While the masses stumble about in a pumpkin spiced haze, savvy Plymouth CRAFT people know there’s more to Autumn than imitation flavor-
Riving and Hurdlemaking Weekend is coming up-October 28-29th at the Pinewoods Dance Camp, the same camp where Greenwood Fest is held. Peter Follansbee, Pret Woodburn and me will help you build your own hurdle-gate and work with you to refine your green woodworking techniques and understanding of wood grain and edge tools. All levels of experience are welcome. There’s food created by the amazing Paula Marcoux and cozy lodging is available at the camp. Sign up soon-spots go fast.
(A little trick is sometimes used among some (that would be thought cunning Carpenters) privately to touch the Head of the Nail with a little Ear-wax, and then lay a Wager with a Stranger to the Trick, that he shall not drive that Nail up to the Head with so many blows. The stranger thinks he shall assuredly win, but does assuredly lose; for the Hammer no sooner touches the Head of the Nail but instead of entring the Wood it flies away, notwithstanding his utmost care in striking it down-right.)
I mean, who HASN’T pulled this trick at a kegger or an office X-mas party a few times? And ee by gum, what a novel use for ear-wax!
Nails. We love em, common though they may be. We hot dip and galvanize them, we pound them, shoot them from guns, bend them over on themselves to clench them, and adding insult to injury we give them funny and archaic names like Stainless Ringshanks and 8-Penny. They’re relatively cheap, they come in convenient packages, and they are ubiquitous.
They’re wicked easy to take for granted.
But have you ever REALLY thought about the humble nail? Have you gone on a Wayne’s World flashback to when they were actually forged one at a time by a smith on an anvil? Have you considered how wonderful it would be to be able to make your perfect little (or not so little) pieces of hardware to compliment and personalize your project?
Nails are some of the easiest things to forge yet they can take a lifetime to perfect. In this one-day workshop, blacksmith George Paré will teach participants to forge a wide variety of nails for aesthetic and practical applications, or for use in restoration projects.
The forging of nails is an ideal form of training for building hammer control and muscle memory as a blacksmith. One can easily see his or her progress as a smith by comparing nails made over months and years forging. The satisfaction of making one nail is soon replaced by that of watching a pile of them grow beside the anvil.
This workshop is open to individuals of all skill levels and forging ability. It will be conducted in the Sellars/Demoranville Blacksmith Shop located at the Freetown Historical Society, itself an exceptional cultural resource. We will take advantage of the unique setting to learn a little bit about local craft history, which happens to be quite rich in iron.
Discover for yourself the satisfaction of driving nails that you forged by hammer and hand.
Lunch is included in the participant fee.
In keeping with the theme of the day, it will be cooked onsite using cast and wrought iron utensils, over a charcoal fire.
Me again. There you have it. What the fine print doesn’t tell you is that George is super friendly, incredibly talented, and a wonderful teacher. (He also teaches kite-boarding, but we’ll let him tell you about that). Also, you remember Paula Marcoux, of Cooking with Fire fame. She will be working the fire to make something amazing, guaranteed. This aint a pizza & soda kinda workshop, folks. In meeting both George and Paula, you will have made two lifelong friends. Last but not least, you will be soaking in the history of an unspoiled and culturally rich part of southeastern Massachusetts through The Freetown Historical Society’s forge. Did I mention that it’s only a stones throw to the best sawmill/lumberyard on the eastern seaboard? If you work wood and you haven’t been to Gurney’s Sawmill, you need to change that.
BLUE OAK apologizes for the hard sell…but not really. These folks are talented and dedicated craftspeople and teachers–the best at what they do, really. They aren’t in it for the money and they aren’t in it for the Twitter follows. They are sincerely devoted to traditional arts, restoration, and handcraft and to sharing that knowledge and skill with you. It’s a lot of money to many of us. Understood. But if you can afford it, it’s a fair price for a learned skill, great contacts, and new friends.
It’s up to you now.
But ladies and gentlemen please, leave the ear-wax at home.
Date: July 26
Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Freetown Historical Society
1 Slab Bridge Road
Assonet, MA 02702 USA
To register and for more information, pound the link below like a hammer pounds a nail:
You can almost smell the warm bread just peeled out of this earthen, hand-made wood-fired oven…
You’ve often thought, how cool would that be to have one of those ovens in my own backyard! Could I build one myself? And also, why am I thinking in italics?
Well, here’s your chance.
Plymouth Craft is offering a 2-day workshop on May 2nd and 3rd on building an earthen oven. This is not some esoteric, beard-pulling musing privy only to a select few who happened to read about it on the back pages of Hipster Digest. Nor is it simply a brief introduction to the topic. This will be a comprehensive, sleeves up, hands-on weekend of utter wonderful taught by real people for real people using real materials to make real food.
You can do this.
And to boot, it’s being taught by the very special and talented Paula Marcoux. You know Paula–she wrote the book on Cooking with Fire. But a special love of hers are earthen ovens and their many forms. Around her home, I have personally seen at least 4 ovens she and Pret have built themselves. Legend has it that Paula once even dug out an oven into the side of a dirt road nearby. Hi neighbor–care for some bread?
Get ready for some next-level instruction.
This is a very cool opportunity. For real. The workshop is reasonably priced, the materials are readily available, and you will find no better teacher and guide than Paula.
Tell them you read this on BLUE OAK and they’ll be like, what?
The Dinghys are one of the best bands south of Boston. They’re comprised of a couple of carpenters, two electricians, and a few ex-pilgrims, among other notables. They are most def worth a little trip if you’re in the 508 or 617.