25 July 2011

The Clown and the Toymaker :: Exit stage left, pursued by bear.

As I mentioned, I've been having back problems. Between May 5th and July 3rd, my spine went into meltdown until I was walking with a cane. Since then, the cane and the pain both went away, but it was an eye-opening experience.

I can no longer keep up the level of physicality that my role as fool requires of me.  Or -- more to the point -- that I require of me. I cannot meet my own standards and that means it's time to hang up the mask.

This year, my fool will play his usual role of Master of Ceremonies atop the castle gate for the opening ceremonies at the Washington Midsummer's Renaissance Faire, but that will be it for me.  

Next year, Calabash the fool will be retired completely.

That is not to say I'm going anywhere, but I just can't caper like I used to or rely on my body to carry me through the run of a faire without crapping out on me.

In the immortal words of William Shakespeare, "Exit stage left, pursued by bear."

What's next?

I needed something to allow me to keep doing the stuff I love, but also to take my time about it. To be able to entertain and interact as I always have, but at a rate and level that will accept whatever is happening to me at that moment. And I also wanted the flexibility to take my inner Davinci out and take him for a walk.

I toyed with the idea of doing a potter or carpenter/joiner sort of thing, but those involved hauling too much crap out of the faire every weekend. But I still wanted to do something artistic, or at least artisinal. Something that incorporated all the stuff I really love to do...

Enter the Village Toymaker.

Forget Davinci, I'm about to let my inner Jim Henson out to play.

How it impacts this blog...

This is to your benefit, dear reader, because this blog is about to get active again. The next series of posts (beginning with the long-promised leather-working tutorials, I promise) will be about creating the toys and oddments that will sell the role of toymaker to the crowds.

I need to make shoes, toy drums, little leather masks, and a boatload of period encampment stuff that I've never really worried about because Calabash was a mobile character. He didn't need a work table, a leather bottel, or a marionette...

Well, maybe the marionette.

So coming soon will be costuming for me and for dolls. (Shoemaking post coming soon!) Discussions of period toys, marionettes, and the clothing of the merchant and artisan class of the renaissance.

I hope you will join me.



  1. Looks like we both are switching to a different role in faire. I look forward to seeing your creations, as always.

    btw, I had thought of becoming a doll maker at faire, but that requires a bit more work on making period dolls than I am ready to do.

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