Biennial event of heritage artists and craftsmen
This 2016 edition of the biennial event of heritage artists and craftsmen proved to be interesting, just like the previous editions. This year, the theme common to all exhibitors was the opposite of the weather, i.e. warm. Presented in the former stables of the castle and in the courtyard, "the wool professions" presented different stages of the collection, transformation and exploitation of wool.
The highlight of the show was undoubtedly the shearing of three Pyrenean ewes, surprisingly docile, despite their corkscrew horns. Between two shearings, the shepherd Maxime and the shepherdess Valérie gave a talk on what it is to be a shepherd today. A fascinating adventure where the shepherd develops a kind of game with his sheep. They are trying to "eat the whole mountain", and the shepherd has to manage the different pastures, while protecting the sheep from the ever-present wolf.
This passion for his profession is also shared by all the exhibitors. Each one has his own trade, his own technique, his own style. But they all share a passion for the raw material. And each one explains the properties of the wool. We discover that the hair of the ewe is very uneven. There is the wool, soft and with sought-after thermal properties. There is also the jarre: hair, which covers and protects from the weather. This is also a good time to correct the errors peddled by journalists who do not give their subjects enough information. The manufacture of mohair is said to be painful for Angora rabbits according to a recent documentary on a national radio station. False! we can discover in Ainay-le-Vieil. It is not a plucking of the hair, but a kind of currying of the angora rabbit, which is carried out. Owners of long-haired cats will know the difference. Besides, the angora rabbit appreciates this treatment, after which it regains its appetite.