Tag Archives: Crafts of the Past

Fort Nisqually’s Crafts of the Past

30 Jul

Fort Nisqually’s Crafts of the Past event is fun for any age. Our family has attended Crafts of the Past before and each time there is something new and fun to see. The children and adults all could participate in the crafts and events. Each of the many stations were well staffed, with individuals that were highly skilled in the various crafts they were demonstrating. Each of the craftspeople were helpful and willing to assist each participant in their learning of the new craft.

While at Fort Nisqually, we could practice playing the tin whistle, work through various puzzles created by the local blacksmith, watch a master calligrapher and try our own hand at calligraphy, practice scrimshaw on piano keys, help prepare the day’s supper, cut some wood, check out the root cellar, sew a pretty flower, and make a banjo from a gourd.

Each of the hands-on events was interesting, engaging, and showcased a skill or trade that could be learned and practiced. At every station, each person in our party was asked to participate, encouraged to ask questions, or helped with the task given. Audience engagement was encouraged and the children with us (ages 6 and 9) loved every minute and wanted to stay longer.

As a family, we have attended previous Crafts of the Past events and the Brigade Encampment. We are planning on attending the Candlelight Tour (October 5 & 6) and the Christmas Regale (December 1.) These are just a few of the many events that the Fort has each year. All events can be found on their website: https://www.metroparkstacoma.org/fort-events/.

 

COMING UP NEXT
What: Crafts of the Past
About:  Modern practitioners of 19th century artistic traditions share the methods and materials of their work through demonstrations and hands-on opportunities. 
Where: Fort Nisqually, 5400 N. Pearl Street (located in Point Defiance Park)
When: Saturday, August 4 @ 11 am – 5 pm – featuring blacksmithing, leather work and gun engraving
Saturday, September 1 @ 11 am – 5 pm – featuring photography, basketry, wood turning and blacksmithing
Tickets:  Free with general admission ($8 adult, $7 military/senior, $5 youth, Free ages 3 and under, $22 family)

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support Fort Nisqually’s Crafts of the Past program with Arts Projects funding.

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Tac Art Comm Retreat This review was written by Heather Conklin. Heather is an art teacher at Lincoln High School. She has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission since January 2015, currently serving as Vice Chair.

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An opportunity now for Crafts of the Past

11 Feb
Families get hands-on at Crafts of the Past. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually Foundation.

A family get hands-on learning how to make a cyanotype photo at Crafts of the Past. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually Foundation.

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum is seeking traditional artists and crafts people to share their knowledge and skills with the public in the museum’s Crafts of the Past program.

03_Fort Nisqually Foundation

Sashes made by Darryl Hall using the finger-weaving technique. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually.

Crafts of the Past supports a different artist-in-residence demonstrating mid-19th century crafts every weekend May – September. Past featured arts and crafts have included silver inlay, powder horns, Native American beadwork, Native American basket weaving, scrimshaw, blacksmithing, spinning and dyeing, weaving, hand sewing, musical instruments, historical illustration, calligraphy, and puppetry.

02_Fort Nisqually Foundation

Native American basketry hat by Judy Bridges. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually.

Artists-in-residence set up a display of their work and are available to talk with visitors from 11 am – 5 pm both Saturday and Sunday for one weekend. Artists demonstrate their craft and are encouraged, if appropriate, to provide a hands-on learning opportunity for the public.

An honorarium of $200 per day is paid to the artist-in-residence. There is also a maximum $50 reimbursement for supplies for the public hands-on activity. In addition, artists-in-residence are invited to sell artwork on commission through the museum store, and to participate in the Artisan Market during the Arts of the Fur Trade event later in the year.

 

Punch and Judy Performance by Kelsey Sample. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually.

Applications are available online and are due February 26, 2016.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support Crafts of the Past through our Arts Projects funding program.

 

Immerse yourself in history

5 May
Crafts of the Past will take you back to the 19th century through the handiwork of local artisans. Photo by Dane Gregory Meyer.

Crafts of the Past will take you back to the 19th century through the handiwork of local artisans. Photo by Dane Gregory Meyer.

Fort Nisqually is offering a fascinating season-long series called ‘Crafts from the Past’.  Each weekend until the end of September the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum presents artisans from diverse skill sets who will show you how pioneers made things.  The setting puts you back in time and the period costumes of artisans further sets the feeling that you have stepped back into days long past.

