Floral School Forging

A new spoon gets fabricated by a blacksmith at Flora School day. Blacksmithing is one of the many pioneer arts offered as classes by the Flora School Education Foundation this summer.

Flora, Oregon—Skills necessary to life and to creating a home by pioneers begin at Flora School this coming weekend, lasting throughout the summer and into the fall. The Flora School Education Center, dedicated to promoting pioneer skills and the restoration of the actual school building in Flora, will provide several chances to learn blacksmith skills, sewing, quilting, cookies from scratch and many more classes and activities.

Classes vary as to location (a forge building class was held in Walla Walla this spring), skill level and subject matter. Mike Rowley, a “Forged In Fire” Champion, will host and teach a bladesmith class at his smithy in Enterprise (Oregon). The prerequisite for that class is one year of blacksmith experience or the “Intro to Blacksmith” class held at Flora School Saturday and Sunday, June 15-16. The intro class is taught by Nathan Thompson, winner of the School Days 2019 blacksmith competition.

Held that same weekend at the school will be “Rugs of Many ‘Colors’”, a class using many different techniques to create rugs or something smaller—“jelly roll” rugs, handwoven, crocheted, braided, locker hooking and more. This class will be taught by Vanessa Thew Thompson, Flora resident and national award winning rug weaver.

Soap making, water bath canning, earth oven rebuilding (no charge), spinning, Sip/Sew/Sing (no charge), and Quilts of Valor block building workshop (no charge) are currently on the schedule or will be added before the month is out.

For more information on each class, or to register, view the school’s website at www.floraschool.org or Facebook page; contact the school via email floraschool@tds.net, or message phone at 541.828.7911.

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