Revolutionary re-enactors and craftspeople work to sew a replica of George Washington's War Tent.

Artisan Workshop Series

Did you ever wonder how people in the past got dressed every day? How did they live without zippers or Velcro? Where did they buy their shoes? How did they keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter?

Learn the fundamentals of 18th-century dress and what it reveals about the Revolution in our hands-on workshops. Spend the day learning traditional skills and working with your hands, beginning with a close look at objects in the Museum’s Galleries as inspiration for your own creations. Then, try your hand at creating your own replica to take home. Learn tricks of 18th-century trades and meet others while discovering new talents in making and doing.

Artisan Workshops are taught by the Museum’s knowledgeable team of educators and makers, who have years of experience studying and recreating historical objects. We have workshops for everyone that are suitable for both seasoned makers and new artisans. Children and families are welcome. All materials are provided.

Upcoming 2019-20 Artisan Workshops

Artisan Workshop - Knapsack

Historic Sewing 102: Make a Knapsack 
Saturday, Nov. 16 - 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
Join a Museum educator to make your own replica knapsack – the backpacks that soldiers carried during the Revolutionary War. Begin with a special examination of the Museum’s re-creation of the knapsack and contents that belonged to Sgt. John Hawkins and then learn the basics of eighteenth-century hand sewing. No prior sewing experience is required in this workshop suitable for adults and families with children ages 8 and up.

Artisan Workshop - Pocketbook

Needlework 102: Make an Irish Stitch Pocketbook 
Saturday, Jan. 25 - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Join a Museum educator for a special tour of the Museum’s Galleries, which feature two remarkable embroidered pocketbooks. Then, try your hand at Irish stitch and craft a replica pocketbook to take home. No prior sewing experience is required in this workshop suitable for adults and families with children ages 10 and up. The workshop ticket includes a voucher for lunch in the Museum’s Cross Keys Café.

Artisan Workshop - Heart Pincushion

Historic Sewing 101: Make a Heart Pincushion
Saturday, Feb. 8
In this drop-in workshop (plan to spend a half an hour), participants can make a copy of the fashionable heart-shaped pincushion that many women wore tied to their waist in the 18th century. Learn the fundamentals of 18th century dress and what it reveals about the Revolution in this hands-on workshop. Spend the day learning traditional skills and working with your hands, beginning with a close look at objects in the Museum’s Galleries as inspiration for your own creations. Then, try your hand at creating your own replica to take home. Learn tricks of the 18th century trades and meet others while discovering new talents in making and doing. No prior sewing experience is required in this drop-in workshop suitable for adults and families with children ages 6 and up.
Included in Museum Admission

Artisan Workshop - Powder Horn

Hornwork 201: Make a Powder Horn
Saturday, March 14 - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Museum has an amazing array of powder horns on display, many with intricate carved designs. In this hands-on workshop, join a Museum educator for a special tour of the Galleries that highlights these objects. Then, learn how to convert a cow’s horn into a container for black powder. You’ll file it down to create decorative sides and learn how to etch designs into it. No prior experience is required in this workshop suitable for adults and young adults. The workshop ticket includes a voucher for lunch in the Museum’s Cross Keys Café.