Classes

These are some of our classes and instructors.
we have new and returning instructors each year!

 

Acorns & Oaks!

Learn to process delicious and nutritious acorn flour in this hands-on session, where we’ll  prepare acorn flour to integrate into a wild feast that will serve our village! As we pound and leach acorn we’ll discuss different processing methods, and talk about the oak woodland ecology so vital for supporting all life – humans and nonhumans alike.

African Dance!!

It has been a tradition now, to have some special guest drummers and dancers come show and share the Earthly rhythms of mama Africa. African dance is full rhythms and dances that celebrate and honor different stages in ones life and the different seasons and all that is connected with nature. All levels welcome! There will be a couple of classes throughout the gathering.

Archery

Every year at Acorn, we have an archery zone where all ages can learn the safety rules and guidelines from our avid archer instructors! 

Bark Tanning Fish Skins

Learn this ancient craft of working with fish skins and turning them into strong usable material for making shoes, clothes or other items. You will get to tan a fish skin from start to finish and for those who are interested, you can learn how to make shoes with fish skins.

Beadwork

Beadwork is beautiful adornment tradition practiced around the world. In this class, students will learn some of the foundational stitches of seed beadwork on buckskin, including rosettes, bead embroidery, lane stitch and edge beading.

Blacksmithing

-participants will each produce their own flint strikers under the tutelage of Sam.
-must wear closed toed shoes
-$25

Bladesmithing

This offering is an introduction to making a knife blade, or related edge holding tool from scratch. Participants will heat a piece of steel within a charcoal fire till red hot, and with precision blows from a hammer, forge it to shape; which is then further refined by hand with files and stones. Heat treating, and suitable sources of recycled material will be covered, as well as a brief history of ferrous metallurgy.

Guide: 

Carrying Net Bag

The participants will learn a netting method to create a carrying net that will hold a water bottle. A cord shoulder strap will also be made to attach to the carrying net bag.


A minimal fee will be charged for material cost.

Guide: 

Cattail Weaving

In this class you will be able to start and finish a cattail weaving project. Learn how to make a hat, water bottle holder and more! Materials will be provided (donation requested).

Children's Song Circle

This is a music and movement class designed for children aged 0-7, but all ages are welcome. Each morning we will explore connection and self expression through music in a gentle, safe, and warm environment, and play with a range of classic and contemporary children's songs from around the world.

Guide: 

Community Drum and Dance!

The rhythms of the drums have created the path for the human body to move by instinct. Together these modes of making and expressing music offer us humans the opportunity to get out of the mind and into the body through movements closely connected to the earth and ancient traditions. We will be dancing and celebrating life on the Saturday of the gathering. All ages, all people welcome. Don't be shy!! 

Cooking with Wild Foods

Explore the delicious, fragrant and storied California landscape by learning to identify edible, utilitarian and poisonous species. Students will become acquainted with much of the local flora of the area and learn traditional recipes which highlight the connections between cuisine, culture, history, natural living skills, and stewardship.

Family Band

Jump in and sing or play an instrument with our Acorn Family Band! No experience necessary. You will be supported and guided to learn songs played daily throughout the week.

Lead by Katie Hix, Darrow & accompanied by other musicians!

Family Wellness Herbal Kit

Image: 

Empower yourself and your family with simple remedies to common ailments by making your own herbal apothecary. In this family herbal class we will explore safe, effective and easy- to- make medicine with a hands-on approach that the whole family will enjoy.

Felting!!!

Fibers have been felted into fabric for thousands of year. It is thought to originate with the nomads on the Eurasian Steepe, to this day it is used for a huge variety of uses. This workshop will offer students the opportunity to create a small,  two or three dimensional felt project of their choice; from small bags, hats, or baby booties.The focus will be starting small with a project that will enable someone to return home with the skills to delve into a larger project. 

Flintknapping

Come learn the basics of stone tool production, which our ancestors have performed for over two million years. Using obsidian, or volcanic glass, learn some basic principles and techniques that will help you along your way to producing your own knives, arrowheads, scrapers, and more. We will learn to make simple usable flake tools, and explore the steps to making more complex tools such as spear points and arrowheads, through both percussion and pressure flaking.

Friction Fire

Have you ever made fire from two sticks? In this class you can learn from expert teachers how to respectfully harvest plants that can help you make fire to cook with, keep warm, sit by and more. Both hand drill and bow drill techniques will be shown. You can leave with your own fire kit! This magical practice takes patience and persistance.

