Class Schedule

~ 2024 SCHEDULE ~

For questions or to register, call 1 719 256 4909 AFTER March 5th

Earth Knack in Texas!
Sunday April 14 – Saturday April 20
Sky Earth Primitive Skills Gathering hosted by Scott Ezzell
Robin will teach at Earth Sky in 2024
To register for Scott’s Sky Earth program go to https://www.skyearthgathering.com/

Pioneer Style Blacksmithing
Friday April 26 – Sunday April 28 10am- 3pm
with Papa Dean Smith 3 days $185
Learn basic principles of metallurgy and blacksmithing techniques.
In Paul Revere’s day they called it “Iron Mongery”!
Practice lighting up and managing a hand blower pioneer style forge.
Learn to make wood charcoal in the fire pit for forge use. Make useful tools for forge work, plus a variety of hooks, handle and holders for the home, celtic blanket pins, and artistic items like ornate brass brushed leaves for beauty and decoration.
About the instructor: Papa Dean Smith is a 4th generation Blacksmith from Georgia. He is not only a practical and artistic smith, but also experienced in a large repertoire of ancestral and pioneer living skills after many years of living and teaching the skills. He has taught Earth Knack for many years and also teaches around the country.

Earth Knack’s Survival Week for Crestone Charter School
Monday April 29 – Friday May 3 5 days
Custom Program for the 4th and 5th level
A week of survival, pioneer skills and ancestral living skills learning
with Robin Blankenship and Kevin Off
Learn to: make a fire with two sticks, campfire making for coal roasting and Dutch oven cooking, make a bowl and utensils from wood, make rope and string from plant fibers, learn about edible plants, shoot hand made bows and throw an AtlAtl and spear, use Willow shoots to weave a basket, learn simple flint knapping and make a stone knife, make pine pitch glue to attach your stone knife to a wooden handle, and felt raw wool into a sheath for your knife.
After class time, ride the zip line down to the swimming hole, go fishing, or take a hike up into the National Forest. Trigger will also be ready to give old style buggy rides. Camping along Pinos Creek and cooking meals in an outdoor kitchen along the old miners supply route road to Summitville round out this learning adventure.

Traditional Hide Tanning Methods
Monday May 6 – Thursday May 9 or May 20 – 23 (tba) 10am-3pm
with Robin Blankenship 4 days $245 limit: 4 students
Got Brains? Ancestral “brain” tanning methods for elk, deer and antelope will be taught. Elk will be framed and “dry scraped”, and Deer and Antelope worked using the “wet scrape” method. Participants learn how rawhide and “parfleche” were prepared, to collect and prepare a brain tanning solution, to hang a hide over smoke for color and water resistance, and the sweat and art of creating a buttery soft traditional tanned hide. Participants work together. Everyone goes home with some finished pieces of hide.
We may have the privilege of Ken Wee joining us sometime during this course.
About the Instructor: Ken Wee has been tanning for over 40 years! He is truly a “walking encyclopedia” of hide tanning knowledge,
as well as all other aspects of primitive and ancestral skills, pioneer, native and mountain man skills
and a well versed historian of native lifeways and the mountain man era.
Don’t miss this chance to work with a true artist and master.

Fiber Arts Class -A Fantastic Array of Fibers Learning
Friday May 17 – Sunday May 19 10am-3pm
with Bill Oliphant,Val Herenchak and Robin Blankenship 3 days $185
Harvest, prepare, spin, weave, ply, felt, net and knit, a variety of natural fibers
Many ancestral and some pre-stone age techniques will be taught.Use Yucca, Nettle,
Milkweed and Dogbane plant fibers, as well as Alpaca and Llama fleece and Sheep and Buffalo wool. Make and build a few different simple loom structures for finger and straw weaving. Use a drop spindle and a spinning wheel with plant and animal fibers. Make natural dyes. Try Nal Binding (the precursor to knitting) and Billum Bag netting. You will learn two felt styles by making a felted cloth using wet felt technique and adorn it with needle felting.(Alpaca fibers “donated” by Iron, Arnold and Tiafore, our alpacas. Buffalo fiber is from our last buffalo butchering program at Grande Island Bison. Plant fibers are harvested at Earth Knack).
About the Instructors: Valerie Herenchak got her first sheep in 1994 and over the course of 23 years, developed her own breed which she called American Silksheep, along the way learning to spin, dye, felt, weave and knit wool. She has introduced countless people to the joys of working with wool and making their own yarn. Bill Oliphant has immersed himself in the world of “all things fiber” and brings a wealth of eclectic, multicultural and historic fiber arts learning to this program. His fascination with fibers is contagious, served up with continual humorous anecdotes and a gift for patient instruction.

Survival, Edible & Medicinal Rocky Mountain Plants
Saturday July 13th 10am-3pm with Cattail Bob Seebeck 1 day $65
Morning focus: A welcoming circle around the main camp to meet our instructor, and learn about his favorite identification tools and books, (as well as his own top of the line publications: Best Tasting Edibles of the Rocky Mountains and Survival Plants Volumes I and II), also includes an introduction to basic botany, plant identification, and ethical harvesting techniques. The morning identification hike includes desert valley floor and pinon / cedar belt dry land plants.
Afternoon focus: The afternoon identification hike includes forested creek side and riparian zone plants of the montane and subalpine.
We finish the day with a brief wild plants tea infusions class in the Earth Knack outdoor kitchen taught by Robin Blankenship. Learn the tips and techniques to get the best medicinal potency into your wild plant teas.
About the Instructor: “Cattail” Bob Seebeck has been instructing wild useful herbs, edible and survival plants, wilderness survival, outdoor education, and mountain cabin building classes in the Rockies since 1975.

“SMOKE-IN” Wild Plant Identification Class
Sunday July 14th 10am-3pm with Cattail Bob Seebeck 1 day $65
What is a “Smoke-In” ? A wild tobacco class and hike….. a smoking class!
There are dozens of wild smoking plants. We start with a brief history of wild plants that have been used for smoking and the properties that make a plant a useful tobacco. Then we hike to find and identify wild smoking plants or wild tobacco’s in the local area.
Cattail Bob will demonstrate how to make a pipe from a mullein stalk.
His suitcase full of wild plant tobaccos allows you to try and compare a large variety of smoking plants.
(BYOP “Bring your own pipe”,corn cob, Meerschaum, peace pipe, old grandpa’s / grandma’s pipe & lighter)
If the smoke signals blow the right direction, Kevin Off will show up and teach how to blow smoke rings!!

WMS Green River Canoe – Historical Reenactment Custom Contract 7 days

Earth Knack in Maine! Thursday July 25 – Sunday July 28
Moose Ridge and Wilder Waters Primitive Skills Gathering hosted by Moose Ridge Wilderness School To register for the program go to mooseridgewild.com

Primitive living skills for the 21st century