40th Annual Series of Early American Trades and


Historic Preservation Workshops




Workshop image


To register, download the PDF registration form and return it with payment to Eastfield Village.
(The form may be filled out on your computer, saved, and attached to an email to: eastfieldvillage@gmail.com )






June 6-10 (5 Days) :: $460.00 Fee :: Limit of 8 Students


This 5-day course begins by providing an in-depth study of the American fireplace and oven through an illustrated lecture of regional types and construction materials.  A large collection of original fireplace and oven materials, hardware and fittings are available for examination at Eastfield.  Students working in groups of 3 or 4 construct a fireplace and oven using salvaged brick and lime mortar.

Instructors: Sam McKinney, independent scholar and operator of “Traditional Builder,” Dillsburg PA; John McMillen, Restoration Specialist and Mason, Brewster NY; William McMillen, retired supervisor of restoration, Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island NY




June 11-12 (3 Days) :: $325.00 Fee :: Limit 8 Students


Students primarily focus on baking and reference 'American Cookery' byAmelia Simmons, the first cookbook to be published in America in 1796. It was the first cookery book to utilize items native to North America...corn, pumpkins, etc. We also include a few of the English cookery books that were in use in America....Hannah Glasse, Elizabeth Raffald, and others. We will use various brick wall ovens and bake kettles (also referred to as a Dutch oven) to make a variety of period baked goods - pies and puddings, sweetmeats, small cakes and breads.

Instructor: Niel De Marino, is a renowned culinary historian who is quite at home in the 18th century. Niel is the proprietor of "The Georgian Kitchen", a bakery specializing in period correct baked goods and food items.  He has appeared in the PBS series American Experience in the films “John and Abigail Adams” and “Alexander Hamilton.”




June 14-15 (2 Days) :: $225.00 Fee :: Limit 8 Students


Students learn the basic history of the use of slate roofing as well as the details involved in the actual installation and repair. Students work on a ground level mock-up of a roof and get to properly install the slates.  They are taught to properly cut and make holes in slates using a variety of period and modern tools.  Following that task, they are instructed in and practice the steps involved in repairing damaged slates in the completed unit. Those that wish to may participate in the installation of slate on a historic Eastfield Village low roof. Class is held in cooperation with the ongoing installation of a slate roof on the Jared Root House in Eastfield.

Instructor: Bob Zoni, Hamden CT, a historic building contractor and restoration specialist for over 25 years




July 24-26 (3 Days) :: $465.00 Fee :: Limit of... ?


In 1996, nine ceramic historians gathered at the first “Dish Camp” to discuss the manufacturers and processes involved in producing British and American ceramics. Bringing together ceramic historians, archaeologists and practicing potters, they created one of the first forums in which theory, research and practical experience were studied across interdisciplinary lines. Since that time, the workshops have continued to explore the mechanics and meanings of ceramics from across the world.

To mark the 20th Anniversary of Dish Camp, we will explore the past, present and future of ceramic scholarship and recount the contributions that Don Carpentier, Jonathan Rickard and other specialists have made to this remarkable field. The workshop will include a visit to the Albany Institute of History and Art for a tour of their extensive collection of 18th and 19th century British and American ceramics.

DAVID BARKER, Archaeologist and Ceramic Historian, examines the invaluable role that archaeology plays in broadening our understanding of ceramics. Drawing upon recent excavations and research in the UK, he highlights some of the nuances of the early 19th century ceramics trade, specifically with North America.

LINDSAY BLOCH, Visiting Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill, explores new techniques for identifying historic coarse earthenwares using elemental analysis as a means of concretely identifying the vast numbers of undecorated utilitarian vessels produced and used across the British Atlantic world in the 18th and 19th centuries.

JEFFREY S. EVANS, President of Jeffrey S. Evans and Associates, Inc., examines twenty years of Virginia stoneware and red earthenware research from the Shenandoah Valley, Richmond, the James River region, and Alexandria. We’ll take a special look at exciting new objects and reevaluate some previously published old friends.

RON FUCHS II, Curator of the Reeves Collection at Washington & Lee University, explores Chinese export porcelain used in America from 1607 to 1900. He uses archaeological fragments, surviving pieces, and documentary evidence to show the wide range of export porcelain available to American consumers, from fine, expensive, custom-ordered armorial services to inexpensive, mass-market blue Canton.

