2014 maker workshop at iMPeRFeCt gallery with cardboard artist mykl wells

•December 11, 2014 • Comments Off

this year we had a visiting artist come to workshop with us. it was mykl wells, who shared his skills with us at a distance (from tuscon) in 2012, when he taught us to make lanterns. linda reinterpreted his tutorial somewhat, but those lanterns have been a big part of lauf.

but this year he wanted to come play with us for real. in real life. now we were going to have actual mykl all to ourselves.

people fought over who got to keep him at their house.

how do you show an out-of-towner a good time in philly? you take him to see martha graham cracker. almost straight from the airport. (he got to come to our house first, have a piece of pizza and watch the children struggle over their various advent calendars. then we were off.)



a great show. martha is reliable. and martha zeroed in on mykl, actually, saying he looked like a shy, painter type. then she inspected his hands and decided they didn’t really look like painter’s hands after all and she’d been wrong.


later in the weekend, we had our workshop at iMPeRFeCT gallery in germantown, where we SORT of had our workshop last year, except for the fact that it got cancelled due to snow (but only after we had all GOTTEN there. with the half-made das mädchen. in the u-haul.) this year things went MUCH more smoothly and oh the fun of having a visiting artist! while mykl shared skills with many, we also had the heathen contingent of krampuslauf philadelphia working together on their banner; we had helen sewing stilt pants; we had kids in the courtyard spinning poi, and we had chris working on claudia’s baby mädchen costume!

all the pictures from the workshop are here, but my favorites of the day were both taken by renny molenaar:






and béla’s lanterns, among others, is a work of art.



mykl has been in linda’s studio for the last few days… there is going to be a surprise. even for me, it will be a surprise! meanwhile, work continues here at home with costumes and lanterns. we are almost there!

COMMUNITY DONATIONS welcome at krampuslauf philadelphia

•November 24, 2014 • Comments Off


krampuslauf philadelphia 2014 poster by lachlan herrick. all rights reserved.

krampuslauf philadelphia 2014 poster by lachlan herrick. all rights reserved.


Krampuslauf Philadelphia: Parade of Spirits is a community-oriented event. In order to increase our connection to the regional community, we are adding a new, totally voluntary feature. We invite those who are able to bring a donation to the Mazzoni Center Food Bank and/or to Forgotten Cats. These charities are beneficiaries of Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day’s donations, and they have each expressed that our donations have been very helpful to their missions.

The Mazzoni Center Food Bank provides access to healthy and balanced meals for people who are living with HIV/AIDS in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. They are always in need of canned and packaged food items.

Forgotten Cats is an organization that provides humane Trap/Neuter/Release services to control the feral cat population. They are in need of cat food donations, linens, wet kitten food, and even old newspapers (please, though, not wet or gross newspaper donations).

We will have containers in Liberty Lands Park at the time of Krampuslauf (December 13, 4:30 pm) for those who would like to donate an item.

Thank you!

krampuslauf philadelphia: parade of spirits yearly minimal merchandising is now at hand!

•November 18, 2014 • Comments Off

we usually publish a “yearbook” after lauf in january. it took me until november to get the 2013 book done. it was a much bigger season and it’s a much bigger book. all three years’ worth of books are available for sale. there’s no question that they are not cheap! we price them just a few dollars above cost. but they are really lovely quality, and the families who come to krampuslauf with children always particularly appreciate the books.



we also have a new t-shirt design this year, created by claudia — it’s an illustration of das mädchen (with chris inside) and these can either be mailed, or you may choose a special option for pickup at lauf and not pay the shipping charge. order now so you can be sure to have one!




the only other item of memorabilia we may have this year is our poster, and we’ve decided that it will be available for a small donation to the cost of the lauf — probably five bucks — but will be available ONLY for pickup at lauf (yeah, you’re gonna have to find ben, tucker or i and follow us back to our car!)


•November 17, 2014 • Comments Off

that is when krampuslauf is!

follow on our facebook page

let us know you are coming to krampuslauf philadelphia by joining our event page


consider preceding THAT with an excursion to our maker workshop with artist mykl wells on 12/7


•November 13, 2014 • Comments Off

how did that possibly happen? how?

let’s talk about a few of this year’s particulars. guerrilla ultima has created a special KRAMPUSLAUF PHILADELPHIA menu so bring cash and an appetite for:

Eintopf- Smoked pork stew

Currywurst- Smoked German sausage, pickled cabbage, curry sauce.

