Academic journal article The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association, Inc.

Appreciation for Tools, Craftsmen Gained

Academic journal article The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association, Inc.

Appreciation for Tools, Craftsmen Gained

Article excerpt

I attended the Eastfield Village Summer Camp and can heartily recommend it to anyone interested not only in the tools of the early craftsmen, but also in how those tools were used.

Each of the six days was a full day workshop in a different trade or area of interest from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The trades covered by the workshops I attended were tinsmith, blacksmith, silversmith, and cabinetmaker. In addition, I took classes in identifying and hand planing mouldings and making raised panels. Classes included both instructor demonstrations, study of the Eastfield buildings and their contents, and considerable hands-on work.

The thrust of the workshops was not to give us a level of competence in any of the trades, but to give us more appreciation of the tools and of the craftsmen who used them. All the instructors were friendly, very competent in their areas of interest, and very willing to answer any of our questions.

In each of the workshops, I learned how difficult and time consuming the early craftsmen's tasks were. For example, in the blacksmithing class I had completely formed a ceiling hook of the type used in general stores and was heating it to put the decorative twist in the shank when it burned into two pieces. …

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