Here is a list of new and past instructors to give you a taste of classes offered.We strive to provide a unique & diverse group of creative & talented instructors. Soon after you arrive at the gathering you will hear about the classes offered for the week and sign up... old school style. Daily morning announcements happen to help you find classes to jump in on. Don't worry, there are plenty of classes to choose from! 


Gelsomina Ritter- Malferrari

Living and raising her family on a 20 acre homestead, near Boulder, Colorado, Gelsomina has dedicated her life to feeding her family with the most nourishing food possible, raising her children to be connected to the earth, and creating and making things with her hands. She milks the family cow, makes baskets, gardens passionately, sings, and teaches primitive skills at the Laughing Coyote Project.


Art Ludwig

Ecological Land and Water designer... It is so important to learn how water flows and slows and permeates through the earth. Art Ludwig is a well know specialist who has worked in this area for many years all over the world. He is filled with so much first hand information and has researched about every angle of water. Jump into his class to inspire your relationship to water, the land and all that entails. Go to for a detailed bio! 

Benjamin Pixie

Benjamin will be joining us from the Pacific Northwest. He is deeply connected to bees and the magic of their offering to this life. His honey business, Pixie Honey Company, is quite well known on the west coast and in the Olympia area, which is where he and his family run their business. Benjamin has worked hard to maintain the incredible quality of a variety of products, including honey, bee pollen, botanical extracts, candles, and salves. They have been helping pollinate small farms, blueberry bogs and other fruit all over the Pacific Northwest.

Betty Seaman

Betty has taught workshops all over the U.S. on natural building, such as at The Cobb Cottage Company in Oregon. She has worked with many families and communities to help them build different structures with the Earth so that they can enjoy the tranquility of what natural building has to offer. Betty is an artist of many modalities, such as beading, leathercraft and cooking. She has so much knowledge to share!

Bryce Wood

Bryce Wood has been studying and sharing his enthusiasm for blade smithing for over twenty years. He brings a unique low tech approach to blacksmithing seldom seen outside of non-affluent countries. Bryce emphasizes the use of hand tools and the virtues of simplicity as he guides students through the process of making a knife. He makes the dubious claim of being primarily self taught, but has studied with renown knife maker Tai Goo as of late.


Caleb Soltau

Caleb Soltau was born and raised in a rural Oregon coastal town. From a young age he was immersed in the natural world of the rainforest. He has been guiding and mentoring youth in the wilderness for the past 15 years. He is now living along the Trinity river in Northern California where he teaches primitive skills, hosts youth skills camps and wilderness retreats.

Clive Wheatley

Coming all the way from down under!!! Clive is an incredible man that has a lot of experience devoted to bringing Qi Gong as a practice to create balance and harmony in everyday life. 


Darrow Feldstein

Darrow grew up in Los Angeles but found his connection to wild nature during his time at UC Santa Cruz studying the natural history of California and spending a lot of time playing outside. He has led students from pre-school to graduate school in explorations of birds, botany, tracking, and reading the landscape. You may see him singing and playing the mandolin, telling stories, or being chased by groups of children. He's honored to be learning and serving this community.


Delmar & Tracy Williams

My name is Delmar Williams and I am from the Squamish and Lil'wat Nation. I have grown up within my community and with my elders who still speak their traditional language and sing our traditional songs. As a child, my family would fish the Fraser River every year to sustain us through the year. I carry the ancestral name of Banksht from my mother's family - and the name of Xwepilkinem, which was my father's ancestral name. My wife’s name is Sesemiya (aka Tracy Williams) and she is well known for her basketry and traditional cedar clothing.

Doug Dahl

Native American tribes of the prairie created their own spear points, axes and arrowheads by using materials such as chert, flint and obsidian in superior fashion. Join Master Flint Knapper Doug Dahl, known as “The Arrowhead Guy,” for a fun and educational workshop on the ancient art of creating tools from conchoidal stone. Participants will work on making their own stone tool to take home. Doug is a charter member of the Lithic Artists Guild, a college-level and museum lecturer and an avocational archeologist with a desire to teach the survival skills of the people of the past.


Emily Sanders

Certified Clinical Herbalist, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Certified Massage Therapist

Gabriel Kelly

 "For many years our ancestors survived with a direct relationship with the natural world around them, surviving by the skills and knowledge passed down from generation to generation. This way of life sustained a balance between us as humans and the natural world. " ~Acorn Gathering Creator

Garth & Emmett

Hailing from the far reaches of the Pacific Northwest to offer woodwork classes! They are both fun human beings with lots of experience working with wood for projects as small as a spoon to building tiny houses.

Guner Tautrim

Guner is a jack of all trades! He and his family are local Santa Barbarians and live a healthy life connected to nature's elements. Guner is a master wood worker, craftsman and permaculture educator. He has travelled the work teaching and colloborating with others to learn from nature's systems and resources. He will be offering classes on how to use permaculture design to create vibrant and functional landscapes. These teaching will focus more on the broad acre realm vs. the urban realm.

