Fort New Salem holds weekend workshops


Fort New Salem hosted a weekend of workshops over the past two days, teaching trades from long ago that are still used today. 

Trades like blacksmithing, potter, basket making, and looming were taught. 

“Every blacksmith has to learn how to taper steel, and how to curl it. And today, later on, they’ll learn on spreading the steel making leaves. So it’s the basic skills on everything that’s required for practically everything that you want to make,” said Brian Schoonover, a blacksmith. 

The stove he was working on can heat up to well over two thousand degrees, more than hot enough to heat the iron to make the songs he wants. Something a little less time consuming that was taught was the art of corn husk dolls taking about 30 minutes to make.  A longer process is looming the rug being made here would take a few hours and that’s after a lengthy process setting up the loom. 

“It takes about eight to eighteen hours to set one up from the very get-go. but it can be taken apart and put back together with pegs. so they would have put it in a wagon and taken it to a village and made things for people, and then put it back in the wagon and went on,” said Joan Rine.

The materials used to make the rug could’ve come from a spinner. This wool is from alpaca but colors come from many different places. gold from merrygolds brown from walnuts and other colors from berries. all old-time trades that are still used in many places today. 

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