Bushcraft weekend – spoons, baskets, fire! Sept 22/23

Sept 22/23: Learn basic bushcraft

Carve a spoon from greenwood, weave a cattail basket, make fire. Includes a wood-fired pizza potluck, and whatever other projects we can fit in around the evening fire.

Myron Cretney is a regular teacher and inspiration at primitive skills gatherings throughout the west. In addition to cattail and all the other things he knows how to do, Myron is really good at teaching friction fire with a hand-drill — he’ll help us light fires, and maybe make traps to catch some of the gophers eating our garden.

Kiko Denzer has spent decades teaching various crafts to kids and adults.…

2018 – Spoon Carving & other Workshops

Spoon Carving Workshops: April 29 – May 5, The Buckeye Gathering, I’ll be spoon-carving; others will be hide-tanning, fire-making, flint-snapping, and everything else May 8-14, I’ll be teaching a full week of greenwood at the post Buckeye pathways event: spoons, bowls, shrink pots, the lathe (foot-powered), decorative and sculptural work, tools, techniques, etc.. There may also be possibilities for tool-making w/Bryce Wood, a great smith who uses simple, minimal technology to make metal tools. June 2-3, two one-day classes at Wildwood View Garden in Portland, $75, Registration and info: potlatch@cmug.com or call 541-929-4301. June 9th, June 16, two one-day spoon carving classes in Corvallis.…

2017 – Crooked knives for Greenwood; in April!

Crooked knives for Greenwood is an

introduction to bladesmithing and green woodcraft. I’ll be teaching it at Aprovecho Institute, in Cottage Grove, OR, April 4-8, 2018. Join us to learn how to make your own basic toolkit for all kinds of decorative and practical woodwork. We’ll start by forging the essential tool for carving spoons and bowls, a crooked or bent knife. In addition to new tools, you’ll go home with the knowledge to set up your own inexpensive, simple forge. We’ll learn about hardening/tempering, sharpening, knife use/grips/techniques, other bladed tools, principles of carving, sculpture, and design, discussion (and demonstration) of traditional and appropriate technologies, including the foot-powered lathe (which requires tools you forge yourself).…

2016 – Spoon-Carving Classes or Why it’s good to carve your own spoon

This summer, I’ll be teaching three spoon carving classes, all on Saturdays: May 21 June 18 and August 20 Classes are hosted by friends Richard and Charlene at Nanacardoon, their wonderful 1.5 acre suburban food-forest/garden/learning ground. It was very popular (and fun) — we spend a day learning about wood and basic axe and knife techniques so that everyone can go home w/a spoon. Click to see more about the class and to register (great grub included!)

I’ll also be teaching green woodworking at a couple of primitive skills gatherings: Buckeye, in CA, May 1 – 7 (already full) And Echoes in Time, near Salem OR, July 17-23.…

2015 – Green-wood carving classes: make a spoon from a branch

Green-wood carving classes, spring, 2015. Carving green wood is much easier than carving dry wood, and in the days when most people didn’t have woodshops with power tools, vises, clamps, and hold-downs of all varieties, carving green wood was something you did in your lap while you were sitting around of an evening. So that’s pretty much what a spoon-carving class is all about. I’ve been teaching it mostly at primitive skills gatherings (this year I’ll be at Buckeye, and maybe Echoes in Time), but this year friends Charlene and Richard Murdock white invited me to teach at their wonderful home/garden, which they’re turning into an educational center called “Nana Cardoon.” For a class description and schedule (April and May), go here.…

For a Hand-Made Education: Build your own Sustainable Shelter, & More

Make a sustainable, yurt-style shelter, by hand, with materials your can find and harvest yourself. Come June, Kiko Denzer will lead a week-long intensive natural building project to perfect a design for a simple, affordable, efficient and beautiful yurt made of sticks, string, and mud (6/9-15, Aprovecho Inst., Cottage Grove, OR; information and registration here. For design description and photos, click here.)

If you’re interested in a full year learning opportunity in natural building, home heat (ovens, rocket-stoves, and masonry heaters), traditional green woodwork, basic blacksmithing, tool-making, gardening, compost toilets, livestock (maybe) and more. Directed by Kiko Denzer (affiliated with the North American School of Natural Building, Aprovecho Institute, Primitives Skills communities, etc.) Labor for rent trade includes possibilities for long-term collaboration.…

Cardboard dulcimers at summer Camp

Thanks to the folks at Farm and Wilderness camps, here’s a lovely video of one of the campers and his new “axe,” and more pix of music-making campers on FB, here.

To make your own, download a pdf of the book, Make a Ray Jacobs Rocky Mountain Dulcimer, here. The paper version is on sale through the HP bookstore.

My brother went to the Farm & Wilderness Camps in Vermont when he was a kid. Now his daughter is the camper, he helps out teaching woodwork. I sent him the dulcimer book, and he helped about a dozen musicians make their own instruments, not just campers, but counselors as well.…

Earth Oven variant: insulation in a basket over jumping bricks!

Insulate! Insulate! Insulate! This oven gets used about 5 days a week, so it never cools down — partly thanks to 11″ of insulation under the hearth (vertical wine bottles in perlite), and about 8″ of loose perlite over the dome (poured into a basket made of bamboo covered in clay/plaster soaked burlap and mud). I built it for a local CSA farmstand restaurant (gathering together farm). The whole story (build and repair) follows, complete w/photos of making our own bricks and laying them up from the inside out!

The oven started in a public workshop; folks came to make mud and learn and we built the basic oven in a weekend.…

Hawaiian School Garden oven

Mud ovens in Hawaii:

“These bricks, stacked and left to dry for about 2.5 weeks, are the start of a future earth oven at the campus’ Ulumau School Garden. The oven will be used by HPA (Hawaii Preparatory Academy) students, staff and their ohana to bake breads and pizzas, as well as to cook vegetables grown on site, said Koh Ming Wei, HPA’s sustainability curriculum facilitator.”

“HPA’s Hawaiian studies teacher Kuwalu Anakalea appreciated how the process included everyone’s mana. For her, the oven will serve more than tantalizing delectables. It cooks up a sense of community and value for building techniques by indigenous cultures, she said.”…

A yurt of sticks and mud

2011 has been a year of yurts, w/two opportunities to try out this simple design of sticks and mud — a more permanent adaptation of the traditional, portable, Mongolian design. One was for a friend and neighbor. The other was a workshop at Aprovecho Institute, as part of their sustainable shelter building series. Lots of people helped! Both were made with locally harvested bamboo and fir poles (arranged reciprocally to make a self-supporting, conical roof w/a central skylight, which I’m still trying to figure out how to cover cheaply…) Here’s a little picture book about the whole process.…