37th Annual Series of Early American Trades and


Historic Preservation Workshops



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Workshop Schedule for 2013


1. Natural Cements and Lime Mortars for Restoring Period Masonry


June 10-11 (2 Days) :: $325.00 Fee :: Limit of 15 Students


Great strides have been made in the field of historic mortars in the past few decades. New sources (sometimes old ones) have become available that can match the properties of early mortars in more ways than ever. Our instructor, Ken Uracius, has been in the forefront of this research for over 30 years. His research actually led him to the original Rosendale Cement Mines in NY State that supplied natural cement from 1822–1900. He has now opened one of the mines on a limited basis and has made true Rosendale Cement available for the first time in many years.


Ken will discuss the different binders used in this period including mortars using lime, natural hydraulic lime, hydraulic lime, American natural cement, French Natural cement, pozzolans, and pre-rotary kiln Portland cement, as well as when and where they were used. The program will be lecture/demonstration, and student participation working with the materials will help their understanding of these processes and material. Ken has been involved in many major restoration projects throughout the US.


Ken Uracius, restoration mason and Vice President of Stone and Lime Imports, Inc., Brookfield, MA




2. Period Make-do’s and How to Reproduce Them


June 14-15 (2 Days) :: $325.00 Fee :: Limit of 10 Students


A Make-do was an expedient way to save a cherished, broken item for continued use in a household in Early America.  They were made of wood, tin, iron and included items like a new handle on a teapot, a base for a lamp, or even a wrought iron handle for a wooden plane. Today these items are highly collectable and of great interest for their ingenuity.


One of the country’s leading collectors of early make-do’s, Andrew Baseman, will offer an in-depth lecture on the range and diversity of items that were repaired. Students will then be introduced to a large variety of period make-do’s, and the construction methods used to make them will be explained.


The participants will be asked to bring several special damaged items and in consultation with the instructors, plan several projects, spending the rest of the class working with the help of the instructors to complete them.  Participants will also be introduced to methods for aging the make-do so that it has the appearance of use and age.


Andrew Baseman, Manhattan interior designer who maintains the blog Past Imperfect: the Art of Inventive Repair which illustrates the make-dos in his collection by category; William McMillen, Master Tinsmith, Glenmont NY; Don Carpentier, Master Craftsman and Director of Eastfield


3. An Early British and American Ceramics “POTpourri”


June 21-23 (3 Days) :: $465.00 Fee


This year we have decided to continue the theme from last year’s program and provide lectures on a variety of fascinating subjects related to early British and American Ceramics. “Dish Camp” is an engaging, relaxed, and informal three days of talk and experience involving pottery. We encourage timely conversations, and give-and-take between speakers and audience.


Our speakers are all involved in a variety of projects that allow them to work closely with the artifacts that they will be discussing in depth. As usual, there will be many wonderful items to examine on the huge tables in the church and all participants are encouraged to bring pots for the show and tell as well.


Don Carpentier will display some of the items from his Spode collection that have never been shown before. Additionally, another display will feature Don’s newly discovered potter ancestors from NJ: Asher Bissett from Old Bridge (began potting in 1816), Xerxes Price from South Amboy (began potting in 1801) and Abial Price, also from So. Amboy (began potting before 1830 in Massachusetts.) The family of potters worked until the 1880’s and marked many pieces.


There will be a period Dinner served as part of the program in the Briggs tavern on the evening of Saturday, June 22 at NO additional charge.


This year’s exciting assortment of subjects will include the following lectures:


“Early Repairs to Ceramics”

Angelika Kuettner, assistant curator of ceramics at Colonial Williamsburg


“An 18th Century African American Freeman Potter in New York”

Brandt Zipp, auctioneer and researcher, Crocker Farm, Inc., Sparks, Maryland


“Researching, Building, and Firing a Salt Glaze Stoneware Kiln”

Brenda Hornsby-Heindl, Chapel Hill Preservation, and operator of Liberty Stoneware (We will also be treated to demonstrations of pottery making by Brenda.)


“Privy Site Archaeology in Center City Philadelphia, with Emphasis on Dipped Wares”

Debbie Miller, National Park Service archaeologist


“Forty Years of Researching, Collecting, and Writing about Dipped Wares”

Jonathan Rickard, author and collector


“18th Century Charlestown Redware: Results from the Big Dig”

Justin Thomas, TV professional, antiques dealer, and ceramics blogger, together with Joe Bagley, Boston city archaeologist


“Ceramics at Auction in the Shenandoah Valley”

Jeff  Evans, proprietor and auctioneer, Jeffrey S. Evans and Associates, Mount Crawford, Virginia


“Spoils of War: A War of 1812 Privateer's Prize Ceramic Cargo”

Louise Richardson, research associate at Strawberry Bank in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Very rare original documents describe in detail the auction of a British merchant vessel loaded with British pottery bound for Portsmouth, that was seized by the US during the war.)


