Series of Workshops
Prairie Pursuits offers how-to workshops geared to adults in a variety of topics, from historic trades, to culinary skills, to the arts. Browse the offerings this season and see what new skills you can develop on the prairie.
Call Guest Services at 317.776.6006 for reservations or register online.
Fermented Foods Workshop
August 16: 2:30-4 p.m.
$45 ($40 Conner Prairie member)
Join local fermented food purveyors Fermenti Artisan as they guide you through the process of making fermented pickles and sauerkraut. Discover the ancient craft of fermentation and cultured food as you learn how to preserve the summer bounty from your garden. Sample some of Fermenti Artisan’s fermented fare, roll up your sleeves and get ready to find yourself in a pickle. Ages 18+
Pottery: Hand Building and Wood Firing
August 16: 1-5 p.m.
Firing: September 6: 8 a.m.- noon
$115 ($105 Conner Prairie member)
Learn techniques of basic hand building. Focus will be on coil building and decorating redware pottery. Study Native American designs for inspiration to make your own vessel. We’ll then work as a class to wood fire the dried pots using a traditional pit-firing method. Ages 14+
Beginning Weaving - Four Harness Loom
August 23 & 24: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (both days)
$185 ($175 Conner Prairie member)
This class will focus on designing, step-by-step warping and weaving an attractive wool scarf on a four harness floor loom. Includes all materials needed for the class. Ages 14+
Dulcimer Basics: Build and Play a Backpacker Dulcimer
August 23: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (Register by August 9)
$115 ($105 Conner Prairie member)
Join Scott Conner as he leads the class in building and playing an elegant backpacker dulcimer. Starting with various pre-cut hardwoods, you’ll have an opportunity to assemble and fine tune your instrument. Along the way, discover the history and origins of the dulcimer. Then, tune it up and learn some notes. Includes all materials. If you have “quick grip” type bar clamps, please bring them along. Ages 14+
Fun in the Forge
Saturday, September 27: 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
$95 ($90 Conner Prairie member)
Be a blacksmith for a day. Learn to heat metal in a coal forge and shape it on an anvil. You will have the opportunity to complete several simple projects such as barbeque skewers, a flint and steel firestarter (with instructions on how to use it) and a dinner bell. All tools and materials will be provided. Ages 14+
Saturday, October 4: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
$60/guest (early registration by or September 27)
$72/guest (later registration)
It’s often said that the best camera is the one you have with you. For many of us today, it’s our iPhone that we reach for to capture the world around us.
But what is it about iPhone photography that has everyone so excited and having so much fun? It’s the apps! Apps allow us to enhance the images we take by adjusting color, adding texture and painterly effects, modifying the tone to create a feeling or mood, or combining images (called “blending”) to create works of art that are the product of the imagination; your imagination!
Join local photographer, Rad A. Drew, in this 4-hour workshop where you’ll be introduced to the fundamentals of iPhone photography. You’ll explore the possibilities of your phone and learn how to use a host of apps to create remarkable images. In keeping with the experiential learning model that is at the core of the Conner Prairie experience, Rad will follow a simple yet effective approach that will allow you to see what can be done, watch how it’s done, and then, practice those same skills yourself. After an initial learning session, the group will photograph the Conner Prairie grounds, applying newly acquired skills, then return to the classroom to process images and debrief the learning experience.
*Please Note: iPhones WILL NOT be provided. Guests must bring their own. Photography Apps not included in workshop price and must be purchased separately from App Store. Apps range in price from Free to $1.99 and total app cost should not exceed $15. Android Phone Users: This workshop is designed specifically for iPhone users and utilizes photography apps found in the iTunes App Store.
Android phone users should be warned that some of the apps may not be available to them and/or that the cameras on their phones may lack the same functionality as the iPhone camera. Mr. Drew does not profess any expertise with Android phone cameras or Android photography apps and no refunds will be given due to compatibility issues.
1. Bracket Mode
5. 645 Pro MK II
8. Pro HDR or True HDR (I prefer True HDR)
Wheel Thrown Pottery
Wednesdays, October 15 - November 19: 6-7:30 p.m.
$130 ($125 Conner Prairie member)
This class will cover the basics of wheel thrown pottery. Students will be exposed to all processes involved in making, decorating, and glazing pottery. If you have taken this class before, please join us again. If you are a beginner, you will progress at your own rate. We will tailor the lessons to your skill level. All materials and supplies are provided. Please bring a towel to dry your hands while working at the wheel. Ages 12+
Basketmaking - Make a Kentucky Egg Basket
Wednesdays, October 18: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
$145 ($135 Conner Prairie member)
Learn the basics of weaving an attractive and practical Kentucky style egg or melon basket. Using eye and rib construction, the fundamentals of weaving a basket of reed will be covered. All materials included. Ages 14+
Saturday, November 1: Noon-3 p.m.
$150 per person
Join staff from Indianapolis' award-winning meatery Smoking Goose as we all work together to go nose-to-tail, breaking down a whole hog by hand using traditional seam butchering techniques. As we work outside, around the campfire, Smoking Goose owner and meat master Chris Eley will guide participants in old-school butchery and explain the professional's tricks of the meat trade. Enjoy a complimentary tasting of Smoking Goose meat treats with paired libations at break time. Dress the part as we'll provide a Smoking Goose butcher's hat & especially commissioned butcher's apron for you to wear during the class & take home.
Also on November 1, join us for Prairie Plates: Whole Hog at the Prairie House at 6 p.m.
Whole Hog at the Prairie House
November 1; 6 p.m.
Price: $75 per person (tax included)
Purchase tickets online
Join us for a four-course feast with cuisine from Chris Eley and staff from Goose the Market. Find out more about the Prairie Plates series of culinary events.
Hammer & Tongs
Saturday, November 1: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
$130 ($120 Conner Prairie member)
Forge your own set of essential blacksmith tools, a cross-pein hammer and tongs. In this class we’ll cover basic forging processes for making tongs. We’ll also discover the secrets of properly selecting good tool steel for forging hammers, punches and drifts. Finally, students will finish the hammer and develop basic heat-treating skills through hardening and tempering. Ages 16+.
Saturday, November 8: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
$90 ($85 Conner Prairie member)
From sheep to spun wool- You will find it all in this class. Learn to wash, card wool and spin it on a drop spindle. Then try you hand spinning on a modern treadle wheel. All materials included. Students will get a drop spindle and a bag of wool to take home. Ages 14+