As humans beings, we have a deep desire to discover our heritage and celebrate the ways our ancestors survived and thrived. At the Folk School, we offer many classes that offer a window to that past. From the Civil War, to Regency England, to Medieval times – many of us are drawn to certain eras and cultures. Folk School classes often celebrate techniques, styles, and aesthetics from days gone by. Check out this list of classes that may interest the old soul in you:
Nov. 3-9 18th Century Linens • Melissa Weaver Dunning
Many beautiful linen patterns from the 18th and 19th centuries were woven by professional and home weavers alike. Every weaver with an interest in historical textiles should try linen! Sample Bronson, huck, M’s & O’s, dimity, and three kinds of twill in linen and cotton.
Nov 10-15 Tinsmithing (Sun-Fri) • Harry Kruppenbach & Clinton Pitts, Jr
Use tools and methods of 19th-century tinsmiths to reproduce household items of the period. Beginners learn pattern making, layout, and proper use of tools for beading, piercing, and punching tinware. Make wired rims, lock seams, and solder like a pro, taking home a variety of wall sconces, candlesticks, cookie cutters, and a tin cup. More advanced students can ply their skill at making coffee pots and other projects.
Nov 17-23 19th-century Blacksmithing, Shaker Style • Michael Saari
Improve your hammer skills while making items similar to known Shaker ironwork. Our Shaker projects this week will be a door latch and a fireplace/stove tool set.
Nov. 17-23 Herbs: From the Shaker’s Uses to Today’s Uses • Carol Blackburn
Experiment with some of the Shakers’ uses for herbs. Explore the basics of drying and saving herbs and flowers from the garden to use in teas, home decor, and making one-of-a-kind gifts such as homemade soap, potpourri, and herbal paper. A discussion of Shaker gardening and their herb industry will be included.
Dec. 26-Jan 1 Winter Dance Week • Anna Gilbert, J.D. Robinson, Adina Gordon, Bob Dalsemer, Matthew Duveneck, Suzannah Park, Nathan Morrison, Carl Dreher, David Millstone
The Folk School’s popular year-end folk dance and music celebration will feature American contras & squares, English country dancing, waltz and other couple dances, rapper sword and morris dancing, singing, jam sessions, and more.
Feb 28-Mar 2 Learn to Play Harmonica (Weekend) • J.D. Robinson
The harmonica is the perfect solution to enliven a family or class reunion or if you want to join an after-hours jam. Take this class to be prepared for such entertainment emergencies!
Mar 21-23 Beginning Genealogy (Weekend) • Joanne & Chris Schleier
Start your family history research with an introduction to basic skills and techniques. Learn how to work with specific record groups and where to find them, including census, military, vital (birth, marriage, and death) records; cemetery research; and internet resources.
Mar 23-29 Viking-style Ironwork • Elmer Roush
Do you enjoy blacksmithing with a historical perspective? This class will focus on reproducing 10th-century Viking relics, including spearheads, axes, arrowheads, and locks. Drawings and tracings of original pieces will be available as guides.
Apr 6-11 Time Travel at the Open Hearth (Sun-Fri) • Kay Moss
Practice fireplace cookery using recipes of early cooks, from surprising 18th-century versions of chicken pie, waffles, and chocolate to Jugged Hare, Planked Fish, Beef à la mode, and Seed Cake.
Apr 27-May 2 Learn to Play Pennywhistle (Sun-Fri) • Guy George
The pennywhistle (or tinwhistle), is a simple six-hole instrument. It’s easy to learn to play and easy to carry around. We’ll cover pennywhistle basics and explore playing in a few different keys.
May 2-4 English Country Dance Weekend • Bob Dalsemer, Gene Murrow
Experience the joy of English country dancing from the “Playford” dances of the 17th and 18th centuries to the village dances collected during the 20th century, as well as many inventive contemporary dances in English style by choreographers from England, America, and Europe.
May 11-17 Discovering Your Ancestors • Ann Mohr Osisek
Whether you’re just starting your genealogical quest or starting anew, this comprehensive class will help. Explore many avenues of research including vital records, courthouse research, religious & cemetery records, military records, passenger & immigration/naturalization data, and census research.
May 18-24 Longbow Building • Tom Turgeon & Dawn Kelly
Journey from recognizing and selecting bow woods, through tillering a stave, to stringing and finally shooting a highly functional, bamboo-backed longbow. Learn proper hand-tool skills and finishing techniques and discover how to “teach” wood to bend without heat or steam.
June 8-14 Blacksmithing for Reenactors • Jason Lonon & John Scroggin
Are you a reenactor fascinated by historic blacksmithing and interested in making period camp gear? Join us for a week of history, hard work, and fun as we explore blacksmithing traditions and make a wide variety of hardware, tools, campfire utensils, and more from the Middle Ages through the American Civil War.
June 22-28 White Coopering • Will Hines
White coopering is the form related to the construction of utilitarian household containers. Beginners will craft a one-handled bucket called a “piggin.” More advanced students may contact the instructor to discuss other projects, such as a churn, butter carrier, regular bucket, tankard, or a canteen.