4. Beginning Blacksmithing


June 28-30 (3 Days) :: $375.00 Fee :: Limit of 6 Students


This course is designed to familiarize the student with the basic techniques of Blacksmithing. The processes of drawing out, upsetting, riveting, welding, basic heat treating and managing the forge fire will be covered. Students will then begin by making their own set of forge tools. The remaining time will be spent on small projects of the student’s choice.


Olof Jansson, blacksmith for almost 30 years, specializing in making items for museums and historic sites in the Capital District of NY State and the Mohawk Valley


5. Baking in Early American Ovens


June 28-30 (3 Days) :: $300.00 Fee :: Limit of 8 Students


Students will primarily focus on baking and will reference Amelia Simmons' 1796 American Cookery, the first cookbook published in America. This was also the first cookery book to utilize items native to North America...corn, pumpkins, etc. We will use a brick wall oven to make a variety of period dishes and also bake in a Dutch oven. We will also include a few of the English cookery books that were in use in America...Hannah Glasse, Elizabeth Raffald, and others. Baked items will include pies and puddings, sweetmeats, small cakes and dessert items like syllabubs/creams.


Niel DeMarino is a living history / culinary historian who is rather at home in the 18th century; he researches and produces period correct foodstuffs based on original receipts using only natural ingredients available to our 18th century ancestors. Niel has appeared in the PBS series The American Experience films “John and Abigail Adams” and “Alexander Hamilton”.


6. Tinsmithing I


August 5-9 (5 Days) :: $440.00 Fee :: Limit of 8 students


An introduction to the art of tinning designed to provide a basic working knowledge of the late 18th and early 19th century tinning tools, construction techniques and pattern layout. The history of American tinning is covered. Students construct several pieces of tin ware based on traditional designs, using period tools and methods.


William McMillen, Master Tinsmith, Glenmont NY


7. 19th Century Wet Plate Collodion Photography


August 10-11 ( 2 Days) :: $475.00 Fee :: Limit of 10 Students


During the mid to late 19th century the art and industry of the photograph was in a constant state of improvements and refinements. After the introduction of the Daguerrotype in 1839 new methods to improve on the reliability and cost of making photographs were being discovered. One of those improvements came in 1857 with the introduction of the Wet Plate Collodion process. This process offered a cheaper and less toxic method of producing a photograph and also offered the photographer the ability to make multiple paper prints from a single negative. With the introduction of the Wet Plate Collodion process photography, the photographic industry really began to spread to all corners of the globe.


Students will learn the making of ambrotypes (glass direct positives) and tintypes (Ferrotypes, tin plate direct positives), and glass negatives.  Students are guided through the process step-by-step from the mixing, pouring, exposing and development of plates poured with wet collodion. The newest edition of the manual, Making the Wet Collodion Plate in 16 Steps by Will Dunniway is included in the 2 day workshop.


Claude Levet and Will Dunniway are nationally renowned artists who have both been working with the Wet Plate Collodion process since its current revival in 1988. Both studied under and worked with Master Collodion artist John Coffer in upstate New York.


8. Tinsmithing II


August 12-16 (5 days) :: $475.00 Fee :: Limit of 8 Students


The course is designed for those who already have experience and a good basic knowledge of construction methods as well as the use of standard tin tools.  Students have access to a large collection of tin sconces, lanterns, chandeliers, candle sticks, crooked spout coffee pots, roasting kitchens, etc. which they are invited to examine, measure and copy with the expert help of the instructor. All tools and tin are supplied for the workshop but participants are encouraged to bring examples of tin ware and tools for examination, discussion and use.


William McMillen, Master Tinsmith, Glenmont NY


9. Historic Cemetery Preservation


August 19-21 (3 Days) :: $425.00 Fee :: Limit of 12 Students


This program will focus on the proper care, maintenance and repair of historic headstones in old cemeteries. We will begin with a lecture on the history of headstone design and then Karin Sprague will demonstrate the techniques of actually carving and lettering a stone.


Following that, Joe Ferrannini will show recent work with original headstones that he has done and show the steps involved in the process. He will also explain how to evaluate and make a plan for the work that needs to be done.


Following these lectures the students will be taught, both by demonstrations and actual hands-on work, how to properly clean and repair old headstones.  Several old cemeteries will be visited that are near Eastfield and students will be able to work on some of the early headstones in the cemetery in front of the church at Eastfield.  All materials will be supplied. Participants are encouraged to bring photos from their local cemeteries for discussion.


