Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 Winter Workshops: Sign Up Now!

1.      A one-day Metal Casting Class in Brass/Bronze on Friday, January 17, 9AM-5PM. Learn about safety, furnaces, fuels, metals and molds with Odd Duck Foundry proprietor Peter Grant. Students will melt metal and casting from patterns. Non-Members $175 Members $165

2.     A Woodworking Class: Mortise and Tenon Construction on Sat., Jan. 18, 2014, 9-1PM. Students will create a half size buck saw out of maple wood using mortise and tenon joinery. A satisfying, utilitarian tool project. Non Members $65,  Members $55. Open to adults and teens.

3.       Sat. and Sun., Jan. 25 & 26, 9AM-5PM. Woodworking, Dovetailing, Make a Blanket Chest Class. With instructor Adriaan Gerber, students will learn to make dovetail joints using traditional hand tools. The will prepare the components of a traditional six board chest with a hinged top. A wonderful potential family heirloom.  Non Members: $275, Members $265

4.       Sat., Feb. 1, 9-4PM. Blacksmithing: Make Hardware. In this beginning to intermediate class students will learn metal work on a coal or propane forge. Make hinges, latches and/or handles for your home or newly created blanket chest ( in our woodworking class)  Or make a door knocker and/or coat rack. Tuition: Non Members $125 Members $115.

5.      Sat. & Sun., Feb. 22 &23, 2014, 9-4PM. Metal Casting Class: Make Your Own Metal Casting Furnace. Students will create a cylinder furnace fueled by propane for aluminum, brass, and bronze casting. Tuition: Non-Members $175 Members $165

6.     Sat. & Sun., March 1 & 2, 10-4PM. Blacksmithing: Make a Draw Knife and/or Slicks. Shape a blade with spring steel on a coal or propane forge. This will be offered as a package deal or singularly with the "Create a Shaving Horse Class" (20% discount). Intermediate students can make a froe involving a forge weld. Non-Members $275   Members $265.

7.       Sat. and Sun., March 8 & 9, 9AM-5PM.  Woodworking: Create a Shaving Horse Class. With master woodworker Fred Chellis, students will learn riving, an early woodworking technique in which a froe, wedges and a maul are used to split logs into workable lumber. Wood will be shaped and fitted with hand tools. Non Members $275,  Members  $265.

See further details for these classes on our website: , our Facebook, or our blog: . Call or email us; 207-793-2784 or To reserve a place in a class, you will need to pay the tuition in advance, credit cards accepted.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

For Immediate Press Release: Willowbrook Receives Grant To Further Hands-On and Living History Experiences

Recently, 19th Century Willowbrook Village received a $20,000 grant from the Davis Family Foundation of Yarmouth. The funds will be used to further hands-on and living history experiences at the museum, including facilitating learning experiences with science, technology, engineering and mathematics in conjunction with a working collection of artifacts from the 1850s-1920s, said Robert Schmick, museum director of Willowbrook. In recent months a schedule of new traditional arts classes have evolved, and the museum is currently advertising seven workshops in blacksmithing, woodworking, and metal casting. Some of the grant funds are earmarked for improving our facilities for furthering these programs as well as providing new experiences like a line shaft pulley operated machinist shop. The machinist shop will provide experiences with machines, metal assembly, early engines, and assembly line production for all age groups.
Currently, the museum's red barn building is being used for woodworking classes but will also be a site for type set printing, jewelry, and art/science classes. A second blacksmith shop, moved from Lincolnville, is in the process of being re-built on site to accommodate larger classes, and in the current blacksmith shop an additional red brick side draft forge will be built . A working Victorian kitchen will be created as well as the completion of two exhibit rooms re-purposed for sending and receiving Morse code via telegraph keys; this will be in conjunction with the re-creation of the famous Titanic's radio room on loan this coming season from the Lyric Theatre in Vermont. As further development of the thematic presentation of 19th century communication, there will be a set of working hand crank telephones on campus through a loan from The Ellsworth Telephone Museum and the work of its curator Dave Thompson.
Work done this past season on a combination grain and apple cider mill scenario will be further realized. An open shed will be enclosed and receive a wooden floor. Our 1870s twin-screw apple cider press will be re-wooded and made operable to complement the museum's recent restoration of a similar in vintage flat belt pulley apple crusher. Both an 1870s Harrison portable grist mill and the apple crusher will be powered by visitors who climb aboard two single-horse treadmills. Two other goat/dog treadmills are coming to the museum to provide more similar kinesthetic learning experiences for school children on trips and general visitors alike, added Dr. Schmick.
Lastly, there are tentative classes in restoration planned for the Spring. The museum is currently looking for interested participants for a Model T engine restoration class. A second class will involve woodworking and blacksmithing in restoring a horse drawn panel wagon. A nominal fee will be charged to cover the instructor's time and material for this class to last four weekends; it's real hands-on learning intended for both mature teens and adults. Contact the museum, if you're interested. Visit the museum's website and blog for more information.