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Crafting the Ancient Toolkit

An 4 Month Workshop Series in the Hudson Valley, NY

Learn how to work with traditional materials including bone, wood, wild fibers and stone.

Taught by Zach Fisher and Katie Grove

When you sit down to sew a pouch or process plant materials wouldn’t it be amazing to reach for a toolkit complete with bone needles, a stone knife, and pitch glue you made with your own hands? If this idea captivates you then join us for an introductory workshop series focused on creating tools and supplies. In Crafting the Ancient Toolkit you will learn how to work with a range of traditional materials including bone, wood, leather, barks, wild fibers, stone, and more. Throughout the series we will cover the entire process of each technique– from selecting and processing materials to finishing projects that are both utilitarian and aesthetically beautiful. All the while we will cultivate awareness and appreciation of the natural world and the amazing materials it provides. Each person’s projects will turn out uniquely depending on their choices and preferences and while some will be finished in a day, others will take time outside of class to complete. If you are inspired by wilderness survival skills or are a craftsperson with an appreciation for material then join us- by the end of our time together you will have a personalized primitive tool kit full of items for crafting, repairing, and creating.

CLASS IS FULL – you can sign up for the waitlist below and if a spot opens up we will notify you right away. 


Stone Ridge, NY 12440


One Sunday a month, September- December 2019

Sept 29

October 27

November 24

December 15th


10:00 am – 5:00 pm 




Please note that this is a tentative schedule. Depending on material availability and how quickly we work on the projects we may shift content from class to class.

September 29th – Introduction to making with natural materials, bone needles and awls, pine pitch glues

October 27th – Stone and slate tools, stone tipped hand drill, button making

November 24th – Wood Tool Handles, Cordage and Plant Fibers

December 15th – Sewn Leather Tool Cases, Finishing Projects


In this series you will

  • Create a multitude of finished projects.

  • Work with a variety of materials including bone, wood, stone, bark, wild fibers, leather, and primitive glues

  • Learn alongside others who value our connection to the natural world.

  • Reconnect to the ancestral skills every person has in their history.

  • Come away with a range of new skills, inspirations, and a personalized tool kit for making and creating.


Our inspiration in creating this series comes from many places. It comes from a desire to build community and share skills. It comes from a deep reverence for the earth and the materials that it provides- animal, plant, and mineral alike. It comes from a feeling of overwhelming creativity and excitement to learn, make and share. Our days together will be a mix of processing materials, learning techniques, and working on projects. There will also be a strong emphasis on nature connection and our personal journeys with the process. Journaling and discussion will be emphasized.

Working with animal products /  During this series we will be respectfully working with some animal products, including bone, sinew, and hide. All of our materials, not just limited to those products from animals, are handled with respect and care and we are excited to share this part of the journey with participants. 

Time outside of class /  We will start several projects during the first few classes. Please know that depending on your  you will most likely need to spend time between our sunday sessions to finish them. Part of the beauty of filing down a piece of bone into an awl is the time that must be dedicated to this meditative task. Taking that experience home with you is important to the process of learning these ancient skills and one of our favorite parts of this series.



Zach Fisher grew up amongst the redwood forests and beaches of the Northern California coast. The pursuit of art and music brought him to NYC and eventually to Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School which he considers to be the beginning of the education he was always looking for. He began teaching primitive skills and nature connection in 2011 and has since worked for several earth skills programs including the Wild Earth Foundation, the Children of the Earth Foundation, Two Coyotes Wilderness School, Urban Kid Adventurers, Mount Victory Camp in the US Virgin Islands, as well as his own company, Earth Living Skills based in NYC and the Hudson Valley. His fascination with wild edibles and medicinal plants lead him to study herbalism at the Twin Star school of energetic and herbal studies in Connecticut and his studying of indigenous shamanism lead him to begin attending sweat lodges and vision quests with the Hawk’s Nest Quest community in the Hudson Valley. His goal as a teacher and a student is to foster a deeper connection between people and the natural world in the spirit of conservation as well as rediscovering the vastness of our human potential.

artist and basket maker katie grove


Going out into the forests and fields, harvesting materials from nature, and sitting down in the sun to weave a basket is Katie’s idea of a perfect day! As an artist her passion is create art with all natural materials that she harvests and prepares from the beautiful landscape around her home. As an educator she guides adults and children alike in connecting to their creative self through the combination of art and nature. Katie has a background in Fibers Art from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and a BFA in Printmaking from SUNY New Paltz and currently exhibits work regionally in galleries and teaches basketry workshops throughout the Hudson Valley.

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