Learn to make by hand
in the historic village of Waterford.
Passing on knowledge and skills
The Waterford Craft School seeks to teach and preserve traditional methods used in craft and building arts. Enabling students to learn make by hand skills by offering classes to the public taught by experts in each field.
The school is part of the educational mission of the Waterford Foundation and works with the Waterford Fair in providing opportunities for artisans to demonstrate and teach and students to experience and learn.
What you will learn
Classes vary each session and include topics such as quilting, weaving, furniture-making, and basket weaving.
Classes in building arts are available. which focus on traditional construction methods for building restoration.
Course material is designed for students ages 18 and up. Classes are held in the Waterford National Historic Landmark in or around Waterford Foundation buildings.
what students say
Allen was outstanding – clear, knowledgeable, understandable, interesting.
It was exactly what I hoped to learn – and I am now not at all dissuaded to tackle my own windows.
Great lunch both days. Facility was clean and open. A lot of room.
Four separate sessions in April, May, June and July of 2018. All classes are two-day classes unless otherwise noted.
Most classes are held at the Old School but a few are held outside or around the village as required for the class.
Secrets from Greensleeves Dried Flowers, One Day Class
In this one-day class (Saturday only), students will go through step by step the growing and drying process of everlasting flowers. Then they will learn how to construct and complete a wreath using dried flowers. Students will also learn how to design a spring table arrangement using pussy willows and other spring flowers. A container for this will be provided. You will learn how to fill your own container to make another lovely table arrangement. So you will have two table arrangements: one to give to a friend perhaps.
Making a Floorcloth from Start to Finish, One Day Class
In this one-day class (Saturday only), students will design a 2’ by 3’ piece of canvas that has already been prepared by the instructor. First they must select a background color of cream or yellow/gold. Instruction will be based on several different diamond designs. A variety of paint colors will be available but if you prefer to bring your own, Glidden Diamond sample sizes are recommended and are available at Home Depot. A selection of stencils will be available as you create your own floorcloth. A protective coating of polycrylic should be applied at home before using.
Caring for Your Old House
In this two-day class, students will learn that proper maintenance is the key to preserving historic structures. The historic features, materials and context need to be part of the equation when undertaking maintenance and repair projects. The class will focus on reading the architectural character of buildings to assist in diagnosing and treating their preservation needs.
Exploring the Art of Ebru/Turkish Marbling
In this two-day class, students will explore the preparation of the wide range of colors used in Turkish (ebru) marbling. Through the Silk Road, the art of marbling made its entrance into 15th century Turkey. You will learn the mixing of sizing (the liquid bath the colors are placed on). Floating pictures and swirling patterns are created on top of the bath using applicator bottles and brushes made from broom straw and horsehair and special tools (rakes and combs),thus producing one-of-a-kind floating pictures. The patterns are then transferred onto a variety of papers and silk fabrics. We will learn the elegant method of figuring; thus producing the floral effects that have for centuries captured the minds and hearts of this Ottoman /Islamic art. Participants will also explore the wide range of contemporary marbling.
A Gathering, Shaker Basket Weaving, One or Two Day Class
In this one- or two-day class, students will weave one or two gathering baskets in small, medium, or large depending on whether they sign up for the one-day or two day class. The body will be woven over a wood mold of reed with an oak handle. Lashing will be done with ash. There will be a variety of dyed reed to work with or students may decide to keep their basket natural in color. But first students will learn how to prepare the materials, lay out their base and then weave the sides of the basket. Rims and handles will then be attached as will oak runners using copper brads.
Working with Metal Clays in Jewelry
In this two-day class, students will learn the properties of the different forms of metal clay: silver, copper, bronze and steel. They will learn about the tools used and their care. They will reconstitute the base metal powders and learn about their storage. Next will be the manipulation of the clay, molding it and adding texture. The items made will then be fired which also burns off the binding medium resulting in a solid metal piece. After firing, finishing techniques will be learned.sent.
Learn to Hand Spin Wool
In this two day class, students will participate in the processes involved when starting with raw fleece and processed wool roving to create hand spun yarn. They will card wool to prepare it for spinning using hand cards and a drum carder. Then using a drop spindle, students will learn how yarn has been spun for thousands of years. Students will use spinning wheels to learn how to create yarn from washed and carded wool. Each student will leave with two skeins of hand spun yarn. An angora rabbit will be helping Ms. Withnell with the class.
Splint Seat Weaving, One Day Class
In this one-day class, students will focus on weaving splint seats along with learning the history, origin, and preservation of their woven seats made using this technique. The materials fee is $20 for this one day class. Students will leave with a finished product.
Introduction to Lime Mortar
In this two-day class, students will learn the history, manufacturing methods and the correct uses of Lime. After learning how to turn calcium carbonates into lime, correct mixing methods, analyzing and matching mortar, then students will learn how to prepare failed mortar joints and install matched repointing in brick and stone.
In this two-day class, students will use a 4-shaft floor loom which they will set up. They will start by winding a warp and then set up the loom to weave a sampler. Students from the 2017 beginner class may want to return and make a twill towel this time. The material fee for the sampler is $15 and $25 for the towel. Students will learn plain and twill weaving and then finish their item off with hemstitching and edge trims.
Weaving a Nantucket Basket
In this two-day class, students will learn the history of Nantucket Basket making and the step by step techniques necessary to make their own basket. After attaching the wood base of the basket to the mold, then you will learn how to prepare the staves. Then you will start to insert the weavers and weave to the top of the mold. After trimming the staves, then the rims are attached. Last comes the lashing of the basket to finish off your new basket.
Repair & Restoration of Old Windows
In this two-day class, students will focus on the repair and restoration of traditional putty glazes window sashes, typically found in houses built prior to 1940. Beginning with an overview of the components of a typical double-hung window, the class will follow the “best practices” recommend by the Window Preservation Standards Collaborative and the Window Preservation Alliance.
Beginning Rug Hooking
In this two day class, students will first learn the history of Hooking. They will then move on to learning how to pull loops, the required supplies and tools, how to buy and store wool, color planning and how to design rugs. Basic dying will be taught and then blocking and finishing of their rugs.
Windsor Milking Stool
In this two-day class, students will learn how to use a drawknife and spokeshave as they shape the seat and legs by hand while making their own milking stool. Using hand tools in the traditional way with the same type of woods, tools and joinery techniques is the earmark of this class.
Intermediate Rug Hooking
In this two-day class, students will cover the same general information as the beginning class but will concentrate more on hooking and color planning with a more complicated pattern.
Herbal Medicine Cabinet
In this two-day class, students will first learn what they might want to grow in their own gardens. And some plants used grow commonly around us and often are known as “weeds”. Students will then learn to harvest, dry and store herbs in a variety of ways. Then they will learn what to use them for as they make their own teas and tinctures to take home.
Introduction to Hand Woven Cane
In this two-day class, students will learn the history, origin, and preservation of woven seats. They will learn how to prepare the materials to be used and what size cane to use. Then they will learn the six-step standard pattern which is the most widely used and the strongest. The chair seat itself will be the “loom” with holes drilled around the frame for the cane to be woven through. When the six steps are finished, binder cane and lacing will be applied to cover the holes and knotted to finish the bottom.
Ms. Foster can provide a cedar folding “fishing” chair for students to cane for a materials cost of $100. If students want to provide their own chair to cane, it must have fewer than 70 holes. Materials would then be $20. This is a two day class. Students will leave with a finished product.
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check our previous conference photos