We're pleased to welcome WildCraft Studio School as they take over the Selvedge Instagram page today. Follow Selvedge on Instagram using the handle @SelvedgeMagazine to find out more about WildCraft's exciting new programme of courses and classes.
Images: Photography by Micah Fischer, @micah_fischer
WildCraft Studio School offers workshops for adults in the practices of traditional craft, textiles, Native American arts and land-based skills. From our studio in Portland, Oregon — as well as from the farms, forests and beaches that make up our off-site classrooms — WildCraft strives to awaken creativity and deepen an understanding of place through hands-on experiences in making.
Whether carving a wooden spoon, foraging for mushrooms, weaving a pack-basket or harvesting plants for natural dying, a student taking a WildCraft workshop has signed up for an intensive, skill-focused experience. The motivation to combine seemingly disparate practices under one educational platform was born out of an interest to make connections between the natural world and the studio. We believe that resourcefulness, creativity, and a meaningful relationship to place are integral parts of the human experience and deserving of more space in contemporary life.
Many of our workshops focus on craft practices that have become nearly obsolete in contemporary society. Through our courses, students are presented with the opportunity to connect with the larger history of making useful objects by hand. Many of these classes teach a skill through a cultural perspective, passing along both technical knowledge and a deeper understanding of cultural production.In collaboration with Northwest Native artists, WildCraft Studio School has created an educational platform for the original craft traditions of this region to persist and thrive. Workshops like Kalapuya Basket Weaving, Cedar Bark Basketry and Columbia Plateau Beading tell the stories of the area’s vernacular craft — illuminating a relationship to place through materiality, process, and technique. These classes are rare outside of Tribal schools, community centers, and reservations. It is our hope that the cultural exchange between Native teachers and non-Native students will continue to build a deeper understanding and respect for the First Peoples of the Northwest.
Outside of our SE Portland studio, students can experience a seasonal collection of workshops that teach land-based skills such as plant identification and wild foods foraging. These courses utilise the rich and varied landscapes of the Northwest as sites of learning. Harvesting edible seaweed at the Oregon Coast, learning to identify wildflowers on Mt.Hood and exploring the urban dye plants found in the streets and backyards throughout the city of Portland are just a few of the activities students might explore in an off-site Nature workshop. Through the lens of sustainable harvest and local tradition, WildCraft’s land-based courses focus on cultivating sustainable relationships with landscape through a deeper understanding of ethnobotany, geology, and habitat.
This week, Wildcraft launch their Fall ‘21 season of classes. Offering a diverse assortment of new classes such as: Traditional Zapotec Weaving, Punch Needle Rug Making, Japanese Natural Dyes, Woodworking for Weavers, Coastal Mushroom Foraging, there is something for everyone!
Find out more about Wildcraft and all of their new class listings here: https://wildcraftstudioschool.com/
Follow Wildcraft as they take over the Selvedge Instagram account today.