Hill Young

Hill Young is an eco art activist based in Southern California. Through her painting, teaching, performance and installations Hill reminds us to find the sacred within ourselves and the natural world we inhabit in order to heal and better support our individual paths, our communities and the planet as a whole.

Ira Christian

Ira Christian is a teacher, naturalist, and storyteller whose love for learning and the natural world was kindled at an early age.  After completing his BA in Political Theory at UC Santa Cruz, Ira embarked on a series of experiential learning opportunities around the world.  His travels have taken him to the the wilds of the North Cascade Mountains, where he participated in a six-month Stone Age living intensive; to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he apprenticed a theater artist who facilitated healing across sectarian divides; to Indiana, where he studied banjo-building; and to his fami

Jay Sliwa

Jay Sliwa is an amazing person with a lot of tricks up his sleeve. He is knowledgable in hide tanning, leather work, beadwork, herbalism, basketry and more. He lives primarily off of the land up in Northern California and spends weeks to months in the back country.


Jeronimo Alonso Brown

Jeronimo Alonso Brown was born in Argentina and only recently moved to the US. He comes from a long lineage of European farmers that emigrated to Argentina in the late 19th century. His family has been working the same land continuously for six generations. To this day they still cultivate the land in a traditional way.


Jim Langell

Jim Langell enjoys fishing and hunting. He is a father and grandfather and loves helping children connect with using bows and arrows. Jim puts a lot of time and effort into making template bows for kids of all ages. He is an extremely generous man and is very much appreciated by The Acorn Gathering Crew for his support and love to make this event happen!

JT Beggs

JT’s connection to nature was fully realized as soon as he was old enough to cover himself in dirt. He has spent over six weeks of his life living off of exclusively wild foods and loves plants. JT is very proudly the progeny of a long line of artisanal grandmother/cooks going back into Mesoamerica and Spain. He also has a deep respect of traditional cultures and is constantly engaging his curiosity in this subject, as is said in Irish “Aoibhinn beatha an scoláire” – beautiful is the life of the scholar.

Julia Ford

Julia is an artist, living in the Santa Barbara area, and loves using native plants and fibers in her creative crafting. She is a gentle and beautiful woman and a mother.

Kate Jaffe

Kate Jaffe lives in Santa Cruz California where she teaches elementary school Ethnobotany during school hours and wilderness survival and peacemaking after school. Her passions include spinning wool, felting, weaving, metal jewelry making, herbal medicine making, and bike touring. She has a studio on the west side of Santa Cruz where she teaches spinning, weaving and bookmaking. This will be her second time teaching at Acorn Gathering.

Katherine Jolda

Katherine is an exceptionally creative woman when it comes to wool, water, soap and her hands. She has become well known for her ability to not only create anything from a vest to a small bag, but can create these items with function and extreme beauty. Katherine weaves her wisdom from the time she has spent with native peoples, local farms and her life in cities.


Katie Hix

Katie grew up in Southern Indiana singing with Malcolm Dalglish, Moira Smiley, and Evie Ladin–her first mentors in music that showed her that singing happened with the whole body!  She currently leads family music classes in Santa Cruz, California for parents and their young ones and absolutely loves the relationships she’s made through these classes.  Katie loves to write her own songs, too, and specializes in creating & facilitating music that deepens connections to nature as well as always incorporating spontaneity & play.

Ken Peek

Ken's life-long interest in nature and the outdoors began with numerous family camping trips to the Sierra Nevada range as well as the Northwest and Southwest. It seems he's always wanted to make things by hand, and this interest was mentored early on by his great-grandfather, a make-anything carpenter from the Old Country, and a favorite uncle whose hobbies included woodworking, metalworking, jewelry, and lapidary work. The rockhound in Ken was encouraged early on, and to this day he still spends most of his time studying the ground while outdoors!


Kerr Bailey

The first time I braintanned a deer skin I felt a line of women ancestors like up behind me encouraging me on. It was profound. That was about 25 years ago, and I still find the whole process magical and deeply fulfilling. I love to share this experience with others and watch them deepen their own connection to the natural world, the deer in particular, and all of our ancestors.


I started carving as a kid, and have been teaching almost as long. For the last ten years, I've been teaching spoon carving and greenwoodworking at gatherings and other venues. I use hand tools almost exclusively to carve bowls, spoons, and other utensils, and I turn bowls on a food-powered "pole lathe" (tho on my portable lathe, I substitute bungies for the pole). I've also done a lot of natural building and have worked as a teaching artist in schools and on various community art projects.


Leida Tolentino

Leida is an incredible local African dance teacher is the Santa Barbara area! She is incredibly joyful and passionate about sharing her love for dance. She will be bringing dance moves and songs from the west coast of Africa!! She recently spent about a month in Guinea learning from a master teacher and will be sharing dance and experiences from that journey. She teaches in Santa Barbara every Saturday late morning from 12:30-1:45 at Brasil Arts Cafe.  Drops-ins welcome!



