Women’s Basic Carpentry

April 4 - April 7, 2019

Do those dates not work for you? Get on the Waitlist near the bottom of the page to hear about more dates as we add them.

Why Women’s Carpentry?

Lets face it. In this culture, it’s much more likely for male-bodied people to be more comfortable with tools and carpentry than female-bodied people. Year after year during our natural building class, we received feedback from women that it would be super-helpful to have a class specifically geared towards getting women acquainted with tools and basic carpentry. Our bodies are different, our backgrounds are likely different, and so we need a class just for ourselves! This class is intended to get ladies up-to-speed on basic building skills, working with wood, and using hand-tools as well as power-tools.

Focus is placed on creating a safe, comfortable, relaxed and fun learning environment in which students with beginning to intermediate skill levels can thrive. We focus on helping each student learn rather than the progression of projects.

line drawing of fabulous woman carpenter

Ladies, prepare to tame those mythical beasts (power tools) and make them part of your building repertoire.


women building sawhorses for woodworking

What to expect: Learn Basic Carpentry Skills

During this four-day workshop, we will cover basic carpentry skills and the fundamentals of choosing and using the right tools for different jobs, as well as the maintenance of everything needed to complete a carpentry project. And you can expect this wealth of information to be tailored specifically for women and women’s bodies.

Note: Participants who are camping are encouraged (but not required) to arrive on the evening before class starts to get settled in.


woman using a power drill to do carpentry and build bench

Day 1: Tools, Tools, Tools & Women’s Empowerment!

Our theme of the day is women’s empowerment and helping you learn the essentials of a basic carpentry class. We’ll have an overview of how to learn carpentry, tool choices, ergonomic use and maintenance. Whether you are building a bird house, bathroom shelves, a bike shed or a log cabin, the right tools make all the difference.


female using a circular saw in women's carpentry class

Day 2: Carpentry Basics – Get Competent with Tools

Practice making cuts; using levels, speedy squares and other tools; fastening boards; and working together getting your hands, mind, and bodies on projects around the land.


Day 3: The Next Level – Building Designs and Personal  Projects

Go to the next level with group projects and improve your understanding of simple building design. Design and start your personal project.


women carpenters learning to build

Day 4: Putting It Together – Carpentry Training and Hands-On Woodworking Project

Build your own simple project to take home! We ask students to decide what they want to make before the class so that we can have materials waiting on-site. You can make your very own rustic and simple shelf, bed-frame or other simple project. Materials for these projects will be offered to students at-cost.


using a measuring tape to do carpentry


Annie Sellick Carpentry Testimonial“Thanks to you I now have an impact driver and drill kit, a skill saw, speed and carpenter squares. I’ve finished my first project! This was immensely gratifying. My dad and husband helped me on the roof but I did the rest myself. I hope you’re well and I can’t thank you enough. I love my scooter shed!”

– Annie Sellick, Nashville Jazz Singer (http://www.anniesellick.com/)


Instructors

Natalie Bogwalker

Founder and Director of Wild Abundance; Instructor for Hide Tanning, Permaculture & Gardening, Homesteading, Foraging & Medicine Making, Carpentry & Natural Building, Rewilding, and Women’s Empowerment Natalie is the founder and director of the Wild Abundance.  She’s passionate about teaching and sharing skills that are essential for living harmoniously within the natural systems of the ...

Barron Brown

Instructor for Carpentry and Natural Building Barron is a truly amazing jack-of-all-trades. He learned timber framing, post-and-beam construction, log cabin construction, and much more from his grandparents when he was a child and teenager. He currently works as a sculptor, welder and builder, as well as teaching carving, blacksmithing, and building. Barron is a joy ...

Ellie Richards

Instructor for Carpentry Ellie Richards is an artist living and working in Penland, North Carolina, she is the wood studio coordinator at Penland School of Crafts.  Her work, both furniture and sculpture, are exhibited widely including recent juried exhibitions at the Mint Museum,  the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design, SOFA Chicago, and the Society ...

Local Accommodations

While some locals prefer to commute to Wild Abundance from Asheville, students from the area and out of town are welcome to pitch a tent in one of our flat camping spots in the woods or field, or to tie a hammock in the forest on our seven-acre property. We strongly suggest bringing a very warm sleeping bag and bedding. We do have a fully functioning outdoor kitchen and bathroom, though in extremely cold weather, sometimes one or both are out of operation due to the water freezing.

If you prefer something more conducive to creature comforts, we suggest browsing Airbnb or checking out some of the local motels and B&Bs within a 10-15 minute drive to Wild Abundance.

Below are a few local accommodations you might find to your liking:

Comfort Inn in Mars Hill, NC


Registration Info

We strive to make our classes accessible to those who wish to learn. Please pay on the sliding scale what you can afford, given your income.

April 4-7, 2019 (more session dates TBA)


  • Early-Early Bid Price: now – November 5  $550 – $850
  • Early Bird Price: November 6 – January 3  $600-$900
  • Regular Price: January 4 – class  $650-$950

We will also be running an Advanced Women’s Carpentry Class on August 15-18.  If you take the Women’s Basic Carpentry, you will be qualified to take the Advanced class.  We have a separate price if you want to register for both classes together.

PRICING FOR WOMEN’S CARPENTRY PACKAGE:

Women’s Basic Carpentry PLUS Advanced Women’s Carpentry

  • Early-Early Bird Price: now – November 5   $1,000-$1,600
  • Early Bird Price: November 6 – January 3  $1,100 – $1,700
  • Regular Price: January 4 – class  $1,200 – $1,800

The following are included in the price of the course: instruction, optional camping, and facility use (kitchen, bathroom).

To register, please complete the online registration by clicking on the “Register Now” button and then make your payment. Registration will be processed upon receipt of payment.

Expect to receive a confirmation email within one week of sending payment. Additional emails will cover logistical details as the date approaches.

Click here to see our policy on refunds, payment plans and work-trade opportunities.

Also, feel free to read our Frequently Asked Questions.