Goat Husbandry & Cheese-making

Want to raise your own goats? Throughout the week you will get to hear about the care that goes into Goat Husbandry. You can also learn tips and techniques about simple cheese making from fresh milk.

Herb Walks

Spring Herb Walk:

Learn the medicinal and edible effects of our amazing local spring flowers, move your body, breathe, and reconnect with nature. During this morning walk, you will learn about the folk, medicinal, and culinary uses of native flowering plants that grow in our own backyard. Safe plant id and ethical wildcrafting will be taught, along with easy to make herbal remedies for everyday ailments.

Herbal First Aide

Image: 

Learn how to make herbal therapies for first aid situations & make your own herbal first aid kit. During this class we will make remedies for cuts, scrapes, burns, bites & stings, as well as how to use them. At the end of the class, you will have herbal oils & extracts and your very own first aid kit to take home.

Hide tanning

Hide tanning is an ancient craft that many indigenous people have used to make important items, such as clothing and tools. In this class you will learn and get hands on with this craft. You will learn what tools you need to tan hides on your own and be able to ask lots of questions. This class is a big committment, so know that if you do take it, you will need to limit taking other classes. Hides will be available for purchase to work with. If you have your own, you can bring it.

Guide: 

Holistic Tracking & Awareness

Tracking is much more than looking at footprints in the sand; it is a way of seeing the world and making meaning out of patterns. This class will provide a strong yet flexible foundation for beginners while also challenging more experienced trackers with novel concepts and approaches. Tracking basics will be covered in a way that will open your mind, accelerate your learning, and empower your personal practice.

Intro to Aikido

Shizen Kai Ikido is a dynamic martial art bringing mind and body and spirit into balance. Learn how to move with love, intuition, centered positioning, flexibility and timing through any type of situation life presents you. 

Ikido is a philosophy of true love and protection for the whole world; it is a practice of balance and harmonizing. Ikido teaches people that all things are connected and by working in harmony with the energy of the universe, one can accomplish whatever needs to be done without conflict.

Intro to Woodcarving

Basic to intermediate wood carving class with Master woodcarvers from the Pacific Northwest, Emmett and Garth. Get familiar with different types of wood.

Local Seafood, Fishing & Processing

Cleaning and processing whole fish, Parasite ID, cutting and preparation for sashimi, identifying if fish is sashimi grade to be eaten raw.  Cleaning and pealing Local Shrimp.  Learning how to keep your seafood fresh and learning how long will it last.  Storage techniques and key components to freezing seafood.  Ocean food harvesting and different fishing techniques: spearfishing, hook and line, shore gathering.
 

Men's Circle

An opportunity for any identified men to gather and connect about collective topics, issues, etc. A neutral and welcoming space for healthy conversation and presence. This will happen 1-2 times throughout the gathering.

Native Plant Dyes

This class offers an opportunity to get fun and crafty with the plants in your local area. Learn how to make beautiful colors from the Earth. This class is inspiring and has room for lots of creativity! If you love alchemy and earth art, this is the class for you!

Guide: 

Natural Paint Making

Adult Class (13+up):

Discover the multitude of earth materials available to make watercolor paints, natural fiber paint brushes, and the alchemy of making color!
One hands on workshop and open studio. Materials fee $15 

Younger Youth Class:

Mix and make watercolor paints, print and play with earth materials- Discover the alchemy of making natural color!
(3-6yrs) One hands on workshop. Materials fee $5
(7-12yrs) One hands on workshop. Materials fee $5

Guide: 

Navajo Weaving

This is going to be a really special class taught/guided by a beautiful Navajo elder woman, Louise Sheppard. She is excited to share her traditional skills/techniques about this incredible native art form from the land she comes from in New Mexico. 

Guide: 

New Momma Earth Kit

Image: 

Calling all new earth mommas! This introduction level class is especially designed for pregnant and new mothers who would like to learn how to make herbal postpartum and baby care products. These are all products that I have made for myself and for my children during their early childhood. Once you see how easy it is to make your own products with the knowledge of herbs you will never want to use anything else.

Osage Bow Making

Image: 
In this class students will learn the art of bow making with traditional hand tools and emerge with a self crafted weapon they can be proud of.
Topics covered will include: 
- scraping, shaping and tillering until the bow bends properly

Packing Mules and Horses into the Backcountry

Learn from Graham and Mike about the traditional techniques to pack and travel with animals into the backcountry. They run local trips through Los Padres Outfitters all over Santa Barbara County. They are amazing people who have so much to give to those interested! You will be able to sit on the horses and mules, especially kiddos!