Fort Nisqually invites visitors to step back in time. Photo by Dane Gregory Meyer.

Fort Nisqually invites visitors to step back in time. Photo by Dane Gregory Meyer.

The minute I stepped out of my car at Ft. Nisqually, on the bluff above the Narrows Passage, there were eagles chattering in their hollow shrill stutter. A raven bellowed in a deep clatter nearby. Inside the fort was a world only imagined from seeing movies or reading stories. There, artisans were demonstrating handiwork from the 1800s such as iron forging. But my purpose was to see the current week’s Crafts of the Past presentation, a combination of gun smithing and silver inlay with artist Steve Baima.

Artisans provide samples of hand-crafted work to help illustrate their process. Photo by Dane Gregory Meyer.

Artisans provide samples of hand-crafted work to help illustrate their process. Photo by Dane Gregory Meyer.

A very enthusiastic Baima, dressed in hand-made period clothing, explained how settlers, during the agrarian culture of the 1700s, would spend their winters creating such things as rifles, to be sold later.  As competition grew so did the artistry of the pieces. Examples were ready on hand to show interested participants.

COMING UP

Crafts of the Past is just getting started. Some of the other talents to be presented this year include: “sheep to shawl”, basket weaving, illustrating, beadwork, broom making, wood-turning, cheese making, banjo making, textile arts, bookbinding, and much more.

What: Crafts of the Past – hands-on presentations by artisan demonstrating crafts of the past
Where: Ft. Nisqually, in Point Defiance Park, 5400 N. Pearl St.
When: Every weekend until the end of September
Cost: Included with admission (adults $5, youth 4-18 $4)
More information: www.fortnisquallyfoundation.org, (253)591-5339

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support this event through Arts Projects funding.

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Dane Gregory Meyer PhotographyThis review was written by Tacoma Arts Commission member Dane Meyer. Dane has been a professional photographer for over 25 years and owns Dane Gregory Meyer Photography. He has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission since 2009 in a desire to give back to the community and support the arts as an economic engine and core for Tacoma.

Crafts of the Past at Fort Nisqually

23 Apr
An artisan provides a spinning demonstration during Crafts of the Past. Photos By Russ Carmack.

An artisan provides a spinning demonstration during Crafts of the Past.
Photos By Russ Carmack.

During the next five months, guests of Fort Nisqually Living History Museum will get a close encounter with the creativity of daily life in the 1800s when the popular Crafts of the Past program returns for a third year.

Each weekend from May 3 through September 28a different artist will be “in-residence” at the Fort with displays and demonstrations of their work. Most will also offer guests the opportunity to try the craft themselves. Featured crafts include Native American basketry, metal engraving, millinery, botanical illustration, broom making, and blacksmithing.

“Many of the things people needed for daily life in the 1800s — from what they wore to the tools they used — were produced by crafts people whose work was both functional and beautiful,” said Fort Nisqually’s site manager Mike McGuire. “This is a chance to see artists in action and learn directly from them.”

What: Crafts of the Past
Where: Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, 5400 N. Pearl, in Point Defiance Park
When: Saturdays & Sundays, May 3 – September 28
Cost: Free with museum admission (admission: Free – $7)

Crafts of the Past is sponsored by the Fort Nisqually Foundation and made possible with funding from the Nisqually Indian Tribe and the Tacoma Arts Commission.

An artisan gives a woodworking demonstration during Crafts of the Past. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually Foundation.

An artisan gives a woodworking demonstration during Crafts of the Past. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually Foundation.

Artisans for May:

May 3-4 – Steve Baima follows in the tradition of the 18th and 19th century gun makers who embellished their wares with intricate metal engravings. Steve was mentored by accomplished artisans, and has been perfecting his craft through years of practice. Guests will have the opportunity to try their hand at engraving lines on soft brass. Steve is the president of the Cascade Mountain Men and the Washington Historical Gunmakers Guild.

May 10-11 – Heather Kibbey and Mickey Pederson have each been spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, and tatting for more than 40 years. Both Mickey and Heather are regular volunteers at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum and often mentor other volunteers. Guests will see them spin and weave, and have the opportunity to try their hand at using drop spindles or weaving on a loom. On Saturday, guests will also get to see how the whole process begins — with the sheering of sheep — thanks to a small flock of visiting sheep.

