Class Acts

Zack Rouda, founder of the Portland nonprofit Rewild Maine

Photograph courtesy of Rewild Maine

Three Maine crafters who can teach you a lesson.

Weave a Rug

Sara Hotchkiss has been making boldly patterned woolen and cotton rugs for nearly 50 years. Her studio is on a retired farm, where she tends a large perennial garden that includes calendula, indigo, weld, and woad, from which she makes her own fabric dyes. She has six looms, and lucky for us, she shares — four are reserved for her weaving workshops. For her two-day class, she collaborates with students on their rug designs before they meet and prepares the looms, so they can start weaving right away. They work at their own pace under Hotchkiss’s guidance. The three-day class covers the same territory with the addition of tapestry techniques for geometric designs. Students go home with their own handmade rugs. 28 Pitcher Rd., Waldoboro. 207-832-8133.

Fashion a Basket

Zack Rouda, founder of the Portland nonprofit Rewild Maine, seeks to connect people to the natural world with classes on urban foraging and animal tracking, as well as by teaching traditional crafts like basketmaking. For the latter class, students use materials they can easily find in woods and fields, like willow shoots, birch bark, pine needles, and bittersweet — our favorite because it’s an invasive, so it’s nice to whack and use it. Various locations in the Greater Portland area. 207-808-2183.

Make Goat’s Milk Soap and Cheese

For 20 years, Turning Page Farm’s Joy and Tim Bueschen worked fast-paced corporate careers that found them zipping all over Europe. Sounds glamorous, but they grew tired of it, so in 2016, they bought a farm in woodsy Monson sight unseen (they found it online). Now, they raise Guernsey goats and make cheese and soap with the milk. They’re keen on spreading the joy of these homesteading skills through a one-day course — students make ricotta, chèvre, and feta in the morning and creamy soap in the afternoon. Did we mention there’s beer? It’s not part of the workshop, but you’ll want to visit the tasting room to sample Tim’s brews. 842 N. Guilford Rd., Monson. 207-997-3424.


Virginia M. Wright

Virginia M. Wright is the senior editor at Down East.