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2017 Annual Meeting Activities

Updated: May 11, 2023

You may have looked at the 2017 Annual Meeting on the events section of the EAIA website or on the blog and wondered what is included in each of the workshops, tours and presentation as you try to determine which of them many activities you'd like to sign up for. So we've put together the summary below: a fairly complete albeit brief description of the activities, the leaders, and the capacity limitations.

But before you read on, consider the great contribution you could make by exhibiting pieces of your collection....or equally important....demonstrating a particular skill that will engage our participants during the Saturday morning activities. Old Sturbridge Village has an amazing number of crafts being demonstrated by their interpreters. However the membership of EAIA also has a great passion and expertise in trades and individual skills. You can sign up for tables or let us know what space and support you may need for a demonstration. Please let us know. YOU can contribute to the overall knowledge and excitement that will be generated by this meeting! Please do!

Now for the activity descriptions.

Tinsmithing Workshop (Capacity – 6 workshops @ 5 people/workshop)

This workshop will give the participants the opportunity to use a variety of 19th century tin machines and hand tools. The mysteries of the burring machine and pan swedge will be revealed! Each participant will make and take home a tin sconce.

Workshop Leader: Phil Eckert, Program Manager of Tin Production

Blacksmithing Workshop (Capacity – 4 workshops @ 8 people/workshop) This workshop will introduce the participants to the basic tool and elements of blacksmithing. They will be able to apply their knowledge to forge a basic early American utilitarian object which they will take home with them. Workshop Leader: Derek Heidemann, Coordinator of Men’s Crafts

Hearth Cooking Workshop (Capacity – 3 workshops @ 10 people/workshop)

This workshop will give you the opportunity to try out a variety of tin, iron, and ceramic cooking tools to prepare authentic 19th-century recipes. Working with skilled hearth cooking experts, you will learn a variety of hearth cooking techniques that utilize the bake oven and open hearth. Enjoy an afternoon snack together and walk away with a recipe booklet to use at home.

Workshop Leader: Emily Dunnack, the Director of Museum Education

Museum Education Tour (Capacity – 2 tours @ 15 people/tour) Tour our unique Museum Education Center with Emily Dunnack, the Director of Museum Education. Learn about how the building is used for both kids and adults for workshops and other hands-on activities. Spaces include a blacksmith studio, wood shop, printing press, three large looms, four open hearths, and other surprises. Workshop Leader: Emily Dunnack, the Director of Museum Education

Collections Tour of 19th Century Tools (Capacity – 6 tours @ 10 people/tour) The groups will visit the extensive collections of OSV in the Collections Building. Some of the tools have been reproduced for use in the living Village, but most are not normally on view. In addition to commentary from the group leaders, the EAIA participants are urged to provide their own expert insight into the tools they view. Tour Leader: Tom Kelleher, Curator of Mechanical Arts

Mills Tour (Capacity – 4 tours @ 25 people/tour) Sturbridge has 3 operating mills: a gristmill, a saw mill and a carding mill. The tour will start with a general discussion of the importance of water power in New England in the 18th & 19th centuries. Visits to each of the working mills will include discussion of the operation as well as viewing the water-powered machinery that provides their power. Tour Leaders: Justin Kennick, Program & Exhibit Lead, Mills & cooper Shop; Tom Kelleher, Curator of Mechanical Arts

Village Craft Tool Tour (Capacity – 4 tours @ 15 people/tour) The tour will visit all of the active craft locations in the Village including the Print Shop, Shoe Shop, Tin Shop, Blacksmith Shop, and Cooper Shop. Expert craftsman interpreters and the tour leader will be available to describe the processes, and as appropriate to their work, demonstrate aspects of it and answer questions that the EAIA participants may have. Tour Leaders: Tom Kelleher, Curator of Mechanical Arts; Derek Heidemann, Coordinator of Men’s Crafts

Machinery Storage Tour (Capacity – 4 tours @ 10 people/tour) This is a behind-the-scenes tour through the Machinery Storage building in which a large pieces of the collection are stored. They include mill, metalworking, agricultural, agricultural and transportation items, some which were intended to be included in a more expanded “mill village” which would demonstrate other water powered processes. Tour Leader: Tom Kelleher, Curator of Mechanical Arts

