Summer Craft Festival, Sat. Aug. 27, 10-4 p.m. (free admission): food, music, crafters, raffles, and Kidz' Zone. Membership meeting @ noon.
Adirondack Folk School: "Explore. Discover. Create"

August 2016 Newsletter

Adirondack Folk School
51 Main St. / P.O. Box 2
Lake Luzerne, NY 12846
(518) 696-2400

The Lac du Sant Sacrement cruises on Lake George under a full moon, in a photograph from "Summer Landscapes, Fireworks and the Full Moon Photography Workshop" in 2015. The course is offered next, Thursday, August 18, 2016 (image © 2015, Carl Heilman II).

M. Gail Grimaldi gives a fiber spinning demonstration at an earlier AFS festival.

Adirondack Folk School will host our Summer Craft Festival, Saturday, August 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The festival will take place on the school grounds overlooking the Hudson, which is located at 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, New York 12846.

Dozens of craft and food vendors are expected, and instructor Mac Petrequin will play his signature bluegrass music from 11 until 3 p.m. that day.

“We are looking forward to a nice summer event, where our talented instructors can sell their arts and crafts while we show our community the wonderful things we’re doing at the Folk School,” says Rand Condell, President of the Board of Trustees.

Instructor Jonathan Nedbor gives a blacksmithing demonstration at an earlier AFS festival.

Our current list of craft vendors and demonstrators, which includes many instructors, is here:

Casey Beal Designs (hand painted children's clothing, flour sack towels, silver jewelry), Meyers Family Forge (craft baskets, and storytelling, by Barbara Boughton), Road Less Traveled Needle-Felt (wool, needle-felted gifts), Through My Lens (matted wildlife prints), The Beginning Shop (handwoven, sewed, and scented gifts), Adirondack Song Birds (hand carved, hand painted, life-size songbirds), Vintage Silverware & Gemstone Jewelry, Pottery by Debbie D., Patricia's Twisted Stitches, In the Adirondacks & Nancy Did It! (regional outdoor and history books, including children's books and cookbooks), Great Sacandaga Designs (rustic furniture), Scott & Beth Bordeau (spoon and gemstone jewelry), John & Renee Kingsley (woodturning, and lampworking -- glass bead crafting), Lori Carter-Secreti (handwoven wraps), Caroline Dvorak (handwoven crafts), Roberta Games (regionally themed painting), Don Polunci (rustic birdhouses), and Walt Ulrich (handmade wooden puzzles and crafts).

Our current list of food vendors includes Me Me's Snack Shack (American grill-fare), Iroquois Eatery (Native American foods), and Divine Swine (barbecued pork).

Instructor Carol Maher gives a gourd art demonstration at an earlier AFS festival.

Crafters and food vendors who are interested in participating should contact Program Manager Mary Stevens at AFS, 518-696-2400, for more information.

Volunteers who are interested in offering assistance during the Festival are also invited to contact AFS.


We are also hosting our annual membership meeting, open to all members of AFS, occurring on the same day as the Summer Craft Festival (Saturday, August 27). The meeting begins at 12 p.m., noon, inside AFS's main building.

The meeting will provide members with an opportunity to voice their opinions about the goal and direction of AFS and our programs. The meeting will also introduce members to the AFS Board of Trustees, and staff.

The hosts of the meeting will adjourn then proceed outside, joining the remainder of the Summer Craft Festival, which ends at 4 p.m.

Members may choose to eat lunch from any of several food vendors at the Festival, before or after the 12 p.m. annual membership meeting.

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Student Michael Doyle builds a "Wee Lassie" canoe.

The original version of the “Wee Lassie” was a lapstrake-built open cedar canoe, made in 1863 by J. Henry Rushton, of the Rushton Boat Company in Canton, New York.

George Washington Sears, an adventuring sportswriter for Fish and Stream magazine, famously trekked the Adirondacks with the canoe, writing of his travels in the 1880s using the pen name, "Nessmuk."

The unconventionally small canoe was about twenty pounds in weight, and about ten feet in length; and so Sears's stories alluded to a deeper exploration of wilderness, made possible by the the boat's easier portage.

