From Sauerkraut to Sketch-up, Connecting to the Natural World through Craft

The study of human ecology, or the relationship between humans and the natural world, is an important thread that runs through all aspects of Maine Coast Semester. In last week’s human ecology seminars, students explored our relationship to technology and sustainability through the lenses of energy, farming and food systems. Looking at philosophies ranging from technological futurists to back-to-the-landers, students discussed everything from electric cars to Wendell Berry, horsepower to forestry management. All this led up to our 2018 Fall Homesteading Weekend. 

To kick off the weekend, we welcomed Kenneth Kortemeier to campus as our Friday night speaker. Kenneth co-founded the Maine Coast Craft School in Bristol, Maine. The school specializes in teaching hands-on workshops in traditional green woodworking using only hand tools. Kenneth is also an accomplished artist and craftsman in his own right. On Saturday morning, students were able to choose from a variety of workshops that focused on both craft and the use of technology to plan and design homesteading projects. Workshops were taught be Chewonki staff and friends. 

Workshops offered during our Homesteading Weekend:

Hex Signs: Painting Folk Art, with Alexis Grillo, Admissions Assistant

Knitting 101: Pattern Stitches, with Susan Feibelman, Head of Semester School

Fermentation: Sauerkraut and Kimchi, with Bill Edgerton, Kitchen Manager

Fiber Arts: Natural Dying, Felting and Weaving with Megan Phillips, Farm Manager

Google Sketch-up: Project Design, with Bradley Grillo, Field Engineer at Falls Point Marine

Soapmaking, with Liz Burroughs, Semester Math Teacher

Carving Wooden Spatulas, with Eric McIntyre, Semester Fellow and Apprentice at the Maine Coast Craft School



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