Dr. Theresa Emmerich Kamper
Tanning & Traditional Skills
Fri, 19 May|
Fox Tanning OR Pigments, Inks & Paints - USA - $275 -$335
Learn the ancient skill of fur tanning over 2 information packed using natural, non-toxic and easily available materials! Taught by by specialist Dr. Theresa Emmerich Kamper. Or choose to learn the Old World skills of pigments and inks from foraged materials, Taught by specialist Caroline Ross.
Time & Location
19 May, 09:00 – 21 May, 17:00
Gastonia, 1500 E Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28054, USA
About the event
Fox Fur Tanning:
Before the advent of modern tanning agents, humans were turning raw skin into usable leather products using very basic techniques and materials. Learn to produce incredibly soft, strong and durable leather from raw animal skin using one of humankind’s earliest tanning technologies! Utilising materials readily available in the surrounding environment we will walk through the steps of this transformation.
This class will focus on tanning furs with a variation of fat tanning using brains as the dressing agent*. Whilst not for the squeamish the end product is worth the work! The class will cover rehydrating dried furs, de-fleshing, dressing and softening the fur skins, as well as smoking them so they can be easily washed.
In addition to enthusiastic instruction I provide comfortable, easy to use tools and detailed handouts covering the tanning process, as well as ethnographic anecdotes and a list of helpful literature for those who wish to further their own knowledge of tanning! So, please join me for a course sure to contain plenty of memorable moments, lots of practical information and, if you put in the work**, one that will see you heading home with a beautiful, unique and usable traditionally tanned fur!
* The use of brains or egg yolks as an alternative dressing agent will be covered.
** Please be aware that a reasonable amount of fitness is required for this course. I will provide instruction on good technique and timing with the skins, but you will need to be able to be on your feet and active for 6 to 8 hours per day.
Any serious injuries need to be discussed with me prior to booking onto the course please!
Wild Paints and Inks:
DAY 1: PAINTS – Come and learn how to make beautiful paints from what you can forage in nature and find in your neighborhood. Using materials from the earth, trees, plants, and water, make colorful natural paints that our ancestors would have used, including watercolors, tempera, and glair. The day will be hands-on and practical but you’ll also learn about the traditional uses of all the paints you make.
DAY 2: INKS – Learn to make oak gall and iron gall ink, the traditional ink of the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, and almost all European illuminated manuscripts. Learn a foraged, simple technique as well as a studio method, both making beautiful black inks. You will also make quill pens and brushes from goose or turkey feathers. Go home with inks, pens, brushes, and the knowledge of how to brew up simple colorful inks and long-lasting tannin-based inks at home.
**Please wear old clothes to both workshops, as some of the materials we’ll use can stain. Bring a sketchbook and favorite brush or two to make swatches of your paints/inks throughout the session. All other materials will be provided.
Foraging before class? Feel free to bring any large feathers – goose, swan, gull or crow; as well as any oak galls or sea shells that you find.