Historic and Traditional Crafts and Technologies

July 19 - 23, 2017


Class Descriptions

Paper Art - Georgia Donovan

Georgia will teach you how to use silhouettes of plants animals to fold and cut a design that creates intricate and expressive patterns. These can be simple or elaborate, and the cutout techniques can be applied to paper or birch bark. The finished cutouts can be used as patterns for etching birch bark or beading, and of course they are also a great art form for display. This a perfect class for parents and any children old enough to handle scissors, and Georgia has asked that anyone who plans to participate bring a favorite pair of scissors.

Traditional Resin Adhesives and “Dop” Hafting - Bob Berg

Bob is an expert at mixing and formulating natural adhesives. His mixture for use with “dop” hafting is an eye opener for those familiar with the “notch, glue, and bind” styles of hafting - allowing one to simply glob-glue a flint flake-blade to the side of a stick and use it as a drawknife or crooked knife. You will be amazed by these tool’s ability to remove wood rapidly and efficiently, with full-power durability. BTW - That picture is a flint blade stuck to the side of stick (with a glob of pine-pitch-based adhesive) and being used as a crooked knife! This workshop will widen your perspective of the surprising possibilities available for hafting stone tools.

Firearms of the Fur Trade - Larry Horrigan

The smooth bore flintlock trade gun is the iconic tool of an iconic era, and Larry has been replicating fur trade firearms (and even an occasional big bore air rifle) for over a decade. He will have a collection of replica guns ranging from standard .62 caliber trade guns to the massive 1 inch bore “wall gun”,  and will discuss the features, innovations, and and historical and cultural significance of the various pieces. Then go along on a live-fire demonstration outing where you will have the chance to shoot some of these historic firearms and the circa 1775 ball reservoir .40 caliber air gun.

Making the Crooked Knife - James Blake

The crooked knife is one of the iconic tools of native crafts far and wide. Practical and easy to use, they are also a functional historic art form. James will guide you through the process of making your own crooked knife using traditional tools and techniques. James will have kits and all the tools and knowledge you need to create a tool that will last a lifetime.

Cree Style Woven Rabbit Fur Blankets - Daisy Kostus

Made by preparing and weaving rabbit skin “yarn”, these intricate and unbelievably warm and soft blankets are a staple of traditional hunter-gatherer peoples of the north. Daisy will teach you how to properly skin the rabbit, process the fur into long strips, and weave these iconic and practical fur blankets. Of course, she also has some great rabbit recipes and traditional teachings relating to rabbits and all of the gifts they provide.

Woodland Earthenware Replication - Erik Vosteen

Earthenware pottery was used for thousands of years in the Great Lakes region and beyond primarily for cooking. Erik’s knowledge and skill with making and using this functional cookware have made this class a perennial favorite at past events. Starting with an introduction to the process and the materials used, proceed to build your own vessel with the same tools and techniques that made the originals, then fire them in an open fire on the ground. The result is earthenware that can be used for boiling, baking, deep frying, parching grains, and even making maple sugar straight from raw sap...

Bone and Antler Gardening Tools - Peter McCreedy

The hoe and rake are invaluable tools for farmers worldwide, and the unique tools of the Great Lakes helped people grow food for generations before the introduction of steel tools. The scapula hoe and antler rake are well suited to the farming style of Native Ancestors, and are made from resources that are commonly under-utilized and easy to access. Peter will have scapulae and antlers for a variety of sizes and types of rakes and hoes, and will guide you through the process of selecting a handle, prepping the materials, and lashing it all together for a functional and durable set of tools. Don’t forget to attend the seed exchange for some heirloom varieties to grow with your new tools.

Wiigwaasi Makuk (Birch Bark Baskets) - Ferdy Goode

An ancient art form, born somewhere in the depths of the birch forest generations ago, continues to survive into the modern world. The birch bark makuk is both function and art, and no one does it with more artistic flair than Mr. Ferdy Goode... Ferdy is taking a break from building boats this year to do what we have been requesting for years - those stunning wiigwassi makuks. But we suspect he will still be often distracted, watching the dugout take form under the big tent...

White Pine Bark Baskets - Jennifer Lee

Jennifer will be bringing patterns and materials to make a variety of small baskets, perfect for youth and first-time basket makers. A total of six styles will be offered, with different sizes and techniques for different skill levels. A great chance to learn the basics of spruce root processing, rim carving, and bark bending. Help us welcome Jennifer to her first GLTAG!

Loom Beading - Kristy Phillips

Kristy will teach you how to build your own loom from simple items, and all the techniques and tricks of making beautiful and functional beaded items ranging from sashes to bracelets.

Introduction to Scrimshaw - Frank Barker

Scrimshaw flourished in the late 1700s and early 1800s as a byproduct of whaling and arctic exploration.  While the handiwork of whalers and indigenous peoples boomed in popularity, it was hardly a new medium—the earliest artwork known to man is jewelry made of carved and engraved bone.

Join Frank Barker in learning the basics of this prehistoric art-form. You’ll begin learning the skills needed as you make an antler pendant and get tips on starting a home studio.