WildCraft Studio School is one of the first schools in the country to make curricular connections between the seemingly disparate practices of traditional craft, textiles, Native American arts, foraging, and herbal medicine.
The motivation to combine these practices stems from our belief that resourcefulness, creativity, and a meaningful relationship to place are integral parts of the human experience and deserving of more space in contemporary life.
From our Portland, OR and White Salmon, WA studios -- as well as from the farms, forests, beaches, and deserts that make up our off-site classrooms -- WildCraft strives to awaken creativity and deepen an understanding of place through hands-on experiences in making.
The majority of the workshops offered at WildCraft Studio School fall into the category of craft. Whether wood carving, weaving, leather working, spinning, natural dyeing, or a myriad of other craft practices, a student taking this type of workshop is guaranteed to experience that skill in an intensive, hands-on way.
Many of these workshops focus on craft practices that have become nearly obsolete in contemporary society. Through our courses, students are presented with the opportunity to connect with the larger history of making useful objects by hand. Some of these classes teach a skill through a cultural perspective, passing along both technical knowledge and a deeper understanding of cultural production.
Native Art Workshops
Our Northwest Native programming offers educational experiences that demonstrate the profoundly deep and significant connections between craft, culture, and landscape. In collaboration with Northwest native artists, WildCraft Studio School has created an educational platform for the original craft traditions of this region to persist and thrive.
Workshops like Kalapuya Basket Weaving, Cedar Bark Basketry, and Columbia Plateau Beading tell the stories of the area’s vernacular craft – illuminating a relationship to place through materiality, process, and technique.
These classes are rare outside of Tribal schools, community centers, and reservations. It is our hope that the cultural exchange between Native teachers and non-Native students will continue to build a deeper understanding and respect for the First Peoples of the Northwest.
Land Based Workshops
WildCraft Studio offers a seasonal collection of workshops that teach traditional practices of wild foods foraging and herbal medicine. These often carry a focus of cultivating sustainable relationships with landscape through a richer understanding of ethnobotany, geology, and habitat.
These courses utilize the rich and varied landscapes of the Columbia Gorge as sites of learning. Harvesting edible seaweed at the Oregon Coast, in the forests of Mount Hood learning about medicinal herbs, and walking the streets of Portland exploring urban dye plants are only a few of the several activities workshop attendees take on in classes.
WildCraft Studio School’s land-based courses provide opportunities for people to understand the landscapes of our region through the lens of sustainable harvest and local tradition.
WildCraft Studio School is in the process of transitioning to a non-profit 501c3. Our primary goal is to provide high quality creative and arts-based courses to a larger population of our local communities, educating visitors about the culture, landscape, and traditions of the Pacific Northwest.
We strive to connect students to their innate creativity through skill-driven workshops that focus on traditional craft practices, textiles, Native American art, foraging, and herbal medicine. Through hands-on experience, we aim to encourage a deep understanding of the connection between place, culture, and tradition.