Schnitzel and potato tacos- pork schnitzel pickled onions.

Krampus Burger- Sauerbraten, helles speck, whiz and mushrooms.

and for vegans,

Demonic Roots- smoked beets, pickled mushrooms, onions and chilies. Roasted almond butter.

with guerrilla ultima back in '12!

with guerrilla ultima back in ’12!

lux arati will also be performing, and in more of a showcase format than as a group performance like they have in previous years. with that in mind, they have suggested that we host a kids flow arts mini-showcase on the staging area prior to the fire show. we are looking for donations and loans of (preferably LED but also non-enhanced) hoops, poi, and other flow toys. just get up there and try, whether you are a kid or not! it’s a great feeling, and you will get applause.

the weather gods occasionally laugh at lux arati. they laugh right back. snow? fire. argument over.

the weather gods occasionally laugh at lux arati. they laugh right back. snow? fire. argument over.




now is the fun part! preparations are well underway and updates will get fast and furious… QUEUE UP THE KENNY LOGGINS, BOYS!

krampuslauf philadelphia: parade of spirits… the tarot deck

•November 6, 2014 • Comments Off







so this is the thing. i really enjoy tarot decks. i have always collected tarot decks (although i do tend to give them away). for some time i co-edited the tarot special interest group for american MENSA (they really have a special interest group for everything) and i did even work those 900 phone lines doing tarot readings. that was not very much fun.

the best way to learn about tarot is to make decks yourself, and so, over the last … oh my. fifteen years? i have done that a few times. i made a personal deck, for personal use. my sister and i made an online-only deck that has certainly always been in copyright violation, but contained nothing but eighties popstars, and was highly amusing (we got a petition once, to publish it!) and, with my sister, i created an entire tarot deck and book based entirely on knitting, and with my husband, handprinted it all — deck, books — on our iron handpress. (scroll down a tad to see bits of that.)

and so i do not even know what got us talking about tarot in relation to krampuslauf philadelphia, but at some point shortly after lauf last year, we did start talking about it, and realized, that as much as we love (and will continue to print) our yearbooks — (yes, 2013’s is way late, but maybe it will be more exciting to have it at the beginning of the season rather than at the end), we thought, NEXT year — 2015 — we will be doing our FIFTH lauf. and we wanted some new way to memorialize it.

and that is when we got this idea for using a variety of images from ALL of the years of krampuslauf philadelphia to date, as parts of collages, in the form of a tarot deck.

and we got really excited.

there was lots of little businessy stuff  we had to figure out right away, and get samples from companies that produced card decks, and work out ratios, and all that information is available to anyone who is serious and wants to participate in making a card or two. there are only 78 cards in a tarot deck. my guess is, we will have more than enough artists and interest to produce an amazing collaborative collage deck, totally original, with it’s own suits — not just standard cups and pentacles and stuff — and yes, we’d like children to participate as well. nothing is better than kid art. but ANYONE who collaborates on or creates a card will enjoy the responsibility of thinking about its meaning, how it relates specifically to our event, and how to communicate that visually.

there are those to whom this will sound like great fun. we invite them to participate. there are those to whom this will just feel like extra busywork and not particularly necessary or interesting. they have no obligation to be interested. just come to lauf!

now keep in mind, none of this needs to be dealt with with any expediency DURING krampuslauf season, when people are obviously busy thinking costumes and whatnot. but we have been playing around at home, and have come up with a template and a few exemplars — “we” being me, tucker, claudia and arun. (because even though arun is the father of the portland OR lauf, where would we be without him?)

so there is no rush, but there is, for those who are seriously interested, some pertinent information and formatting to be respected, so that things are not just a ridiculous mishmosh. there is a facebook group where we have been chiseling out the particulars.

the deck will be accompanied by a booklet that gives original text interpretations of each card as well as attributions for each part of the collage image itself. that will be a lot of work. even for the three cards we did, i haven’t done all of that yet. it will be for sale around krampuslauf season 2015, and it is likely it will be funded by a kickstarter or other similar type of campaign. we shall see. right now all we want is for it to be beautiful and meaningful and fun.

if you are interested in being part of the project, join the facebook group above. there will be a lot of questions yet to ask, and a lot of collaborating. we have been excited about this for some time, and no idea is off the table, so please get in touch with us with your inspiration or question. we are on the move!


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.


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