Registration for 2021 classes is now open!
Conner Prairie’s hands-on classes in the Arts and Arms Making Workshops series, provide a rare opportunity to work closely with some of the nation’s best craftsmen. Small class sizes in well-equipped facilities allow you to develop skills from a basic level to a more advanced level. All materials are included in class price. Tools are provided, unless otherwise noted. Find a class that interests you below, then click the date of the class to see more details and register.
Saturday, September 25th
Learn to prepare a traditional meal over an open fire. Enjoy the smell of wood smoke as hearth cooking expert Sarah Withrow shares her knowledge. Learn to blend traditional techniques with historic and contemporary recipes that are perfect for home entertaining, historic re-enacting or camping.
Advanced Hornworking: Lehigh Valley Powder Horn
Please note this is a multi-session class.
Saturday-Tuesday, September 25-28, 8am– p.m. Wednesday, September 29, 8 am–12 pm
Work alongside master hornsmith Art DeCamp to make Lehigh Valley style powder horn. Special emphasis will be placed on learning to apply the unique decorative “polka dots” commonly found on this style of horn . Basic hornworking techniques such as heating, pressing, lathe work, finishing and coloring of horn will be covered.
Please note this is a multi-session class. Saturday, September 25th and Sunday, September 26th, 8am-5pm
Explore traditional forging techniques with blacksmith Nathan Allen. Examine stylistic differences and construction techniques used on historic axes. Class will cover both wrapped and welded and punched eye axes. Students will have the chance to forge a couple of different styles.
Please note this is a multi-session class. Saturday-Tuesday, September 25th-28, 8am-5pm. Wednesday, September 29th, 8am-12pm.
Master engraver and author of Engraving Historic Firearms, John Schippers, teaches you the art of metal engraving. Using practice pieces, you’ll learn basic design, tool selection and sharpening techniques. Also, you’ll have the opportunity at the bench to practice and receive critique on the techniques learned in class.
Please note this is a multi-session class. Monday- Tuesday, September 27th-28th, 8am-5pm. Wednesday, September 29th, 8am-12pm.
Under the guidance of Dwight Gallian, you’ll learn about the history and creation of a traditional hand-forged knife. Topics include proper steel selection, use of a coal forge and anvil, filing, and finishing a handle. You can expect to complete at least one knife during class. (Tools required)
Custom Knife Sheaths
Sunday, September 26th
Folk artist and leatherworker Ken Scott will show you the many tips and techniques used in making knife sheaths for all styles of working knives. Please bring the knives you want to sheath to class. (Tools/materials required)
Please note this is a multi-session class. Monday- Tuesday, September 27-28th, 8am-5pm. Wednesday, September 29th, 8am-12pm.
Join Ken Scott as he teaches you his unique style of making hunting bags and pouches. Through pattern development, cutting, stitching, finishing, and basic leatherworking techniques, you’ll create a one of a kind hunting pouch. You’ll also learn Ken’s unique antiquing methods. (Tools required)
Please note this is a multi-session class, beginning Wednesday, September 29th 1pm-5pm. Thursday-Friday September 30th-October 1st, 11am-5pm.
A hand made folding knife is a joy to use and something you can carry with pride. Knifesmith Nathan Allen teaches how to create a historically appropriate “cut steel” knife. Students will spend time at the bench learning how to file, fit, harden and temper a practical knife that will serve well in daily use. (Tools required)
Please note this is a multi-session class. Wednesday, September 29th 1pm-5pm. Thursday-Friday, September 30th-October 1st, 8am-5pm.
Join Nathan Allen as you learn the basics of blacksmithing including drawing, punching, hardening, tempering steel and forge welding. You’ll make projects such as chain links, s-hooks, a fireplace poker, pliers and a fork. All tools and materials provided.
Stock Carving & Silver Wire Inlay
Please note this is a multi-session class. Wednesday, September 29th, 1pm-5pm. Thursday- Friday, September 30th-October 1st, 8am-5pm.
Master gunsmith John Schippers will help you learn the basics of two fundamental techniques of decorating long rifles, tomahawks and knives: relief carving and silver wire inlay. Utilizing practice pieces, you will learn how to design and execute decorative motifs, and make your own tools and keep them sharp. You’ll also pick up other tips and techniques from John that he has mastered over his 50 year career as a gunsmith. (Tools and materials required)
Please note this is a multi-session class. Wednesday, September 29th, 1pm-5pm. Thursday-Friday, September 30th- October 1st, 8am-5pm.
Take your pouchmaking to the next level as Ken Scott teaches you advanced techniques in making hunting bags and pouches. You’ll learn how to create rolled bindings, pocket gussets, ways to attach aprons, appliques and cutouts. This workshop is intended as a next step for those who have taken his basic pouch workshop. (Tools required)
Scrimshaw Techniques for Horn and Bone
Please note this is a multi-session class. Wednesday, September 29th, 1pm-5pm. Thursday- Friday September 30th- October 1st, 8am-5pm.
Whether on horn, bone, antler or other materials scrimshaw is a fascinating and useful decorative technique. Master Hornsmith Art DeCamp will show you the tricks to design, layout and execute beautiful scrimshaw work. Students will be able to learn various inking techniques to apply to projects. An engraving knife and practice pieces of horn will be provided as part of the class. Students may also opt to bring a finished project, such as a powder horn to decorate as well. (Tools required)