This year Celebration of Celts took place at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham, NY on May 3rd &4th. This was the third year Ancient Celtic Clans has participated in the Celtic Timeline.
Building on the success of the previous years, we continued to demonstrate spinning, weaving, baking, blacksmithing, and cooking. What was new was the addition of woodturning, cooking with a stone griddle and use of straw as bedding in our tents. All of these things were a stunning success!
The public continued to be intrigued by the baking, weaving and now the woodturning. We had a LOT of interest and got complimented several times for teaching them something they didn't know; which was the main goal of the event.
Straw was added on the ground to provide a smoother surface to sleep on. This was then covered with our canvas ground cloth.
The inside shot shows the 3" thick stone we cut. The opening was 12"x12" and the depth was 18".
Once completed the oven also made a nice foot warmer.
Our group relaxes and tries to stay warm on a brisk, overcast and drizzly 45F morning.
Our basic blacksmithing forge. Little more than bellows, leather tube and a clay tuyere, it heats iron perfectly well to work.
One of our members, Syd, spins wool on the drop spindle.
Originally built to turn spokes for our cart project, this event saw the first real use of our pole lathe.
Eventually, though, the rope driving the lathe wore and broke. Although easily repaired it did point out the need to examine some fine turning of the system.
On the second day of the event things dried out enough that we were able to satisfy the public's curiosity about "what is inside those tents". Both our tents are designed to "awning out" so we can have shade during the day so it was not a big deal to show them how we slept at night.
One of our fantastic successes was the functionality of this stone griddle. Although evidence for this is sketchy, it functioned unbelievably well. Here it is seen cooking oatcakes.
A brand new series of cups (on left) was turned for us by Joe. Previously he has also turned the bowls (center) and the mallets (right).
This fine piece of steak was gifted to us by our long time friend and re-enactor Raffen. Cooked to perfection it showed once again how well the cooking stone worked
The next generation of our oven was built with thicker stone and was nearly completely buried.
The oven was completely covered with the earth and sod from the hole we dug.
Bolstered by a fantastically well researched spear collection from fellow re-enactor Steve, our weapons rack garnered much attention.
One small group of the many that stopped to see us. For the first time we used a rope barrier. While we initially eschewed this, it seemed to actually increase audience participation. We think this might be because it gave the public the feeling of a "safe area" that they didn't have figure out for themselves.
The loom is all set and ready to go. Although it takes some careful maneuvering, it's a big time saver to transport it fully strung.
Our friends from a nearby tribe, the Celtic Learning Project are taught how to use the loom, by ACC member Katharine (on left).
An experienced woodturner, Joe soon discovers that the technique for a pole lathe is a bit different from modern constant rotation lathe.
Our heavily laden table complete with utensils, cook gear, cheese, bread, fruit, and butter.
This beautiful apple pie complete with our group's symbol in the crust was presented to us by visiting re-enactor, Steve, who spent the weekend with us. Many thanks, Steve, we enjoyed the pie and the camaraderie shared with you!
One of the great things about the encampment was the little slice of Celtic iron age life it showed the public.
Casey (left) practices her newly learned skills under the pleased eye of her teacher Katharine (right).