Spinning with Norman Kennedy

Norman Kennedy Spinning on Elizabeth's Home-Made Wheel

In the picture above, Norman Kennedy is taking a test drive on a wheel Elizabeth assembled using parts from a local hardware store. The wheel was made at a workshop while attending South Eastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) in Hendersoville, NC during the fall of 2007. Since the wheel was plain pine, she painted it and then applied decorative decals.

Norman spinning flax with a handspindle. He is using Elizabeth's "sit-upon" duck distaff.

According to Norman, the duck distaff was used to spin long line flax in an Eastern European county. He also said that the duck on the base of the piece was a sign of good luck

A close-up of the duck can be found on our website by clicking HERE.

Waulking the wool.

After the wool fabric is removed from the loom, it is fulled to help pull in the threads and make a sturdier and warmer fabric. The ends of the fabric are sewn together to form a large doughnut. After being soaked in warm water and wrung out, it is arranged on a table. Each person picks up the fabric in front of themselves, slams it onto the table, and then passes it to the next person to their left. When it is slammed down on the table, the threads in the fabric move. Norman sung from his repertory of Scottish folks songs used to keep a tempo for the moving of the fabric. It took less than a half hour to waulk the fabric.

Norman Kennedy and Folk School Staff

Folk School Resident Artist for Spinning Martha Owen (standing), Resident Artist for Weaving Pam Howard (seated on Norman's left), and Folk School Host Emily all join in for the nighttime waulking event.