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Earth Day - Weekend Skills Gathering 2018

Lost Creek School For Self-Reliance presents our annual Earth Day weekend gathering, featuring traditional folk and outdoor skills that inspire us to live an enjoyable and self-sufficient life. Whether you find yourself in a survival situation or are trying to build a house, these workshops are a great way to gain knowledge and connect with others with similar interests.

What makes The Gathering special? Participants and instructors benefit from the"culture of learning" created by being surrounded by many topics throughout the weekend. You can choose to wander around and see what other classes are doing, or focus on just one subject, it's up to you! Join us for a weekend of fun, sharing, and learning. 

Dates: April 20-22, 2018

Location: Lost Creek School for Self-Reliance & Folk Arts, Cornucopia Wisconsin.


Saturday April 21 - Meet at Lost Creek School

8am - Optional show and tell and coffee talk. Instructors will have some fun personal works and projects to check out. (Students feel free to bring your personal works too).

9am - Workshops begin. 

Lunch on own.

Workshops continue until 5pm

6pm - Veggie Chili & corn break at Lost Creek provided. Bring your own drinks. Campfire.

7pm - Short topic TBA.

Sunday April 22 - Meet at the school.

8am - Optional pancakes with maple syrup we boiled down yesterday!

8:30 - Workshops continue until 4pm.

4:30pm - Meet at Lost Creek for farewells.


Foundation Workshops

On Friday we offer this time to brush up on your skills. You can learn to sharpen a knife, work on your plant ID, or build a fire. This is an open time where you can wander the landscape or help mentor others in a skill. 

Weaving with Birch Bark
with April Stone

Sunday all day
The birch tree is a boreal tree growing at the same latitude around the globe. What you find here in the states can also be found in places like Scandinavia, Russia, and China. The bark of paper birch can be folded and sewn into baskets using (usually) one piece of bark or processed into “strips” used for weaving all sorts of useful items: from cup cozies and shoes to backpacks and knife sheaths. For this one day workshop, participants will be provided with birch bark strips to be used for diagonal plaiting a basket
(weaving at a 45 degree angle) measuring approximately 5” x 5” x 5” upon completion. Leftover scrap material from both of my classes can then be used for weaving small knife sheaths..time permitting. Read more and photos
Material fee: $25

Min 4/Max 8 students. Need to register by April 14th.


Create Your Own Leather-bound Journal

with Michael Joyner

Sunday 10am-4pm

Keeping a journal is one of the best activities one can do to reflect on life’s meanings, preserve the moments of time, or record observations for future reference. In this workshop, participants will create a personalized leather-bound journal. The front and back cover, along with the binding, will be shaped from leather and stitched together to make a one-of-a-kind creation. Finished product measures approximately 9” X 6”. Read more

Materials fee: $15

Felting By Hand 

with Greg Weiss 

Saturday all day

Using the wet-felting method, we will learn to make a pattern for mittens or a hat, and then form our creations!

Materials fee: $15

Fine Arts Gourds

with Jorge Conesa-Sevilla

Saturday all day, Sunday as needed.

From cutting, to cleaning, to finishing, the two-day process aims at completing (inside and out) a large kettle-shaped gourd (9”+) to a personally satisfying choice of jute, raffia, or red willow edge (with or without a handle) and natural (or acrylic) finish. Gourd, tools and sundries provided. See examples at:

Materials fee: $20

Eco Art For The Soul

with Michael Joyner

Saturday all day

Enjoying and creating designs in nature touches aspects of both the human and more-than-human worlds. Participants will explore universal cross-cultural techniques which call attention to the patterns in nature and the archetypal expressions we encounter in art. Through learning about, and taking part in, creating meaningfully-inspired nature-based artwork, participants have the opportunity to experience sensorial empathy with the living land. Read More.

Materials fee: $15

Maple Syruping 

All day every day

Tis the season! Learn how to tap, collect, and boil down sap into syrup. We'll be using the proceeds on our Sunday morning pancakes!

