stilt workshop with the brooklyn jumbies

•October 25, 2014 • Comments Off

as i have said many a time, the “growth” of krampuslauf philadelphia has never meant bigger crowds, or more merchandising, or anything like that. growth of community, even a community that only comes together at a certain time of year, and does not stay within the confines of philadelphia or philadelphia people  — that’s good growth. growing skillsets — that’s good growth.

one day last spring, my buddy jhon sanders of many mouths one stomach showed me this:

and i fell in love. turns out jhon was going to a stilt conference where the jumbies would also be attending. wheels started turning for me — ever since stilts WERE first sighted at krampuslauf philly in 2012…

hi, helen

hi, helen


i thought, we, you know, needed more.

i wanted to meet these brooklyn jumbies. size acceptance is a big soapbox for me and a big man on stilts…


was empowering.

while i thought about how to get the jumbies involved in philly, i was also signing the kids up for camp at the philadelphia school of circus arts. there, i found an administrator and stilt walker — tanaya thomas — who was going to the SAME conference as jhon and the jumbies, and SHE wanted the jumbies to come do a workshop at PSCA… and i had a partner.

kidswithali copy

we went and chatted with founding jumbie ali sylvester in brooklyn.


tanaya and i went on ed feldman’s show on g-town radio.


and then we had the workshop itself, which was magical.

copyright jill saull 2014. all rights reserved.

copyright jill saull 2014. all rights reserved.



copyright jill saull 2014. all rights reserved.

copyright jill saull 2014. all rights reserved.



copyright jill saull 2014. all rights reserved.

copyright jill saull 2014. all rights reserved.


after the workshop, tanaya and i revisited g-town radio, and brought along with us someone who had attended the workshop and who tended to monopolize the microphone…



until i gave her a lipstick. she put so much lipstick on she more or less welded her mouth shut, so that helped.



will there be stilts at krampuslauf again? who knows. i hear that 70 inches of snow are expected in philadelphia this winter.

hyperinternship with black cherry puppet theater of baltimore

•September 13, 2014 • Comments Off

over labor day weekend tucker and i went on a field trip to meet lisa krause of baltimore’s black cherry puppet theater. she needed help making three enormous paper maché potatoes, and we certainly could use some more paper maché experience. we had a great time!

we were met with such a warm welcome!


we were very proud of our progress, and black cherry puppet theater is a really neat place. frankly, there is a lot going on in baltimore and it is always fun to skill share, with other art and theater groups, whether they have krampus-related activities or not. there is always something to learn.

here’s a timelapse video of about fifteen minutes worth of potato-making.


we felt very accomplished.




here’s the full set of pictures on flickr.


thank you, lisa!

philadelphia pagan pride 2014, with krampuslauf philadelphia

•September 8, 2014 • Comments Off

last year the first philadelphia pagan pride day was organized by our friend rob schrweier, who has been both belsnickel and gedrier eckhardt at krampuslauf philadelphia. rob has brought a lot of folklore knowledge to our event for the past few years and has been asked, in fact, to be our official “starter”, and it is rob who has given us our “second name”,  PARADE OF SPIRITS.

we did a collage craft at the pagan pride kids’ table for krampuslauf. it’s a craft we’ve done before at liberty lands’ fall festival, but this time instead of using antique images of krampus, we were able to use images from our own event!


we had a super-great time at the festival and highly recommend it. we brought lots of flow toys and it was a great way to make new friends.



here is the link to all of our photos from philadelphia pagan pride day 2014 on flickr. it’s an event we highly recommend, one of the most family friendly (aside from krampuslauf philadelphia!) that you can find in philadelphia.

arun’s first visit!

•April 24, 2014 • Comments Off

so. first, there was a long time ago.

this brings back memories!!!

this brings back memories!!!


before ever meeting each other, arun inspired me to start krampuslauf philadelphia, and we have talked one another through each others third and fourth laufs to date. i knitted him that krampus as a way of saying “hi”, more or less before we’d ever had much conversation at all.

also, before ever meeting each other, he designed a four part tattoo for four people, among whom i am one. (after 43 years of swearing there was nothing on earth that would ever warrant commemoration on my body with ink.)

for his bloomsday birthday, our family has, two years running, recorded bloomsday readings for his use, and i wish i had the picture of what my particular reading inspired last year. but i think i deleted that photo from my phone. goodness though, i should make those readings available, at least last year’s. ben, tucker and the children all did a bang-up job. well, why not, here’s a playlist of all of them. 

anyway, all this before ever laying eyes on him. that is how the world works.

and then, there was the last few weeks — when arun came to visit. he held a mask-making workshop and did an installation at iMPeRFeCT gallery which will be up for the next three weeks, at which point he will be back for a community dinner and to talk about his work some more. we got to eat crepes, listen to “jesus christ superstar” and craft together, and went to a free boy george concert!



we did g-town radio together!


(click below to listen to the entire show!)

here are all our photos from the visit, including the maskmaking workshop photos.

a little video from the workshop as well is included in that set.

other best moments include…




we are happy arun will be back in a few weeks!


our thanks to penn treaty special services district

•March 21, 2014 • Comments Off

for their generous and thoughtful $2000 grant to krampuslauf philadelphia.


krampuslauf philadelphia 2013: parade of spirits… THE VIDEO

•March 21, 2014 • Comments Off


very grateful to all who shared footage, and to dentana for her music.

parade of spirits: artifacts of krampuslauf philadelphia, a group exhibition

•January 17, 2014 • Comments Off

Krampus invite.doc

yes! that’s happening, and the opening is this saturday, january 18th.

feel free to follow along on flickr to see us hanging and enjoying the show.

also, this morning ben and i were on g-town radio talking to the infamous ed feldman. what we had thought would be a ten minute or so interview went for well over an hour! we had a great time.


ed feldman is a treasure. we had a great time!

and, in an incredibly timely coincidence, renny and rocio of iMPeRFeCT gallery were featured the day before the opening on artblog radio. they are the reason we ventured to germantown in the first place and we love them!!!

please also enjoy the beautifully made “the artwork has left the building”: video by gary reed


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