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Course Catalog

Course Catalog

Class Theme: Backcountry Crafts

Making Natural Rope, Hot Pads, Bark Baskets, Sitting Mats & More:

Beautiful Basket of Edible Salmonberries

Beautiful Basket of Edible Salmonberries

6:15 PM – Plants Overview, Best Books & Online Videos – Arrive early to learn which books and videos to avoid, how to use the most important plant guides including Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast, People of Cascadia, and Botany in a Day.  We’ll overview the classification of plants so that you can recognize them easily in the field, and we’ll show links to the best youtube videos on basketry and other natural fiber crafts.

6:30 PM – Harvesting Materials – Let’s take what we learned about plant identification into the field. Depending on your location, we will harvest a variety of plant materials that are excellent for fiber crafts, including grasses, rushes, cattails, nettles, fireweed, ivy, cedar bark, vine maple, hazelnut, rose, dogwood, willow and more. However, harvesting restrictions abound, so we will bring many of these materials with us that you can use for projects today.

7:00 PM – Processing Materials – Next we’ll natural flow into processing the materials we harvest. There are some materials you can use right away, especially if you are going to “lash” things together. But for most materials, you need to dry them first, then usually re-soak them before using. Why? If you use “green, unseasoned” materials they will shrink, and your baskets, mats, rope and other crafts will loosen and fall apart. Drying the materials first allows them to shrink, and wetting them again makes them pliable.

7:15 PM – Making Rope & Jewelry – We will use cedar bark, stinging nettles, fireweed, or another natural plant fiber and teach you to make rope. Then we will take the beautiful rope you made and craft necklaces, bracelets and other jewelry that you can keep or give as gifts in the future.

7:45 PM – Making Hot Pads, Window Shades, Sitting Mats & Sleeping Pads – Cattails are great insulators, and we will show you how to cut, arrange, and weave cattail leaves to make a small hot pad that works great for mugs, hot plates, and other uses. The same design, on a larger scale, can be used to make insulative, roll-up window shades! Grasses are also great for insulation, and they are easy to bundle into sitting mats that will keep you warm wherever you sit, guaranteed! The same design can be used to make insulative camping pads so you don’t have to buy therm-a-rests at sporting goods stores any more!

Survival Camp Grass Mats

Students collecting grass to make Sitting Mats

8:15 PM – Bark Baskets – It takes a good amount of time to make traditional woven baskets, so you’ll have to come to our Saturday workshop in for that. Instead, you can make a quick basket by folding certain bark materials correctly, and lashing them with green bark from willow and other trees!

8:30 PM – Feel free to stay after class to continue working on the start of your basket.

Class Locations:

Next Regularly Scheduled Class: November 13, 2014 in Puyallup WA. We will email you directions and the preparatory information upon registration and a couple days before class. Other options include our weekend Fall Plant Harvest for Baskets, Rope, Mats & Tonics, plus our summer Traditional Technologies: Classical Crafts of the Ancient Artisan. Questions? Email anytime.

Friday Evening Class Series Fee Options:

Pre-Registration: $20 for one person, plus $15 for additional friends/family members registering together.

At-The-Door: $25 for one person, plus $15 for additional friends/family members attending together.

Registration Options:

PayPal Option: Register securely for our Friday Evening Classes with a credit/debit card or via direct withdrawal from your bank account. Click to Choose Your Deposit Options:
Choose Your Class Theme/Date:
Participant Name; Age if Minor:
Cell Phone Number(s):

Check/Mail Registration Option: Send with a check payable to the Wolf College, 1026 14th St. SW, Puyallup WA 98371 with participant name(s), phone number, email address, age of any minors, and any allergies or health restrictions we should know about.

Credit/Debit Card Registration Option: Just call us at 425-248-0253 or 253-604-4681 and we will run your card securely over the phone. Questions? Email anytime.

Our refund policy: Deposits are not refundable unless your registration is not accepted. You may receive a credit for a future program, minus a 25% administration fee of total payments made, in case of emergency. You will receive a full refund if your program is canceled and not rescheduled at a time that you can attend. No refund (and not necessarily any credit) is given if a participant is inappropriate at the program and asked to leave.

Other Class Topics During the Academic Year:

Jan-Feb: Wilderness Survival Skills including Bow Drill Fire Demo

Feb-Mar: Natural Navigation, Map & Compass, Lostproofing, & Orienteering

Mar-Apr: Local Wild Edible Plants & Backcountry Herbal Medicine

Apr-May: Safety, Tracks & Bird Alarms in Cougar, Wolf & Bear Country

• June: Special Week of Classes at Clark’s Creek Park in Puyallup

• July: Special Week of Classes at Lake Sammamish in Issaquah

Sep-Oct: Climate Change Training – Lifestyle, Debates, Emergencies & Carbon Sequestration

Oct-Nov: Backcountry Crafts – Making Rope, Berry Collecting Baskets, Sleeping Bag Mats & More

To schedule other morning or afternoon classes for homeschool families, private schools, scouts and other groups, we recommend 3 hour class times for the subjects above, such as 10:30-1:30, and collecting $15-$25 for the first family member, $10-$15 per additional family member, with a minimum of $225 required for most classes in Pierce County, depending on exact location, materials needed, and instructor availability.

To schedule other in-depth workshop level programs we recommend 6-8 hour time periods, collecting $45-$95 per person depending on subject materials, similar to what is shown on our workshops page.