Willamette Heritage Center Classes & Workshops

The Willamette Heritage Center now holds three series of classes and workshops, giving Salem area residents unique opportunities to learn skills and traditions from the past. Learn practical skills to use around your home in our Urban Homesteaders series, discover new and interesting arts in our Textile Arts series, and give your child a chance to connect with our history in a fun and unique way in a Fleece to Fiber class. Each series offers a course monthly, so check back regularly for the latest class details!

Urban Homesteaders

Our Urban Homesteaders courses bring the lessons and skills of the frontier to your home!  Become a blacksmith, a beekeeper, a canner, and more! Stay tuned for a full schedule of courses available during 2017.

Oneill Pine Company

Presented by O’Neill Pine Company

Urban Homesteaders: Not the Sharpest Tool in the Shed

Saturday, June 17th, 2017 • 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Learn the basics of sharpening garden tools and other straight blade tools. This three-hour workshop covers what edges are right for different tools and the equipment needed to achieve the appropriate edge for each tool.  Included are a written information packet, demonstrations on a hatchet, hoe, garden shears, chisel, and knife, and hands on opportunity to try out the techniques. Bring one tool of your own from home to sharpen with your new skills. Wear work clothes, long pants and flat closed toed/heeled shoes.

Urban Homesteaders courses cost $45 for WHC members and $50 for non-members. Use the form at the bottom of this page to sign up.

Textile Arts

What better place to learn about textiles than a woolen mill? Sewing, knitting, stitching, and dying; learn it all in our Textile Arts series! These courses are designed for adults 18 & over, and are taught by knowledgeable instructors. A full schedule of classes for 2017 will be available soon!

THIS CLASS IS FULL. PLEASE WATCH FOR MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN THIS FUN SKILL IN THE FUTURE!

Pine Needle Pendants with Sheri Smith
May 20, 2017
9:00 – 3:00

Fragrant pine needles coiled with Irish waxed linen are the main ingredients for making this natural pendant to wear home. This class is perfect for beginners or seasoned coilers. Learn the basic swirl stitch, how to add floating beads between coil rows and adding patterns while wrapping your coil bundles. All the techniques you learn can later be used to make baskets and sculptural vessels.

$7.00 materials fee includes all materials used in class to make one pendant.  Materials will include Longleaf pine needles, a large selection of Irish Waxed linen, size 11 seed beads in many colors, sewing needles, leather neck cording and written instructions to take home.
Please bring a sack lunch and a water bottle.

Preregistration is required!
All Textile Arts Classes are $45 for WHC members, $50 for non-members, and $40 when registering for three or more classes at one time.

You must be preregistered by May 17 at 5:00.

Textile Arts: Beginning Spinning with Heather Lawrence

Saturday, May 27th | 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Spinning Class at the Willamette Heritage Center

Did you miss January’s Beginning Spinning class? Don’t fret! Here is your second chance to learn to create your own yarn. Instructor Heather Lawrence has over 15 years of experience in the textile arts, and will discuss the basic types of spindles for hand spinning and the basics of wool and how fibers are prepared with class participants. Students will learn how to draft fiber and spin it into a single yarn and will discuss and explore ways to ply your newly created single and how to finish and set the yarn.

Preregistration is required for this class by Wednesday, May 3rd. The class costs $45 for WHC members, $50 for non-members, and $40 when registering for three or more classes at one time. Use the form at the bottom of this page to sign up, or call 503.585.7012.

Private Lessons: Weaving I

Four 2 hours sessions as arranged with instructor.

$130 WHC members ~ $145 non members

These are a series for four private lessons with an experienced weaver, one of the best ways to learn a new art form. Together you tackle basic four harness weaving, including warping, threading, and some of the weave structures important for a beginner to understand. Students choose a project to complete within the time frame, giving them something to show for their efforts.

Private Lessons: Weaving II

Four 1 hours sessions as arranged with instructor.

$70 members ~ $80 non-members

Beyond the basics of weaving, this class allows you to focus on the next level in this textile art. Our instructor will assist you with study in your choice of areas, such as double weave, designing cloth for specific uses and the basics of weave structures. An option available with this teacher is Inkle Loom weaving. This creates a narrow warp faced band, with vertical or horizontal stripes. Techniques and ideas from many parts of the world are part of these sessions, such as Latin America and the Baltic Countries. Beginning weaving skills are required for these more advanced classes.

Private Lessons: Bobbin Lace or Tatted Lace

Times as arranged with Instructor.

$65 members ~ $75 non-members

Lace making as a textile art is a specialized skill rarely seen today, though before the Industrial Revolution it would have been prevalent. Our instructor will introduce you to this fine hand work useful in embellishments and finishing touches for your creations. Beginners are welcome. A supply list will be provided.

Private Lessons: Knitting

Knitting classes from beginning through advanced are available, please inquire with Kathleen Schulte by emailing kathleens@willametteheritage.org or calling 503-585-7012.

Fleece to Fiber for Kids

Fleece to Fiber gives children the opportunity to learn crafts used by children of the Willamette Valley’s past.  These classes are for kids 10 and up only. Sorry, adults!

Fleece to Fiber: Pioneer Toys

Saturday, May 27th | 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Little House on the Chemeketa Prairie? You bet! This month’s focus will be on pioneer life, specifically the toys that pioneer children created and enjoyed. We’ll examine toys from the Willamette Heritage Center collection and hear the stories of Willamette Valley children who play with them. Then kids will have the option of creating several types of fiber-related toys from classroom supplies.

Fleece to Fiber classes are held at the Willamette Heritage Center and combine the rich historical setting, collections, and textile equipment of our museum with quality instruction in primitive textile craft skills. Class cost is $25 and for kids only (age 10 and up). Class size is limited to 10 students and require 4 students to carry. To register, use the form at the bottom of this page, or contact Kaylyn at (503) 585-7012 ext. 257.

Fleece to Fiber: Wet Felting

Saturday, June 17th | 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get wet with this popular felting class. We’ll start with the basics – wool, soap, and water – to shape buttons, snakes, geodes and pouches. With a little muscle, patience and cooperation from the weather, we’ll create some beautiful items from colored wool roving for students to take home.

Fleece to Fiber classes are held at the Willamette Heritage Center and combine the rich historical setting, collections, and textile equipment of our museum with quality instruction in primitive textile craft skills. Class cost is $25 and for kids only (age 10 and up). Class size is limited to 10 students and require 4 students to carry. To register, use the form at the bottom of this page, or contact Kaylyn at (503) 585-7012 ext. 257.

Class Registration

* Note: To register for more than one class, or to receive the discount for registering for three or more classes, please contact us at 503.585.7012, or email kathleens@willametteheritage.org.

Open Studio

Open Studio provides students and weavers with an opportunity to use the TLC. Studio use includes various multiple harness looms, a surface design table, textile tools and a resource library.

Plan a project, try out different equipment or simply enjoy the company of fellow textile artists. A basic knowledge of the equipment you intend to use (i.e. the ability to thread a loom) is required. Formal instruction and project materials are not included. Open studio is staffed by volunteer weavers.

Open Studio Times

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 – 3:00

  • Fridays from 10:00 – 3:00 for SFG members.

  • Monthly use:

    Members $27 ~ Non Members $30

  • Visitors are welcome to view the center during these times.