The next Hide-Tanning Weekend Workshop is: April 5-7, 2019
This workshop is a powerful challenge. Attempting the very physical act of transforming raw animal skin into useful leather is an ambitious undertaking! We provide nutritious meals, cozy lodging, a welcoming campus, knowledgeable and skilled staff, good tools and high quality materials. You provide the elbow grease, effort and labor. With focus, determination and dedication it is possible to walk away with a finished hide. We will do everything in our power to help you succeed. As we are all students, at different learning levels, based on diversity of skill sets, age, past experience, exposure and physical prowess, each participant will have a unique experience.
This weekend workshop begins at 10am on Friday and ends at 4pm on Sunday. The entire time is required. White tail deer hides will be provided for each participant from tagged deer harvested and taken to a meat processor. They are hides that would otherwise be discarded. Our intention is to honor the sacred parts of each animal and use them to their highest purpose. This class coveres the wet-scrape brain tanned method of making buckskins. We will flesh and grain each hide on a beam, rather than in a frame. Dry scraping in a frame is another valuable (often superior) method of brain-tanning, but takes too long to complete in a 3-day workshop. The hides provided in this class will already be off the deer and quick-fleshed and occasionally soaked in a basic solution ahead of time to help the hair slip. All finished hides will be bare. Hair-on methods are not covered in this class. (This class does not cover hunting animals. Hunting classes are offered on a case by case basis, during open season to licensed hunters ages 15 and older by Eustace. To learn more about that, please leave a message at (828) 265-2267)
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Testimonials from Participants:
This turned out to be the most amazing weekend I have had in a VERY long time. The place is magnificent! Its all primitive and simple, yet sophisticated and so real. If you ever tried to build a driveway or a cabin by yourself, you’ll know right away how much effort and how many hours went into creating Turtle Island. Its a lifetime of work that I have so much respect for. …And the people! In our modern world, when you are deep into all this homesteading and rewilding stuff, you constantly have to explain yourself sometimes almost convince people that you are not completely out of your mind. How fabulous it was to be surrounded for a whole weekend by people who get you. They just know the value of eating a meal from a wooden bowl you carved yourself; they get it, no need to explain. It was a simple but truly amazing experience. -Lee T.