BRENDA HORNSBY-HEINDL, Potter and Proprietor of Liberty Stoneware, discusses Don Carpentier’s pursuit in learning how his ancestors, the Bissett family of New Jersey, made and decorated their stonewares. A demonstration of how these wares were made and fired follows, with attendees being encouraged to try their hand at making pottery.

META JANOWITZ, Archaeologist and Ceramic Historian, discusses what we’ve learned about the production of salt-glazed stoneware in the Middle Colonies over the past 20 years, with evidence from archaeological excavations and documentary research.

GREG SHOONER, Potter and Proprietor of Shooner American Redware, explores redware pottery from Warren County, OH through its makers and the few pieces that survive today. Greg also demonstrates how these wares were made and decorated. 

DIANA STRADLING, Ceramic Historian, reflects on her decades-long interest in and extensive study of American made pottery and porcelain.

GARY STRADLING, Ceramic Historian, debates the controversial topic of Parian ware manufacture in Bennington VT in the mid-19th century. 

BRANDT ZIPP, of Crocker Farm, Inc., presents a comprehensive look at Don Carpentier’s study of stoneware production in Old Bridge, NJ, specifically at the pottery operated by his ancestors, the Bissett family. We confront traditional approaches to the study of stoneware manufacture in Old Bridge and reevaluate the potters and wares that are so often associated with it.

A Saturday evening tavern dinner will be prepared hearthside by Niel de Marino as a part of the Dish Camp experience. Please bring pots and sherds for display and discussion.

Please note: The annual HISTORICAL CERAMICS SYMPOSIUM is partially funded by the Historic Eastfield Foundation via the Echo Evetts fund.




June 20-22 (3 Days) :: $325.00 Fee :: Limit of 8 Students


The three day workshop helps the students gain an understanding of the traditional tools & methods used by the plasterer for the construction of historic plaster walls. Mr. Adam discusses the tools & materials used today to achieve period effects. The session gives students an opportunity to understand the installation of different types of historic & modern lath & to practice plastering in an onsite period room. Different period finishes & repairs to existing historic plaster are discussed and demonstrated. 

Instructor: Robert Adam, founder and former department chair of Preservation Carpentry, North Bennet School, Boston MA., a working craftsman, and consultant to preservation projects and museums.




July 23-24 (2 days) :: $350.00 Fee :: Limit of 4 Students


This course provides basic techniques for clock repair.  Learn how to diagnose common problems, safely disassemble, properly clean, re-bush, reassemble and oil the movement.  Basic hand tools are provided. Students will need to bring a common one or two wind brass mantle/shelf clock that is either spring-wound or weight-driven. No chiming clocks, please.

Instructor: Michael Wilson, local clock repair hobbyist with many years of experience




August 1-5 (5 days) :: $460.00 Fee :: Limit of 8 Students


An introduction to the art of tinning designed to provide a basic working knowledge of late 18th and early 19th century tinning tools, construction techniques and pattern layout. The history of American tinning is covered in an illustrated talk. Students construct 9 reproduction items including a one-pint mug, a wall sconce, and a coffee pot.  All projects are based on traditional designs, using period tool and methods. All tools and tin are supplied for the workshop. Participants are encouraged to bring examples of tin ware and tools for examination, discussion and use.

Instructors: William McMillen, Master Tinsmith, Glenmont NY; Annie Wickersty, Staten Island NY




August 11-12 (3 days) :: $350.00 Fee :: Limit of 8 Students


The art of printing entered a new era at the end of the 18th and early 19th century. New typefaces were being introduced seemingly daily by a burgeoning competition between newly established foundries. Innovative printing press designs sped up production and released a torrent of printed materials upon a quickly industrializing America.  This course explores the techniques of type founding, type setting and the design and printing of broadsides and small booklets. Students practice the “black art” using Eastfield’s Columbian press, two Washington hand presses and an assortment of tabletop models.

Instructors: Greg Joly, printer and editor of Bull Thistle Press, Jamaica VT; Ed Rayner, type founder and printer of Swamp Press, Northfield MA.




August 15-19 (5 Days) :: $475.00 Fee :: Limit of 8 Students


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 expert instructor’s help. All tools and tin are supplied for the workshop but participants are encouraged to bring examples of tinware and tools for examination, discussion and use.