May 18 (Sunday Only) – Judy Bridges, a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, is descended from five fur traders and their Native American wives. Her baskets use both traditional and modern materials. She took up basketry in the early 1990s, studying with both native and non-native teachers. She has been teaching and demonstrating basketry for more than a decade. Judy will demonstrate basketry techniques such as plaiting, twining and coiling. Guests can examine baskets under construction and handle raw materials.

May 24-25 – Victoria Anderson had her first experience with making a cyanotype photographic print as a child with a kit she got from a science store. As a college student, Victoria explored the process more deeply, learning to make her own photo-sensitive paper and fabric. Cyanotypes use ultraviolet light (e.g. sunlight) to create a photographic image, and were one of the earliest forms of photography to appear in the mid-1800s. It was quickly utilized to make images of plant specimens. Guest will have the opportunity to make their own prints of leaves, buttons, or lace. The botanical uses of this craft connect it to the current exhibit, “Dr. Tolmie, the Naturalist.”

May 31-June 1 – Alan Archambault has been creating historical illustrations for more than 50 years. Before the advent of photography, images of places and events were often created by artists. Such illustrations are an important resource for historians. Alan, a former museum director, understands their significance and has worked to keep the craft alive. Alan is also an accomplished calligrapher. Younger guests can enjoy coloring illustrations, and older guest can try their hand at illustration or calligraphy.

2014 Schedule

May 3 & 4 – Metal engraving

May 10 & 11 – “Sheep to Shawl” sheering, spinning, and weaving

May 18 – Native American basket weaving

May 24 & 25 – Cyanotype photographic prints

May 31 & June 1 – Historical illustration and calligraphy

June 7 & 8 – Native American beadwork

June 14 & 15 – Broom making

June 22 – Collecting botanical specimens

June 28 & 29 – Fingerweaving

July 5 & 6 – Blacksmithing

July 12 &13 – Botanical illustration

July 19 & 20 – Woodturning

July 26 & 27 – Banjo making

August 2 & 3 – Culinary arts – cheese making

August 9 & 10 – Punch and Judy puppetry

August 16 & 17 – Basket weaving

August 23 & 24 – Textile arts

 

Check Out 19th-Century DIY at Crafts of the Past

23 Jun

Drama plain and simple: Kelsey Sample’s “Punch & Judy” takes the stage at Crafts of the Past. Photo courtesy of Fort Nisqually Foundation.

Throughout the summer months, Tacoma is Craft Fair Central, with our local artisans showing off their wares from July to September. This year, one program is digging deep into the annals of history for its arts-and-crafts offerings: thanks to grants from the Tacoma Arts Commission and Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, the Fort Nisqually Foundation is presenting Crafts of the Past, a program showcasing master craftspersons working in 19th-century art forms such as Native American beadworking, banjo making, silver inlay, powder horn making, textile arts, Native American basketry and woodworking.

Textile artist Heather Kibbey. Photo courtesy of Fort Nisqually Foundation.

These fun, educational events are a part of Fort Nisqually Living History Museum’s summer programming. Come and explore the fascinating, authentic Nisqually fortress inside Pt. Defiance Park and get a glimpse of life in the Washington Territory during the fur-trade era. Visitors are invited to participate in hands-on activities – and get a feel for what it takes to produce a beautiful, functional work of art. Find more information here.

2012 CRAFTS OF THE PAST SCHEDULE
June 23-24  Judy Bridges, Native American Basketmaking
June 30 – July 1  Chuck Larsen, Native American Beadwork
July 7-8   Heather Kibbey and Mickey Pedersen, Spinning & Indigo Dying
July 14-15   John Salicco, Banjo making
July 21-22  Glenn Sutt, Wire Inlay/Horn making/Gunsmithing

Perfect pitch: Banjo maker John Salicco. Photo courtesy of Fort Nisqually Foundation.

July 28-29   7/28 Ray Baker; 7/29 John Simpkins, Blacksmithing
Aug. 4-5   Chuck Larsen, Native American Beadwork
Aug. 11-12   Kelsey Sample, Punch and Judy Puppetry (performances and workshops)
Aug. 18-19   Judy Bridges, Native American Basketmaking
Aug. 25-26   Mickey Pederson and Heather Kibbey, Textile Arts – Weaving and Spinning

Artist Glenn Sutt, master of powder horn craft and wire inlay. Photo courtesy of Fort Nisqually Foundation.

Sept. 1-2   Rich Repp, Horn Making and Scrimshaw

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