Pioneer Life-Skills and Craft Workshops

These workshops are similar to the Pioneer Life-Skills and Craft Demonstrations. However, the workshops are designed to be an even more “hands-on” experience for each participant focusing on a particular skill or craft. These are usually presented in a classroom or similar venue with about 25 maximum participants. At the end of the workshop, each person usually walks away with a completed treasure

A costumed demonstrator that has researched and learned the life-skill or craft leads the workshop. The demonstrator may portray a particular character from Texas history or may take on the persona of a Composite Character of the era. When possible we try to use period correct techniques, equipment and supplies. However, it may be necessary to adapt the individual activity using reasonable modern substitutions. It is always our goal to maintain the historical integrity of the activity.

We offer a wide variety of workshops to choose from, too many to try to list them all. So, if you have something in mind, just ask. Here are a few of the most requested: spinning, weaving, quilting, butter making, games/toys, natural dyes, textiles and fibers, candle-dipping, lye soap making, laundry, quill pen making, and Christmas celebrations from the past.

It usually takes about an hour for each workshop; however, we can tailor the workshop to best suit your needs. A demonstrator may conduct a maximum of 5 workshop sessions in one day.

To explain how the workshops work, let me offer an example of one of the favorites, butter making. We have several characters that lead this workshop; one of them tells her story something like this. She explains that she has recently arrived in Texas from Tennessee. She explains a little about the differences and similarities of the two places. She also relays information about her daily routine both on the trip and on her farm. She talks about how important milk and dairy products are to her family and that even on the wagon trip here, she couldn’t shirk the daily chore. She brings a churn and other period supplies and each participant helps with the churning. Then she has each participant make a few teaspoons of butter in a baby-food jar. For the older students, she may also talk a little about the “science” of making butter. Is it a physical or chemical change, etc.? After each one has made their butter, they get to taste it on bread. They are then invited to add special ingredients such as salt, butter, and/or honey and taste it again. In this workshop the students consume their treasure, but are given a recipe and encouraged try it again at home.

The Pioneer Life-Skills Workshops are wonderful compliments to the Event Campsites and the School Campsites. They can be tailored to fit many different occasions for children and adults. They may also be very successfully combined with a Character Stage Performance.

Please contact our office at 214-906-5792 or email for more detailed information.