It wasn’t so very long ago that parents taught homesteading skills and crafts to their children. The father, whose craft made provision for his family, imparted his abilities to his children, and so the craft was handed down from father to son and generation to generation. Likewise, master craftsmen trained apprentices in every aspect of fine workmanship. This extension of their craftsmanship would, then, benefit the entire community by passing on the skills indispensable to family and community living.
Homestead Heritage provides a context whereby adults and children can learn, in a real and tangible way, the same essential skills once taught in those previous generations. As a working community, all the methods and skills we teach have been tested and proven through many years of experience.
Our craftsmen not only earn their living working at their skills but also devote time to impart these practical skills to others. For the past several decades we have offered a wide range of craft workshops for our community’s children as well as visitors from around the country (and the world).
As students further pursue those crafts they enjoy, they can then in their late teen years and early twenties enter into apprenticeships where their skills can become finely honed under the guidance of our master craftsmen. Through establishing the various handcrafts within our community as well as teaching thousands of students through the years, our craftsmen have become able teachers in imparting the skills of craftsmanship through apprenticeship. In the context of full-time employment in the workshops, the apprentices, under the watchful eye of our craftsmen, can reach for new and higher levels, to become accomplished craftsmen themselves.
Our master craftsmen in the arts of woodworking, pottery, blacksmithing, weaving and spinning, basket making, broom making and leatherwork have become renowned for the skills and have won many awards at prestigious craft shows around the country. They strive for excellence and integrity in everything they do since the task of the craftsmen, it has been said, is to “make well what needs making—for the love of God and for the service of our fellow men and women.” In the context of Christian community, craft work provides an opportunity to not only make a living, but to be able to serve each other, as well as our neighbors near and far. In creating beautiful items, we attempt to reflect and give honor to the beauty that the Creator has bestowed on His creation.