Primitive Skills Workshops

Primitive Skills Workshops

Discover the history of our human ancestors and learn the skills that helped them survive.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

Hide Tanning

Saturday, May 20 – Sunday, May 21

9 AM – 5 PM each day

 

$335 Members

$370 Non-Members

Before the advent of modern tanning agents, humans were turning raw pelts into functional furs using very basic techniques and materials. Learn to produce an incredibly soft, beautiful, and durable product from raw animal skin using one of humankind’s earliest tanning technologies! Utilizing materials readily available in the surrounding environment, we will walk through the steps of this transformation.

This two-day workshop will be taught by primitive skills expert and Alone season 8 participant, Dr. Theresa Emmerich Kamper.

** Please be aware that a reasonable amount of fitness is required for this course. You will be on your feet and active for 6 to 8 hours per day. 

About the instructor: Theresa is an avid practitioner of traditional living skills and primitive technology of all kinds and holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Archaeology from the University of Exeter in the UK. Theresa has been tanning skins using traditional technologies for over 30 years. She includes in her instruction a diverse range of information, from skin morphology to helpful hints in dealing with the numerous and frustrating problems which are often encountered when first learning to tan.

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Wild Paints and Inks

Saturday, May 20 – Sunday, May 21

9 AM – 5 PM each day

 

$275 Members

$300 Non-members

DAY 1: PAINTS – Learn how to make beautiful paints from what you can forage in nature and find in your neighborhood. Using materials from the earth, trees, plants, and water, make colorful natural paints that our ancestors would have used, including watercolors, tempera, and glair. The day will be hands-on and practical but you’ll also learn about the traditional uses of all the paints you make.

DAY 2: INKS Learn to make oak gall and iron gall ink, the traditional ink of the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, and almost all European illuminated manuscripts. Utilize a foraged, simple technique as well as a studio method, both making beautiful black inks. You will also make quill pens and brushes from goose or turkey feathers. Go home with inks, pens, brushes, and the knowledge of how to brew up simple colorful inks and long-lasting tannin-based inks at home. 

**Please wear old clothes to both workshops, as some of the materials we’ll use can stain. Bring a sketchbook and favorite brush or two to make swatches of your paints/inks throughout the session. All other materials will be provided.

Foraging before class? Feel free to bring any large feathers – goose, swan, gull or crow; as well as any oak galls or sea shells that you find.  

About the instructor: Caroline Ross is an artist, writer, and teacher living by the sea in Dorset, England. Her new book Found and Ground: A Practical Guide to Making Your Own Natural Paints, will be published by Search Press in June. She makes paints from foraged earth pigments, and makes art tools and inks from natural, wild, and found materials such as oak galls, rusty nails, elderberries, bay leaves, and cherry tree gum. 

To see her work and available classes, visit www.foundandground.com or www.instagram.com/foundandground

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WORKSHOPS COMING SOON

Fishing Spears

Saturday, June 10

 

$75 Members

$85 Non-members

Bone Tools

Saturday, August 20

 

$75 Members

$85 Non-members

Atlatls

Saturday, October 13

 

$75 Members

$85 Non-members

About the instructor: Doug Meyer has always been fascinated by the past. He has studied every aspect of primitive technology for over 30 years, including flintknapping, archery, and technical drawing. He teaches Stone Age survival techniques to honor his mentors, Steve Watts and Errett Callahan. Find one-of-a-kind original pieces and a schedule of his classes at stoneagesurvival.com 

Have questions or concerns about Primitive Skills classes? Please contact Hannah Salemi at HannahS@cityofgastonia.com