Joe Ferrannini, proprietor of Grave Stone Matters in Hoosick Falls, NY, and Karin Sprague, proprietor of Karin Sprague Stone Carvers LLC of North Scituate, RI


10. Textile History-To have or not: How available were interior furnishing fabrics in post-revolutionary rural America, 1790 to 1825?


August 23-25 (3 days) :: $195.00 Fee :: Limit of 20 Students


To register for this program please call 518-284-2729 or email rabbitgoodythw@gmail.com


Looking at the wealth and commerce of the rural northeastern US in 1800, we’ll establish context for examining this period of textile production and consumption: What were considered middle class furnishing textiles for rural areas? Where did they come from? And how did they get there? Who was making them in rural America? And on what equipment?


To answer these questions we will start with a short session on “How do we identify textiles and how do we know what we know?”


Discussions will include working with these sources: probate inventories, auction records, bills of lading, account books, draft books, city directories, tax records, gazetteers, fair premiums, newspapers, court and patent records.


We will look at historic interiors and interior décor illustrations - the “vogue” versus the reality - and then we’ll examine documented historic textiles.


There will be a period Dinner in the Briggs tavern on the evening of August 24, at a charge of $25.00 per person.


Instructors will include: Rabbit Goody, Textile Historian, Founder and Owner of Thistle Hill Weavers; Jill Maney, Independent Scholar and Business Manager, Thistle Hill Weavers; Jon Maney, director of Hyde Hall, Cooperstown, NY, and others to be announced.

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About the Workshops at Eastfield Village


We continue to offer workshops and symposia in the traditional trades and domestic arts. Students at Eastfield Village have come from as far as London and Alaska as well as from all over the U.S. and Canada. Museum professionals representing large institutions like Williamsburg, Cooperstown, Sturbridge, Upper Canada Village and numerous other restorations and museum facilities have also taught and studied at the Village. The mixture of novices, whose interests are their own old houses, and museum professionals, who are looking to expand their specific skills, provides a dynamic opportunity to learn.


Preservation Laboratory
Eastfield's collections are not available to the public. Workshop participants taking classes at the Village have access to more than twenty buildings and can study the collection of thousands of architectural elements and typical artifacts from the daily lives of early America. In some courses students are involved in actual preservation work and have the experience of working first hand with the tools and materials of the trades being taught. The depth and detail of the courses are unique to Eastfield, since many of the courses are five days long. The emphasis is not only on lectures; many programs include extensive hands-on work. The craftsmen who teach these courses are available and happy to answer your specific questions and problems.


Unique Experience
The lure of Eastfield is more than its curriculum. Students who take the classes at the Village are encouraged to live there during their courses. This offers a special opportunity to understand the daily lives and work of the tradesmen of the pre-industrial age. Meals may be cooked in the late-18th century kitchens. Accommodations are rope beds with straw and feather ticks. Eastfield offers an opportunity to be with others - students and teachers - of similar interests. Most evenings there are gatherings in the Briggs Tavern and lively conversations in front of a warm fireplace.


Lodging at Eastfield Village
One of the most intriguing facets of Eastfield's workshops is the experience of living in the Village during the class. Eastfield's taverns are available FREE OF CHARGE for those wishing to stay as our guests in early 19th century accommodations. The only requirement is that each person choosing to stay at the taverns supply 10 ten-inch white candles.


Eastfield Origins
Eastfield Village is home to its creator, Donald Carpentier and his family. He moved the first building, a blacksmith's shop, into his father's "east field" in 1971. In the years since, Don has amassed a collection of buildings and artifacts and established the nationally known Workshops. The stated time period is 1787–1840 and all the buildings date from those years. They include a towering Greek Revival church, a thirteen room 18th century tavern and many smaller buildings devoted to the individual trades, including carpentry, tinsmithing, printing and shoemaking.


Tours and Special Events
Eastfield is now open (by appointment) for tours by groups of 10 or more, and available to rent for special events like weddings, meetings and parties. It may also be rented as a location for commercials and period films. Both antiques and reproductions are now for sale in the E.A. Brown General Store by appointment. Eastfield is located in southern Rensselaer County, near the Massachusetts border.

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Registration Information


Registration is on a "first come - first serve" basis. A non-refundable deposit of 50% of the tuition must accompany the registration and the remainder must be received by Eastfield no later than three (3) weeks prior to the commencement of the workshops, or the registrant will lose their space in class and their deposit. Exact traveling directions will be mailed upon receipt of your DEPOSIT. No refunds will be given after six (6) weeks prior to that particular workshop. (Registrants from outside of the United States are asked not to send personal checks. Please send a cashier's check or money order in U.S. funds.) Payments may be made through PAYPAL using the Eastfield Email address. Phone 518-420-5686