be the Guild's 30th Annual Heritage Days at the Folk Art Center ~ so it has been a major occasion since the Guild and the community dedicated the Folk Art Center thirty years ago!  

From March through December the Folk Art Center's lobby is filled with Guild members demonstrating and explaining their craft work.  They are some of the best interpretive folks around!  Hard working and inspired craft people that love their work and are happy to tell you anything you'd like to know about it.

Liz Spear Demonstrating hand weaving
(Pat and I are handwoven addicts.  We're also, um, "string challenged"!)

It's fascinating to watch.  Pat and I are jewelers and we work with our hands in such a different way.  I'm always amazed and can't help wondering:

How does she make her hands and feet do that?!?

For Heritage Days the focus is on traditional Appalachian handcrafts.  The auditorium is filled with even more demonstrators, and the hillside hosts sheep shearers, bee keepers, and lots more.  There's great traditional music and clogging and above all, there is the 30th Annual World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition!

Sandra Rowland's Childrens' Activities

Making Corn Husk Dolls

There's Great Traditional Music


And above all, there is the Annual World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition!!!

What's a Gee Haw?  And what's a Whimmy Diddle???  Well, it's an old old toy.  It doesn't get much simpler than a notched stick with a propeller on one end and rubbing the notches with another stick.  You can make the propeller gee (swing to the right) or haw (swing to the left).  They tell me you can even control it.  I'm not sure I believe 'em even though I think I've seen it with my own eyes . . .

For the competition you have to gee and haw on command and the judges very carefully try to count how many spins the propeller makes in a certain amount of time!

Colonel Buncombe Makes It All Sound So Very Easy!

The Kids Competition Heats Up

You Get Moon Pies For Placing!

This Young Lady Won the Adults Division

The Big Dogs Compete
This Is The  World Professional Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition

Now this is the serious competition!  To get to this level you have to have won at least one Adult World Whimmy Diddle Competition.  And they are very good and very fast!  (And how do they make their whimmy diddles do that???)

How High Can The Judges Count???

Young Mister Hines Won the 2009 World Professional Whimmy Diddle Competition
Moon Pies and a trophy!  And his name is inscribed on the Real Trophy.  (Photos after the next weekend's World Whimmy Diddle Competition!)  And even better yet, he has bragging rights for a year.  He's the Best Professional Whimmy Diddler in the World.

Thank about that!

Liz had just finished weaving this yardage.
She made my all time favorite shirt from the fabric on top.  It even has boy buttons!
Bet you can't stop at just one . . .

Time for me to get back to work!  I have waxes to sprue and invest.  A couple of custom pendants to photograph (if I have enough charge left) and lots more to do.  I hope you enjoyed a look back at last year's Heritage Days.  If you can, come on out to the Folk Art Center next weekend on the 18th and 19th.  I'll bet, like us, you'll come back every year!
[Edited to correct my date mistakes!]