Through his writing, Sears helped popularize a solo, "light"-trekking expeditionary style; a style which now continues in practices like "ultralight camping."

An 1883 model of the "Wee Lassie" -- a name which has "become almost a generic term for small canoes in the late twentieth century," according to the Adirondack Museum -- now resides at the museum in Blue Mountain Lake, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution.

Larry Benjamin -- AFS instructor for "Build a Wee Lassie Canoe," and also for "Build the Sagamore Chair" and "Sagamore Ottoman or End Table" -- says boats such as the "Wee Lassie" are typically made using nails, which are later replaced with toothpicks and glue. For Benjamin's variation of the model, students use clamps and forms in a way which obviates nails.

Students also coat their canoes with fiberglass and epoxy resin, in order to enhance the seal and durability of the vessels.

The Chronicle, a Glens Falls weekly newspaper, included a front-page article about a special offering of the "Wee Lassie" course last May. Two of the students from the class said they planned to enjoy their newly handmade canoes with their grandchildren, either by fishing or exploring.

The next offering of the course, this month, is now full; however, a wait list has been created.

If the AFS community's interest in this course continues growing, AFS is prepared to schedule a special offering of "Build a Wee Lassie Canoe," October 10-14 and 17-21 2016. If you, or a friend, is interested in registering for this prospective class, please contact Program Manager Mary Stevens.

AFS invites prospective students of all skill varieties to register for this ten-to-twelve day course, which has a weekend break in-between. For member and nonmember pricing, plus a full course description, please visit the course's web page.

Rand Condell, President of the AFS Board of Trustees, demonstrates the water-worthiness of a "Wee Lassie" canoe, which he built.

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Two Raffles: Both Drawings Are This Month

A raffle for custom-painted Adirondack chairs will be drawn August 12.

Two raffles for handcrafted items will be drawn this month in support of AFS. Tickets for either raffle may be purchased beforehand -- at AFS campus, or over the phone, with cash, check, or charge -- or, with cash at two regional events which coincide with the drawings.

Four custom-painted Adirondack chairs for raffle:

Raffle tickets are $10 each, for a chance to win one of four Adirondack chairs, built and donated by woodworker David Collins, and custom-painted by AFS instructors.

The designs for the chairs are titled "Birdhouses" by Don Polunci (#1), "Camouflage and Ferns" by Roberta Games (#2), "Adirondack Blanket" by Roberta Games (#3), and "Rockwell Falls" by Sandy Collins (#4).

Four winners, one for each chair, will be drawn at a "Fridays at the Lake" concert in Shephard Park, Lake George Village, Friday, August 12, 4-8 p.m.

The concert will feature musical acts Spiritual Rez and Rich Ortiz, a craft beer and wine garden, food catering, kids' activities, and dog-friendly beach access.

Damascus steel hunting knife for raffle:

Raffle tickets are also $10 each, for a chance to win an extraordinary Damascus steel hunting knife, crafted and donated by AFS instructor and Master Smith Matthew Parkinson.

A raffle for a Damascus steel hunting knife made by instructor Matthew Parkinson will be drawn August 27.

Parkinson, of Dragon's Breath Forge in Connecticut, forged the knife by welding 125 layers of steel into an intricate swirling pattern -- in accordance with a blacksmithing technique which originated in ancient Syria.

The knife has a Damascus guard, maple burl handle, and leather sheath, all handmade by Parkinson.

For those who saw the 2015 season of “Forged in Fire,” produced by the History Channel, you may have seen Parkinson in the first episode. In it, Parkinson forges a sword which splits a bullet fired from a rifle without damaging the sword.

The winner of the Damascus steel hunting knife raffle will be drawn at our Summer Craft Festival, Saturday, August 27, 10-4 p.m. at AFS.

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Barnes and Noble will host another book fair in support of AFS, Saturday, August 20, 10-4 p.m at their Route 50 store in Saratoga Springs.