Teaches huaraches inspired barefoot sandals. For 8 years she's been refining her designs both selling and teaching sandal making. She was inspired by what she learned through ancestral skills to enter into a conversation with the landscape around her by being able to feel and sense all that was around her. 

Marley Peifer

Marley is a tracker, archer, and illustrator who is passionate about learning, practicing, and teaching primitive skills. He always aims to see the fundamental patterns and connections in nature, culture, and community. Marley currently lives in Sonoma County where he cultivates biological and intellectual diversity; inoculating others at every opportunity.

Maya Kokatay

Maya Kokatay is a doula, craniosacral therapist, musician, dancer, and mother of two. She has been supporting families during pregnancy, birth and postpartum for 14 years. She combines her love of children with her love of music and dance and facilitates weekly children's song circles in Ojai California. 

Miriam Grace

Miriam was brought up in a community in the Sierra Nevada foothills, and was immersed in nature from a very young age. Joseph Cornell, author of "Sharing Nature with Children", was a member of the community and his teachings were very much instilled into her foundation throughout childhood. She studied and interned at the Tracker School in New Jersey, and has helped lead youth programs in Italy, Northern and Southern California, Colorado and Washington.

Nastasha McGuirk

Nastasha, a mother of two boys, lives off the grid and with the land. She makes and harvests most of the things she needs and enjoys in life. Nastasha has a lot of experience crafting with and from the Earth because it is her lifestyle. Her presence and patience are worth taking her Leather Craft class on how to make a leather hat!

Natalie Bartlett

Natalie Bartlett has spent over the last decade of her life deeply immersed in land-based culture and has a passion for learning the stories, music and skills of traditional peoples around the world. She is a dedicated craftsperson and musician, and is a long term land steward and director of the Wild Series at Quail Springs Permaculture.

Neal Ritter

Passionately in search of how to connect the world of the hunter-gatherer with that of the subsistence farmer, Neal Ritter is a jack of all trades. He carves spoons, makes bows, brain tans for his family, pursues the art of wildlife tracking, plays games like a fiend, makes heavenly sourdough bread, and teaches all these skills and more at the Laughing Coyote Project.


Nick Hart

Nick has been leading and playing in the archery zone at Acorn. Alongside other avid archers, Nick ensures all ages get to learn the safetly rules and practice their aim. Come practice with your bow, if you have one, or borrow one! You can make your own bow with Paul Rodgers! And Jim Langell helps many youth have their first bow.


Nick LaHaise

Nick LaHaise is a basket weaver, natural foods chef, green wood carver, and all around multi-talented craftsman. He's been weaving for 7 years and loves sharing this craft with others.  He lives on a small homestead in Sonoma County with a group of primitive skills artists and friends.


Patra Arnold

Patra is an artist of many mediums. She and her family have a family drum business called Full Circle Drums where they make ceramic middle eastern Doumbeks hand painted and carved. Patra is intuitive when working with clay and can create a 3-dimensional figure with grace and precision. She loves having fun with art!

Paul & Melissa Rodgers

Paul and Melissa are a dynamic duo. They are avid earth crafters, from felting their own clothes to curing their own wild meats, Paul and Melissa love sharing their passions with others. They are people who make you feel at home instantly!


Paula & James Horvath

Raising rabbits for meat, pelts, companionship and enjoyment is something we are passionate about. It brings us closer to the earth and to what it really means to be connected to this beautiful and bountiful planet.

We approach all aspects of raising rabbits with honor and respect: from the way we tend them in life; to processing them humanely and courageously; to ultimately honoring the life taken by using all or most of the animal. We are deeply grateful for these animals and the gifts they bring to our lives.

Sam Farnworth

Sam Farnworth, a self-taught blacksmith, lives in the California Bay Area.  Sam took a class at a local industrial arts center and was immediately intrigued by the magic that happens with metal and fire.  He began to experiment and practice making simple things like awls and hooks and progressed to more intricate and advanced projects like custom made knives.

Samuel Bautista Lazo

Samuel is a traveling Zapotec weaver from Oaxaca, Mexico. He teaches traditional Zapotec (Benizaa) Weaving techniques and patterns, as well as this history and stories behind this tradition. Samuel is a very passionate educator and artist!

Sasha Rabin

Sasha Rabin’s main focus in life has been creating beautiful houses and structures out of earth, and has been teaching various forms of earthen building for the past 14 years. Sasha was drawn to natural building due to her interest in the impact that shelter has on our lives and what it means to live in beautifully created homes, of natural non-toxic materials.


Shira Salcman

Shira has been teaching and helping with gatherings of this sort for several years. She is an artist and a natural at being creative and crafty with materials from the Earth.

Tamara Wilder

Tamara will be offering Necklacemaking for all ages activities and teaching Netmaking & Cardweaving Workshops

Tamara has been learning, researching, experminenting with and teaching ancient living skills since 1989.


Velton Fry



Yoga, stretching and meditation classes are offered throughout the gathering. Take a break from your class and take care of your body! Morning yoga is a great way to start off the day. Bring a yoga mat or anything to lay on.