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Willow Woven Garden Structures


with Jesica Clark

Calendar Mar 25, 2023 at 9 am

Class Description: In this workshop, students will make two different garden structures, a conical obelisk and a domed, open plant cloche. These woven structures can be used as plant supports or garden accents. Students will weave with willow and learn basic willow handling techniques using three different weaving patterns: Irish mouth wale, French randing, and three-rod wale, and two different tying knots, God’s eye and Japanese eye knot. This workshop is suitable for beginners, but strong hands are a must, as students will be working with larger willow. All materials and tools will be provided for use in class. Detailed instructions and a template for creating a jig at home will be provided. The history of willow weaving, and a summary of growing, harvesting, and processing willow also will be taught.  Please Note: this class ends  at 3 PM on Sunday.

Lunch: Lunch is included in the class fee. If you have any dietary restrictions, please note them when you register.

Instructor Bio: Jes Clark is owner and operator of Willow Vale Farm in Stanfordville, NY. Jes weaves traditional and contemporary functional pieces and the basket forms created are a result of their conversation with each stick of willow. All of their willow is grown without pesticides using regenerative practices and with loving care. Jes has been teaching weaving just since 2018 but has taught hundreds of students ranging from absolute beginners to experienced weavers looking to refine their craft. They have taught at the Stowe Basketry Festival, for the Northeast Basketmakers Guild, at the New York Botanical Garden just to name a few, and also privately in one-on-one tutorials.

Will run

Broom Making


with Gary Robinson

Calendar May 6, 2023 at 9 am

Class Description: Using natural materials, you will learn how to bind broomcorn to a sapling handle using a traditional American-style weave. The binding string is held under pressure with your feet, leaving both hands free to create a wide variety of broom styles. Each student will hand craft a cobweb broom and one or more hand brooms. This class is open to beginning broom weavers and returning students. Please Note: this class ends at 3 PM on Sunday.

Lunch: Lunch is included in the class fee. If you have any dietary restrictions, please note them when you register.

Instructor Bio: Born in the west central mountains of Virginia, where he still resides, Gary Robinson learned the art of broom making in 1991 and has been making brooms full time since then. Gary’s brooms appeared in the historical drama Sommersby starring Richard Gere and Jodie Foster and have been purchased by George Washington’s Mount Vernon for use in their portrayal of colonial life. Over the years, demonstrating and teaching his craft has been one of the most fulfilling parts of his journey.

Gary has been a juried Demonstrating Artisan at the Waterford Fair since 1991. He is a Waterford Landmark Artisan, exemplifying excellence in craft and education, and for his commitment to the Waterford Foundation's preservation mission. We recorded a conversation with Gary after his 2021 class, which is on our YouTube channel.

Greenwood Spoon Carving


with Paul Pendola

Calendar May 6, 2023 at 9 am

Class Description: Let the wood guide you! In this class, you’ll learn basic greenwood spoon carving techniques, including selecting the best trees for carving, breaking-down logs into usable spoon blanks, and practicing the basic axe and knife skills needed for safe and efficient carving. Using only three tools (axe, straight knife, and hook knife), you'll begin carving your own wooden spoon; leaving with a few blisters on your hands, an appreciation for the therapeutic nature and addictive qualities of spoon carving, and the basic technique, confidence, and reference material needed to continue carving on your own. The small group format allows for safe and individualized instruction. The tuition fee includes materials: greenwood spoon blanks for carving, a dedicated (physically distanced) workstation, use of carving tools, course materials, personalized instruction, coaching, and encouragement. Please Note: an optional $80 take-home tool kit may be purchased in advance when you register. To order the take-home tool kit, you must register for the class before May 1st.

Lunch: Lunch is included in the class fee. If you have any dietary restrictions, please note them when you register.

Instructor Bio: Paul Pendola is the founder of the Galena Spoon Co. Artisan Studio & Gallery, and a Galena, Illinois-based green woodworking artist specializing in hand-carved wooden spoons and other hand-crafted woodenware. Using only an axe, straight knife, hook knife, and all-natural food-safe oil and wax, Paul’s mission is to create simple, authentic, and beautiful functional art. He enjoys sharing his love of carving with his students and leading professional development workshops to empower artisans.

For a look at the sights and sounds of Paul's April, 2021, class here at the Old School, check out this short video recap on our YouTube channel.

17th C. Wood Carving: Cutting Board


with Ian Hart

Calendar Jun 3, 2023 at 9 am

Class Description: Learn how to carve the surface of a wooden blank to create a cutting board that is both useful and decorative. Students will choose from a selection of 17th c. patterns and learn how to transcribe and carve them using gouges and chisels. Some basic woodworking and hand tool experience is recommended, but not required. Discussion topics will include how and why furniture developed and changed over time. Please Note: this class requires a specific set of tools that are not included in the tuition fee. You can purchase the $191 take-home tool kit when you register. OR, you may bring your own tools from home to reduce the tool kit fee, but they must be identical to those on the Tool List in order to successfully complete the project. If you have some tools at home, but not all, you will be able to select the individual tools that you need to purchase when you register. If you are planning to bring tools from home, please print the attachment to make sure your tools match those on the list prior to registering. The instructor will be purchasing the tools in advance of class and there will not be any extras available if you do not purchase the kit or bring the identical tools from home. 

Please Also Note: this class ends at 3 PM on Sunday.

Lunch: Lunch is included in the class fee. If you have any dietary restrictions, please note them when you register.

Instructor Bio: For the past ten years, Ian Hart has been interested in researching, understanding, and reproducing traditional wood and metal work, mainly from the 17th and 18th centuries. During his senior year in college at the American College of the Building Arts, he assisted in the instruction of the freshman class in traditional metalwork. He spent several summers working at folk schools (Adirondack Folk School, Tillers International, and Touchstone); a portion of that time was spent teaching classes, which ranged from ornamental ironwork, spoon and bowl carving, and carved furniture. He was a Demonstrating Artisan at the Waterford Fair (2021, 2022)

Barn Quilt Painting


with Vyvyan Rundgren

Calendar Jul 8, 2023 at 9 am

Class Description: In rural areas, the art of barn quilt painting has become a popular way to celebrate America’s agricultural and cultural past while adding cheery pops of color to outdoor structures. Create your own 24” x 24” barn quilt painting--the perfect size for mounting on your shed, home, or business! Using a quilt block design that you bring from home for inspiration, you will learn how to scale and transfer the pattern onto a prepared wooden board, then you will be guided through the process of taping, painting, and sealing it. Most complete projects will have one or more coats of protective sealant by the end of the class; students will be given enough sealant to complete the process at home. If time allows, a smaller 12”x12” painting can be started for an additional $10 fee, which can be paid directly to the instructor in class.

Lunch: Lunch is included in the class fee. If you have any dietary restrictions, please note them when you register.

Instructor Bio: Vyvyan Rundgren became interested in painted floor cloths (both on canvas and linoleum), which gave a new dimension to her life-long love of art. For eight years she was an instructor at the John C. Campbell Folk School in NC and also taught workshops throughout central Virginia. The painted floor cloth concept expanded to include floor quilts (fabric) and floor pages (paper). Her book, Floor Cloths, Quilts & Pages was released in 2015.

Vyvyan serves as an officer on the Board of Directors for the Art Guild of Greene County. Through the Art Guild and with the support of the Greene County Economic Development & Tourism she founded the Blue Ridge Barn Quilt Project and it has grown to be the largest barn quilt trail in Virginia, now having over 150 artworks on display. She not only paints many of the barn quilts, she also conducts workshops to teach others how to create their own.

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