Vouchers will be available at a table in front, letting shoppers dedicate a portion of their purchases to AFS.

AFS will also offer free raffle tickets, for a lovely item TBA, to participants of the fair.

This is a great opportunity to replenish a summer reading list, buy a gift or two, and support AFS!

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Joe Szilaski, instructor for "Knife and Tomahawk Forging" (8/20-22), forged this belt axe.

August classes:

Space remains in four blacksmithing classes this month: "Hang It! All the Hardware to Make Your Door Swing and Latch" (8/8-12), "Knife and Tomahawk Forging" (8/20-22; two spaces left), "Forging Your Own Blacksmithing Tools from Coil Springs" (8/26-27), and "Create Your Own Marshmallow Roaster" (8/28).

Remember, signing up on the wait list for full classes indicates a high interest in these courses, which can often allow us to schedule additional offerings.

Blacksmithing Instructor Rendezvous 2016:

AFS will host several of our accomplished blacksmithing instructors, for a weekend of forging, trade talk, and camaraderie, August 12-14.

Participants in this year's "Instructor Rendezvous" will donate their time and expertise for the event, forging and improving tools and equipment for our nine-forge (coal; four-forge, gas) blacksmithing pavilion.

Pictures and stories from the Rendevous will appear in our September newsletter. We thank all instructors who are planning to participate.

Open Forge Nights 2016:

Get an introduction to the art of blacksmithing, by visiting AFS on any of our Open Forge Nights, for an amazing demonstration by expert smith Steve Gurzler.

Observing the demonstration is free and open to the public. For those who want to try their hand at blacksmithing and forge an item at open forge, there is a $20 fee to cover the cost of materials, and safety precautions must be followed — including hard shoes with no open toes, long pants, goggles (supplied) and gloves (supplied).

Demos begin at 6:30 p.m. on the following dates:

Wednesday, August 17
Wednesday, September 21
Wednesday, October 19

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Featured Instructor: David Cornelius

Instructor David Cornelius stands in traditional clothes.

David Cornelius is a Native American of Kanien’Kahake (commonly known as the Mohawk) and Mahicans (also Mohicans) descent, who researches and teaches primarily about the Native Americans who live, or have lived, near Schenectady, New York.

Cornelius, a Masters' candidate in Anthropology at SUNY Empire State College, appeared in traditional clothes before a crowd of about 60, which included many children, on July 25 in City Park, Glens Falls, New York. Cornelius gave a participatory presentation at the event which was sponsored by the Friends of the Crandall Public Library, describing the relationship between Native Americans and nature.

Cornelius taught a full class of families and children last weekend, in "Make A Self-Bow and Arrow," July 30. Upcoming this month, Cornelius will teach the bow and arrow-making course again, along with "Iroquois Games and Dancing," in the morning and afternoon (respectively) of Saturday, August 20.

Cornelius is now writing a book about the Oneida Nation's habitation in Saratoga County during the 1780s, during the American Revolutionary War,

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Saratoga Arts Center will host a benefit concert in support of AFS, Friday, October 14, 2016, 7 p.m. at 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York.

The concert will feature Dan Berggren, AFS instructor, and regional folk musician and historian, along with 25-year-old regional songwriter Alex Smith.

Advance tickets will be available soon from AFS, for $18; door tickets will be $20.

Details about the event and the musicians will appear in our next newsletter.

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The AFS community can help promote AFS, with web tools TripAdvisor and Facebook (TripAdvisor image  and logo are TM TripAdvisor, Inc.).

AFS has a brand new TripAdvisor page. TripAdvisor helps people plan trips, by helping users of the site create travel itineraries based on other users' reviewing destinations.

We invite the AFS community to submit their own reviews of AFS, which is listed as one of seven "Things to Do" in Lake Luzerne. A increase in positive reviews results in greater recognition of AFS as a travel destination, for visitors who use TripAdvisor for planning their trips to the region.

Our Facebook page offers a similar opportunity to the AFS community for promoting AFS. An increase in "likes" and "comments" about AFS leads to an increase in exposure, about our programs, to other users of the social media platform. Facebook also accepts user reviews of organizations like AFS.

