Thursday, July 7, 2016

Blacksmith Demonstrations And More At Adirondack Folk School

blacksmith_AdkFolkSchoolOnce again the Adirondack Folk School is hosting evening blacksmithing demonstrations at its Lake Luzerne school in addition to all its other traditional Adirondack art classes.

Since its founding in 2010, the Adirondack Folk School has provided artisan classes with the core idea to keep Adirondack crafts alive.

My family was fortunate to be able to attend one of the free evening blacksmithing demonstrations years ago. At that time the pavilion and blacksmith forge were new. The opportunity allowed us to watch Blacksmith Steve Gurzler create beautiful forged objects while teaching his students. Gurzler is once again back for the Open Forge Nights. The monthly events take place on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm. Bring a picnic or just stop by to watch. For those wishing to learn the art of blacksmithing there is a $20 materials fee.

The school is located at the former Lake Luzerne town hall building.  Scheduled classes in traditional Adirondack arts vary depending on the season. Current classes include coopering, making a gourd drum, as well as bookbinding, basketry, and rustic furniture building. Other programs explore fiber arts, landscape watercolors, and wilderness first aid.

The concept of a “folk school” is based on a Danish principle in which people learn for the sake of learning, not to be given course credit. Some classes are set over a specific time frame, but most classes are for a day to appeal to locals as well as visitors. Internships are available as well as the Earn and Learn program. Adults of all ages can earn scholarships in the Earn and Learn program by providing services such as cleaning, gardening, painting, or office duties.

There is also a unique opportunity to explore Native American games and dancing with David Cornelius on July 30 and August 20. The Iroquois Games and Dancing class touches on the Iroquois lifestyle and the importance of such popular games such as Lacrosse and lesser known games like Double Ball. Traditional dances were an important part of the culture and performed by all ages from toddler to elder. The class will focus on Iroquois dances that are traditionally gender specific as well as dances for everyone.

The 6.8-acre Adirondack Folk School borders the Hudson River and is located at 51 Main Street in Lake Luzerne. With over a hundred classes, programs and community events focused on traditional Adirondack folk art, there is bound to be something for everyone.

For those with young ones, make sure to check the schedule for special events geared toward children such as animal tracking, community paint-outs and cooking classes. Enjoy!

Photo of blacksmithing at Adirondack Folk School provided.

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Diane Chase

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

One Response

  1. Paul says:

    My kids used to love to sit there and watch the farrier make horse shoes!