Primitive Pottery

We will discuss all aspects of primitive style pottery including how to find your own clay and different techniques to processing the clay into a usable consistency. We will hand build pots with wild gathered clay and if possible go out on the land and find some clay to use. We will paint our pots with natural minerals or plant based paint, as well as go over how to find and make your own. We will talk about different firing techniques and when to use which technique. We will build a tench "pit kiln" and fire our pots together as a class (after the pots have had time to dry).

Spinning Class

In this class you will learn how to turn sheep's wool into yarn that can be used for knitting, crocheting, or weaving. Students will be learning on a traditional top - weighted drop spindle as well as have the opportunity to try using an Ashford traditional spinning wheel to make their yarn. Class will cover cleaning, carding and spinning wool. Participants will get to keep all yarn they make in this class. Save your yarn and use it in our weaving class the next day!
 
Guide: 

spoon carving

spoon carving and knife handling for beginners, w/additional options for more experienced carvers, including hand-carved bowls, decorative and sculptural carving, turning on the lathe, and learning to use the shave horse, draw knife, and other hand tools. Bring your knife!

Guide: 

Tarahumara Tire Running sandals

Never buy shoes again after learning to craft your own!  Based on technology from the Tarahumara, a tribe of super runners in Copper Canyon.

Tea Tent

Image: 

Come drink tea and explore the magic and healing wisdom of our most sacred plant allies. With each pot of our homemade tea blends, we will share some of our  favorite herbs & herbal folklore legends.  Relax as the sun sets & settle into your heart-felt, plant-loving community in our tent of comfy pillows and blankets.

Tracking

Tracking that we will be doing will include track identification, gait analysis, intro to track aging, and sign tracking. With awareness, we will be tracking by touch and using blindfolds to enhance awareness. Tracking will not be limited to non-human animals. This class is an opportuniity to expand your awareness beyond what you use on a day to day basis!

Trapping

Learn the tactics on trapping ally types of animals when hunting or living out on the land. 

Guide: 

Weaving Class

In this class you will get to make their very own unique tapestry to take home. Class will cover various tapestry techniques, use of color, different fibers and the long and storied history of weaving in cultures around the world. All skill levels and experience are welcome. Students will be provided with a loom, an assortment of yarns and personal instruction to help them bring their weaving to life. 

Guide: 

Weaving with Tule

Learn how to weave with the Tule plant, a CA native waterplant. This plant has been used by various native CA tribes for millenia. Traditionally it has been used to weave and build boats, house, clothes, baskets and mats, to name a few. We'll learn various twining techniques to weave either a basket, mat or sun visor out of a sedge plant called tule. This class will inspire you with the basics if you are new, or further your knowledge if you are experienced.

 

Guide: 

Willow basketry

Learn the way of the willow!  Using a combination of wild and cultivated basketry willow, you will weave a complete basket starting with the base, all the way to finishing touches like handles and a foot.  While weaving, we will discuss harvesting and cultivation methods, materials preparation, and ongoing care for your basket.  Please bring a knife and garden clippers if you have them.

Women's Circle

This is a time for all identified women (of all ages) to come together and hold space for one another, simplly check in, discuss any topics of interest that organically arise. When women come together we realize how interwoven we are. We can offer support and inspiration to each other. We can have intergenerational sharing of experiences... sing songs! This is a neutral, simple human space. 

Yoga-- Morning/Evening

Bring a mat and tune in with your body in between classes... it's nice to have a break between sitting and crafting!

:)

Youth Activities & Games

The Acorn Gathering is intended to support the youth in their exploration with hands-on and experiential-based learning. With the support of instructors and you, as parents, a sacred and playful space will be provided for the youth to get their hands on various crafts and skills. We work with other instructors at the gathering on how to include the children in experiencing or witnessing the classes that involve learning more complex skills.

Zapotec (Benizaa) Weaving

You can choose a weaving class for one, two or three day projects on a primitive frame loom. There will be a selection of natural dyed yarn from our workshop in Oaxaca and looms will be provided. Classes will run all day and will start with a one hour lecture about the Zapotec culture and weaving heritage. Ages 10 and up.

Shopping cart

Your shopping cart is empty.