We thank the AFS community, who has already helped us increase our organization's recognition, both on and off the web.

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AFS Visits the Saratoga County Fair

A blue ribbon hangs from a display, which appeared at our booth in the Conservation section at the Saratoga County Fair.

The Saratoga County Fair Commission awarded AFS a blue ribbon for our booth in the Conservation section at the fair. The Conservation section featured groups who contribute to the environmental resilience of the County and region.

The Fair occupied at the Saratoga County fairgrounds in Ballston Spa, New York, July 19-24.

A special thanks goes to Executive Director Scott Hayden, for his effort in promoting AFS at the Fair.

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The new roof atop AFS's main building keeps students dry, on a drizzly July 31.

Roofers installed a new, "evergreen" steel roof atop the main building at AFS last month. The new roof matches our other roofs, atop the blacksmithing pavilion, and masonry wood-fired oven.

We at AFS are grateful for the efforts of the Town of Lake Luzerne, who lease the AFS facility and grounds to us, for fostering this improvement, and investment, in our building.

Town Supervisor Eugene "Gene" Merlino was especially helpful in facilitating this renovation, which was made possible by a grant from the First Wilderness Heritage Corridor -- an organization managed through the Warren County Planning Department, with assistance from the New York State Department of State.

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Participants of an AFS corporate retreat make miniature Adirondack pack baskets, at historic Sagamore Resort overlooking Lake George in Bolton Landing.

We offer several packages for special programs such as corporate retreats and group workshops, hosted either onsite or offsite by AFS. Prior locations of special programs include The Adirondack Museum, Sagamore Resort, and Great Camp Sagamore.

Pricing for onsite packages, which include either refreshments or meals, begins at $87.50 per person. We can also develop offsite programs designed specifically for your organization.

Please contact either Program Manager Mary Stevens or Executive Director Scott Hayden about scheduling special programs, 518-696-2400 (or via email links).

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Unclaimed Lost & Found Items to be Donated

Please claim any personal items from the Lost and Found box in our office before August 15, when items which have been there since July 15 or earlier will be donated to Serendipity Thrift Shop in Lake Luzerne.

The Serendipity Thrift Shop is a local mission of the Rockwell Falls Presbyterian Church.

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Courses, Membership, Volunteers, and Donations

Students show their results from "Gourd Drum," July 16 at AFS.

To register for classes, call (518) 696-2400 or sign up online. Feel free to browse our courses, by category; or to view classes within a time frame, using our calendar.

All AFS members receive the benefit of reduced class tuition, among other benefits. Not a member yet? You can become a member during class registration, or enroll separately.

Remember to add your name to the wait list for classes that are full. We often schedule new sessions for courses that build up wait lists, so don't give up -- sign up, on the wait list!

Do you have an idea for a course, or do you know someone who can teach one? Please contact Program Manager Mary Stevens.

We are always seeking volunteers to help us accomplish the goal of AFS, which is to preserve, promote, and stimulate regional folklife, through non-competitive, experiential education programs. If you are interested in volunteering, please pick up a volunteer enrollment form at our office.

As a non-profit organization, Adirondack Folk School relies on the support of our members, volunteers and donors, in order to operate effectively. Although our enrollment is continuing to increase this summer, donor support remains vital to AFS's continuing operation.

Please consider calling or visiting AFS to speak with Executive Director Scott Hayden about making a donation. Alternatively, please consider donating online.

We thank you for your support.

A showcase of collaborative craft and talent between two AFS instructors and local entrepreneurs, this lamp features a surface chip-carved by Dennis Wilson -- instructor for "Intro. to Chip Carving," and co-proprietor of Adirondack Chip Carving -- with a shade made by Teresa Breuer -- instructor for "Shades of Nature," and co-proprietor of Northeast Living Light.

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Adirondack Folk School is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization registered in New York State.
Copyright © 2016 Adirondack Folk School, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Adirondack Folk School
51 Main Street
PO Box 2
Lake Luzerne, New York 12846

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