Women’s Rewilding Weekend: Remembering our Ancestral Skills

A Weekend of Rewilding for Women

Most of us are far removed from our ancestral roles and rhythms, but it is possible to come back to them.  This is a process some call “rewilding.”  Now more than ever, it is vital for us to come together to reconnect, to remember what it means to be human and female, and to explore the path toward rewilding for women.

Women have a deep physiological and spiritual connection with creation.  All of us have female ancestors who have lived in connection with the Earth’s patterns and cycles.  Their daily lives, and those of their families, were deeply reliant on that connection.  In these modern times, we organize our lives on our phones, communicate via the Internet, and live in a culture so very estranged from the Earth.

In this long weekend of rewilding for women, 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.

 woman with bow and arrow rewilding


woman harvesting wild rainwater in a gourdOverview:

During this special weekend, we will learn and practice some of the essential, beautiful skills and rituals that have woven us together for millennia.  We will gather around a fire; we will harvest, prepare and eat foods from the Earth; we will sing together; and we will remember our ancestors through the crafts that were integral to their lives.  Using our hands and hearts, we will connect with each other and with the nature of womanhood, throughout the ages and across all walks of life.

 

Rewilding is about integration, not about going back in time.  It’s about making space for the ancient, undomesticated part of ourselves to come forward, even in the modern world.

 

woman with handmade hat wild pelt rewildingOur weekend of rewilding for women is limited to 20 participants.  It is important to us to create an intimate space in which to share.

Emphasis is placed on creating a safe, comfortable, relaxed and supportive environment.  We focus on everyone’s learning and growth above perfecting each skill.  This class is about liberating our minds and hearts to express themselves creatively, not about measurable accomplishments.

No matter where you’re coming from, whether you are a woman homesteader or you have never slept outdoors, we welcome you to share in this weekend of rewilding for women.


weaving a cattail fiber hat elder woman

woman blowing on tinder friction fire rewilding

Each of the four days, we will gather for morning, afternoon and evening sessions.  As we approach skills and projects, we will begin by weaving in the cultural significance of each one.  As we learn and practice together, there will be plenty of space for discussion and sharing.  Lunches will be provided each day.  Evening sessions will take place around a fire.

Skills we will explore in a relaxed atmosphere that honors both ambition and repose:

  • Fire Craft
  • Moon Ritual
  • Wildcrafting
  • Wild Foods Cookery
  • Firewood Splitting
  • Buckskin bikini top or moccasin making
  • Broom making
  • Cordage
  • Singing and Songsharing
  • And More!

Advanced Women’s Carpentry

Learn to design and build your own buildings from the ground up!

We have had such awesome experiences with our Women’s Basic Carpentry Class, that we have decided to offer something to take students to the next level. While the Women’s Basic Carpentry Class teaches students how to use tools and gives them projects to help them get that knowledge in their bodies, the Advanced Women’s Carpentry Class focuses on empowering women to design and build buildings from the ground up.

Please note that our Advanced Women’s Carpentry Class is only available to those who have already taken the Women’s Basic Carpentry Class. We will be running several sessions this year, including: April 4-7(FULL), April 18-21(FULL), July 11-4, and August 8-11.

drawing of woman with hammer


framing a floor in a women's carpentry course

Day 1: Foundations and Floors

We will introduce students to many types of possible foundations, including slab on grade, rubble trench, block, stone, and post. Students will learn about laying out a building square using batter boards, and will work on either pouring (a) concrete footer(s), or installing a floor.


women doing woodworking

Day 2: Walls

Students will learn about the distinctions, advantages, and disadvantages of various wooden-framed wall systems, including timber frame, post and beam, and “stick-framed,” or “stud” (referring to a vertical board, not a male identified person who likes to strut around) walls. We will explore different siding and paneling options. After learning about and getting their eyes and hands all over various systems, students will work on a real-live wall, and learn how to build, erect, side, insulate, and panel one.


woman using a speed square for carpentry

Day 3: Roofs

The morning talk this day will focus on various roof shapes, framing systems and the advantages and disadvantages of various roofing materials. We will work, again, on a real live roof.


door trim carpentry project

Day 4: The Finishing Touches: Windows, Doors, and Trim, Oh My!

We will work on filling in the rough openings made on the wall day with windows, maybe install a door, and, depending on how the class has gone, we might even delve into the complex and rewarding world of stairs.


The priority during this class is not progress on buildings, but rather the depth of learning of the students.

We put a lot of effort into making sure that there will be building projects at various phases in order for students to learn about the different parts of a building. Depending on the comfortable pace of the class and the whims of the building goddesses (or god, depending on your spiritual leanings), some of the specific projects might change. We will work hard to assure a balance in the depth that students go in a particular project, and the breadth that the students explore on different projects to assure that students learning environment feels safe and healthy, and that we are not left with too many messes at the end of the class.

Women’s Basic Carpentry

April 4-7(FULL), April 18-21(FULL), July 11-14, OR August 8-11

We’re offering a few class sessions this year. Students only need to attend one of these sets of dates. If none of them work for you, but you’d like to attend, let us know and we’ll put you on our waitlist.

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.

This beginner class involves lots of work with tools and smaller projects. For those who are interested in larger projects, especially structural building, we offer an Advanced Women’s Carpentry Class. In addition, we’ve got a fantastic Natural Building and Tiny House Workshop. Anyone who has completed the basic carpentry class will be well prepared for either the advanced class or tiny house workshop.

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.


attaching floor beam in womens carpentry class

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.


using a measuring tape to do carpentry

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.

Because Sunday is a personal project day, so students are done with class when they finish their projects. Typically they finish sometime between noon and 3:30pm. We close up shop at 4:00, so everyone must be done by then (class ends Thursday- Saturday at 6:00pm). If you have time constraints, you can make it more likely to leave on the early side by choosing a simple project like making sawhorses or a small bookshelf.


women carpenters learning to build