Bow-Drill Fire Making

with Alex "Alyosha" Breslav

Sunday all day

In this class you will first learn how to shape chunks of wood into a bow-drill kit using a knife and an ax, and then you will learn proper body technique to bring forth the gift of Fire! This class is about more than fire. How to find the right woods, and how to shape your materials takes skill and practice.

Your instructor has been teaching bow-drill fire-making at various gatherings and workshops, which he originally learned while using it as the only method of making fire during a year in the wilderness. 

Metal-Less Campfire Cooking

with Alex "Alyosha" Breslav

Saturday all day

Learn how to cook meat, fat, greens, root vegetables, and grains without the use of metal pots,or any other products of civilization.  We will re-discover ancient techniques of befriending the fire, and make our own tools for the occasion from the gifts of the Forest. This workshop was a yummy hit last year!

Black Ash Basketry Tutorial Cancelled

with April Stone, Black Ash basket maker

Saturday all day

Black Ash basketry has a very rich history in the United States going back thousands and thousands of years.  It’s a swamp lovin’ tree native to the Great Lakes and beyond.  The tree, once harvested, can be processed (pounded) in such a way, providing workable “splint” material used in creating baskets of many shapes and sizes: from colanders and sieves to storage and cooking baskets.  In this one day workshop, participants will be able to experience log pounding, splitting, scraping, and cutting of raw splint as they prep and lay-out material for a simple plaited basket measuring approx. 6” x 6” x 6” when completed. Optional curly-q  embellishments can be added to the completed basket, time permitting. For further enhancement, a traveling display complete with resource materials and a plethora of baskets will be set up on site. This class offers a GREAT introduction for the birch strip weaving class offered on Sunday. Read more and photos

Material fee: $25

Min 4/Max 8 students. Need to register by April 14th.

Learn To Play The Didgeridoo!

with Jorge Conesa-Sevilla

Sunday afternoon

Learn the basics of how to play, and work on your circular breathing. Instruments will be provided for this workshop.

Make a Bushcraft Bucksaw   

with Kelly Hargesheimer

Sunday afternoon (approximately 2 hours)

Learn how to construct a bucksaw frame using only a knife, some cordage, and sticks you gather in the forest.  This useful skill allows you to carry just the saw blade in a survival kit and to make or repair a frame if yours breaks while you’re out in the woods. 

Materials fee: $10 includes the saw blade and cordage.  Bring a sharp knife for carving.  If you don’t already own a good knife, we will have some excellent and very reasonably priced carving knives available for purchase at the event. More information.

limited to 10 participants


Improvised Canoe Sailing Rigs

with Kelly Hargesheimer

Saturday morning (approximately 2 to 4 hours depending on weather)

Have you ever been out paddling your canoe in a tail wind and wished that you could put up a sail to catch it?  Well you can!  Imagine cruising along faster than you can paddle with no more effort than it takes to steer.  Using a tarp or poncho, some rope, and a few poles gathered from the forest we will explore different ways to construct down-wind sailing rigs for one or more canoes.  And if the wind and weather permit, we will get to try them out on a nearby lake. More information.

And more... The great part about gatherings is that there is always more going on than what can be described in writing. Watch here for updates, but register now!​

Birch Bark Basketry
Birch Bark Baskets
Felting Workshop
Felted Hats
Fine Arts Gourds
Bow and Drill Fire Making
Cooking Without Metal
Black Ash Basketry Workshop
Black Ash Basketry
Bushcraft Bucksaw
Canoe Sailing
Also join our Facebook event page
to get the latest updates.

A campground is located 1/2 mile from workshop headquarters. Our area has several other options for lodging as well. See our resource page for more information.

Weekend Tuition (Saturday-Sunday)

*Individual $125 

*Groups - 2 for $230, 3 or more $100 each.

Daily Tuition 

*Individual one day $85

*Groups - 2 for $160, 3 or more $75 each.

Student Scholarships available.

Materials: Each course has it's own materials fee posted with it's description which is separate from tuition and payable directly to your instructor.

it me. It's easy.

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