Instructors: William McMillen, Master Tinsmith, Glenmont NY; Annie Wickersty, Staten Island NY




August 24-26 (3 days) :: $385.00 Fee :: Limit of 12 Students


Participants are guided through the difficult process of recognizing architectural changes made during various periods in the lifespan of a building.  They are then taught to identify the specific elements relevant to the dating process. This includes the evolution of molding styles, hardware, window and door treatments, fireplaces, timber framing methods, also tell-tale signs such as saw, hand plane and planer marks. Students gain a good sense of the amount of detective work required to date a pre-1875 structure and will investigate several structures during the class.

Instructors: William McMillen, consultant, independent scholar, and retired supervisor of restoration at Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island NY; Robert Adam, founder and former department chair of Preservation Carpentry, North Bennet School, Boston MA; Eric Gradoia, consultant, architectural historian with the Albany firm of Mesick, Cohen, Wilson, Baker Architects and an adjunct faculty member in the Historic Preservation Program at Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI




August 26-28 (5 days) :: $325.00 Fee :: Limit of 8 Students


Taking a look at various 18th Century English cookery books-including those by Hannah Glasse, Elizabeth Raffald, Charles Carter, John Farley and John Nott, we prepare a selection of items baked in a brick wall oven and cast iron bake kettle.  We also make various other dessert items-creams, syllabubs, boiled puddings and assorted sweetmeats.

Instructor: Niel De Marino, is a renowned culinary historian who is quite at home in the 18th century. Niel is the proprietor of "The Georgian Kitchen", a bakery specializing in period correct baked goods and food items.  He has appeared in the PBS series American Experience in the films “John and Abigail Adams” and “Alexander Hamilton.”


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For four decades, the Annual Series of Early American Trades and Historic Preservation Workshops has offered workshops and symposia in the traditional trades and domestic arts. Historic Eastfield Foundation is pleased to continue that legacy. Our goal is to maintain the highest educational standards, with instructors who are leaders in their fields. The in-depth, hands-on workshops appeal to a wide range of students, including tradesmen, craftsmen, and museum personnel seeking to advance their knowledge and skills, as well as homeowners looking to deal with issues concerning historic home maintenance and restoration.


Preservation Laboratory - Eastfield Village is not a museum open to the public. Its creator, Donald Carpentier, assembled the twenty or so buildings and the thousands of architectural elements, tools and artifacts specifically to serve as a study collection; the Village itself is an educational tool. Combine this unique preservation laboratory with gifted instructors who are eager to share their expertise and the result is a level of detail and depth to the courses that only Eastfield can offer.

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

Lodging at Eastfield - 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 supply their own bedding plus 10 ten-inch white candles.

Eastfield Origins - Donald Carpentier moved his first building, a blacksmith's shop, into his father's "east field" in 1971. Over the years, he amassed a collection of buildings and artifacts and established the internationally 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.

Historic Eastfield Foundation - Carpentier passed away from ALS in August of 2014, but his life work - Eastfield Village and the Workshops - continues under the aegis of the Historic Eastfield Foundation. Established by Don in 1990, the not-for-profit Foundation has as its mission "to continue the work of training men and women in a range of early American trades and historic preservation skills, and encouraging crafts persons and preservationists in their efforts to save the technology of the past." Don's family still lives at the Village, and supports the Foundation's efforts to keep alive his passion and vision.

Special Events and Tours - Eastfield's 2nd Annual Founder's Day will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2016. The Village is also open by appointment for tour groups of 10 or more, and is available to rent for special events like weddings, meetings and parties. It may also be rented as a location for commercials and period films. Antiques and reproductions are available for sale in the E.A. Brown General Store by appointment.

Registration - 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.  No refunds will be given after six (6) weeks prior to that particular workshop. Eastfield reserves the right to cancel any workshop if minimum subscription levels are not met. In this case, a full refund is given. (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.)

All payments may be made through PAYPAL using the Eastfield email address eastfieldvillage@gmail.com

Phone 518-462-1264 (Bill and Judy McMillen)

Eastfield Village is located in southern Rensselaer County, near the Massachusetts border. (Traveling directions will be sent upon receipt of your deposit.)

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To register, download the PDF registration form and return it with payment to Eastfield Village.
(The form may be filled out on your computer, saved, and attached to an email to: eastfieldvillage@gmail.com )