Farm & Garden Tools Tour (Capacity – 5 tours @ 15 people/tour) OSV is a living rural New England village and as such includes agriculture as a focus, including fields, orchards, kitchen gardens, an extensive herb garden and livestock. The tour will go through the various agricultural structures and be introduced to their use, structure and the tools that were employed in and about them. Included will be the Fitch Barns, Salem Towne Barn, Freeman Farm Barn, and the associated fields and gardens. Tour Leader: Dave Hruska, Coordinator of Agriculture; Amy Murray, Coordinator of Horticulture

Textile Collections Tour (Capacity – 3 tours @ 12 people/tour) The art of quilting represented many things to a 19th century woman – a useful skill needed to make warm bedding and garments, an expression of skill and taste, and even an opportunity for social enjoyment. Learn about quilts, quilted garments, and quilt-making in the early 19th century New England. Tour Leaders: Rebecca Beall, Collections Manager and Curator of Textiles; Jean Contino, Coordinator of Households and Women’s Crafts

Research Library Tour (Capacity – 4 tours @ 12 people/tour) The Research Library contains more than 35,000 volumes and focuses on the history and material life in rural New England from the years following the American Revolution until the Civil War. The collection includes textbooks, juveniles, advice books, periodical literature, maps, broadsides, diaries, account books, letters, as well as copies of manuscript census schedules, property deeds, probate records, and town directories. Tour Leaders: Caitlin Emery Avenia, Curatorial Director; Amy Hietala, Library Assistant

Fiber Arts Projects Yarn Sewing (Capacity – 36 People)

This will be the first Annual Meeting during which there will be daily activities and a reserved room for the Fiber Arts Group use throughout the meeting. In addition to the daily tours, the Fiber Arts Group participants will work with OSV Textile Staff on a traditional yarn sewing project. They will begin to stitch a yarn sewn piece suitable for a footstool cover, table mat, or doll-house rug. This practical and decorative technique was commonly used in the 18th and 19th centuries to make hearthrugs, coverlets and mittens. All materials will be provided. We will be using woolen yarn, dyed at Old Sturbridge Village with natural dyes.

Workshop Leader – Jean Contino, Coordinator of Households and Domestic Crafts

Presenter: Jane Nylander

Presenter: Jane Nylander

Plenary Presentation – “Color and Comfort: Textiles in the New England Home”

Presenter: Jane Nylander

Jane is an OSV Trustee, OSV Curator of Textiles and Ceramics 1969-1986, author of “Our Own Snug Fireside: Images of the New England Home 1760-1860”, President Emerita of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England), and former President of Strawbery Banke Museum. Jane will provide a look at textiles used for both clothing and household furnishings during the years 1790-1840: what they looked like, how and where they were made, and how they were cared for during a period of innovation, industrialization, and continuing tradition. It is drawn from years of research and illustrated by contemporary prints and paintings as well as examples from the unparalleled collections of Old Sturbridge Village.

Presenter: Norm Abram

Presenter: Norm Abram

Plenary Presentation – “The Importance of Preserving the Skilled Trades in the 21st Century”

Presenter: Norm Abram

Norm, an OSV Trustee, master carpenter and host of PBS’ This Old House, The New Yankee Workshop, many other TV appearances, and author of 8 books on carpentry, will speak on the critical importance of skilled craftsmen in the building trades. Norm is has been a great advocate of craft training for increasing the skill and capacity in the building trades. He is currently is using his reputation as both a skilled craftsman and a TV personality on This Old House to promote Generation Next which will help raise money from companies and trade associations serving the home construction and renovation industry to support scholarships for students pursuing careers as carpenters, electricians, roofers, masons and plumbers. There will be a question and answer period after the presentation

Presenter: Tom Kelleher, OSV Historian and Curator of Mechanical Arts

Presenter: Tom Kelleher, OSV Historian and Curator of Mechanical Arts

Plenary Presentation - “19th Century Cabinet Making: the Samuel Wing collection at Old Sturbridge Village”

Presenter: Tom Kelleher, OSV Historian and Curator of Mechanical Arts

Tom is skilled in a variety of historical trades including blacksmithing, coopering, gravestone carving, and timber-framing. He’s president of the international Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM), and a long-time member of the Society for the Preservation of Old Mills and EAIA. Samuel was a cabinetmaker in the early 1800s and OSV is fortunate to have a collection of his tools, patterns, unfinished furniture parts, and manuscripts, which all remained in the Wing family for 150 years. Participants will have the opportunity to closely view a selection of those items which are not normally available.


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