Monday, September 20, 2010

A Day at Pasadena

For quite awhile I've been wanting to do a blog post showing what goes on at the monthly Pasadena primitive skills gatherings. The time is finally here.

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, once a month, generally on the third Sunday of the month, a bunch of people gather at the Pasadena Roving Archers range in Pasadena, CA.
Lots of different things happen at these gatherings. Some people work on wood bows, some on arrows, some make bowstrings, people play with hardshell gourds, make music, trade or give away materials of all kinds, plan trips, do an atlatl contest, work on making atlatls and their darts... really, the things that happen are virtually endless.
Many of the participants are visitors of the internet forum, Paleo Planet. But not everyone is and it's certainly not a requirement that they be.

I took a lot of pictures this past weekend so I'll just get those up here and let them, and their captions, speak for themselves.

Nobody said it would be pretty getting there. A fact of life for most of us in southern California: a drive on the freeway.


Finally, that's the offramp coming up.


Pasadena isn't a young town and there are some really cool homes in some neighborhoods. This is at the top of the offramp.


On the way to the range we go under the Colorado Street Bridge, built in 1913.


This is certainly one of the greener streets I've seen in southern California.


Here we are, the Lower Arroyo Park. Home to the Pasadena Roving Archers and the Pasadena Casting Club.


The road down into the arroyo is pretty narrow. With two cars coming out I'll have to wait my turn to go downhill.


The parking area is off to the left but where I want to go is straight ahead. We're not really supposed to drive across the bridge but the club is very helpful in realizing that we've got loads of stuff in our vehicles. So long as we don't abuse the priviledge, we can unload and then get back out to the parking area.


Across the bridge and there we are! By the big canopy I can see that Chris has come up from down south but it doesn't look like a whole lot of other folks are here yet.


Chris Henry of PaleoArts alongside a table full of the beautiful atlatls he crafts (and sells) along with a rack of atlatl darts he also makes. If you can't read his t-shirt, it says:
Guns are for sissies. Real men hunt with spears.


Dave  (on the right) is a friend of Chris and came to visit us for the first time. He had a table full of the beautiful work he does as well as a blanket of staves he brought along. Here he's showing some of his work to Frank (left) and Greg (middle).


Dave and Chris did some knapping together.


And Tom joined them a little later in the day.


Tom spent some time with this fellow showing him different aspects of primitive archery.
I wish I could remember his name, he found us through PaleoPlanet and this was his first visit. Mom seemed to approve.
Tom has sent a note that the young man's name is Toby. Thanks, Tom!


Derek didn't have enough time to bring his tools and work on a bow but he brought the dogs out for a walk. I wish I'd thought to get a picture of the English longbow style bows Derek makes. He's a pretty talented craftsman. I think the dogs are hoping for a piece of pretzel.


Paige has found a friend.


Kate is doing the final sanding on a bow. I think Steve helped her with this one but I doubt she'll need any help on the next one. Kate has an inner bowyer that is beginning to show.


It's not all work. Sometimes we shoot the bows. Tom has probably forgotten more about bows and arrows than I'll ever learn.  He also makes his own knives and leatherwork.


Tom with Paige and Mike discussing the fine points of archery tackle.


Folks wander in and out all day long depending on their personal schedules and the time they can spare on a Sunday. Don't think you need a truck to get there!


This man and his son were shooting the course with their recurves and ended up hanging out with us for quite awhile trying different primitive bows.


Tom is a past president of the World Atlatl Assoc. and periodically he'll hold a registered atlatl contest that anyone may participate in. Here's he's giving instruction to a couple new guys before the scoring starts.


Going for score now so Chris is getting serious.


Kate getting her form set for the throw.


Tom's follow through as a couple out for a Sunday walk look on in the background. We definately get a lot of people asking what we're doing.


Chris' significant other, Carey, is a skilled atlatlist in her own right.


It's not all archery and atlatls. Aimee is working with a project on her beading loom.


Paige is making a stamp for leather working.


And Mike is knitting some chain maille.
The variety of talents we have always amazes me.


Chris at a table bearing more of his incredible work.
Check out the spear in his hands. Remember the t-shirt? You didn't think he was kidding, did you?


James (left) and George (right) contemplate the layout for a new bow.


Big George (left) and Salvador (right) discussing the fine points of an old compressed wood arrow shaft that Tom dug out of his stockpile.


Salvador doing his impression of The Horned God.


All too soon it seems as if people start packing in and saying their goodbyes. Then you look at the time and realize how long you've been there.


You look around and realize it's going to be a long four weeks until everyone comes back for next month's gathering of the clan.


I hope you've enjoyed this photo journey of a Day at Pasadena. I know there is a lot of pictures so I trust I haven't choked your computer. I actually have a lot more but felt I had to trim them down at least a little bit.

My sincere apologies if I missed getting a picture of anyone or didn't name you in a picture. There really is so much going on that I gave up on getting everything and everyone.

Addendum!
Sorry, I had to wait for permission before I posted this...
The Pasadena Roving Archers is putting together a calendar as a fund raising item. The same day I took my pictures some members of the club were at another part of the range doing the shoot for the calendar.
The subject of the calendar is Women Archers Through History. All the models are actual members of the club, as is the photographer.
Here is a teaser shot...


Photo by Jhoneil Centeno, the model is Jaylee.
The primitive skills gathering was honored to supply a few props for the shoot: Derek's longbows, Chris' arrows and knapped knife, and Dave's Native American bows and arrows.

Happy archery!

8 comments:

Lady Arwen of the Silver Rose said...

Some of my best times were spent at those gatherings.

Tom said...

Great blog post Grey! That young guy's name is Toby. He's going to be an incredible primitive skills practitioner! Fantastic photos and write-up. You really captured the feel of our gathering. Tom M.

Mike said...

Thanks for posting these, Guy! I can't wait to see calendar when it's finished.

max said...

I just wanted to thank Guy Taylor, Tom and Derek and all the other generous folks who were so kind to lend their beautiful primitive equipment to aid the "Women Archers Through History" calendar. As Art Director and Producer of the project, your help and equipment loans were invaluable to our project. I am glad to have met you all that wonderful Sunday. Hope to see you in four weeks. Many thanks! Sincerely, Max Shaw

Paige said...

Thanks for the pictures, Guy! It was nice to be back with the group this month.

Paige said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What an great post, Guy. You captured and told it just like it feels to be there.

Anonymous said...

Great story telling, too, Guy! I was there and I don't remember seeing Big George...until now! lol.
Thanks! Kate