Friday, January 24, 2014

Traditional Arts and Crafts Workshops for Kids

Traditional Arts and Crafts Workshops for Kids  

We have a full range of workshops offered during these winter months. Any of the classes currently offered by the museum can be adapted to your needs as a group
We can arrange a specific date and time for your group. We can discuss group rates.

Sat., Feb. 1, 9-5PM (with lunch break): Metal Casting in Brass/Bronze
Learn about how a furnace melts metal. This includes an overview of safety, furnaces, fuels and metals. Hands on preparation of a sand mold to cast a choice of objects, including strike plates for your front door, door knocker or sun dial. We will do two castings, time permitting. $175 for two: parent and child price, age 12 and older to participate. We will reduce the tuition for siblings, friends, spouses and parent/child students/

Sat., Feb. 8, 2-5PM: Cast a Pewter Heart for Someone Special (3 Hours)
Learn pewter casting and create an original Valentine for someone special using traditional jewelry making skills. This involves melting metal and casting from molds. No previous experience required. Materials and tools provided. Age 12 and older to participate. $65 Non-Members, $55 Members

Sun., Feb.23, 1-4PM: Recycle a Button Workshop (3 Hours)
Use your own antique buttons (or use ours*) to create original jewelry items like brooches, rings and earrings. We will use cold connection techniques such as riveting along with traditional jewelry making skills to assemble one-of-a-kind wearables. Beach glass and other found objects are welcome! Age 12 and up to participate. $75 Non-Members, $65 Members. *Extra materials available from the instructor in a range of prices.

Crystal Set Radio Making Workshop (4 Hours)
Believe it or not, kids and their parents used to make their own radios. The homemade wooden armature, which held radio components, could be artistic creations reflecting your favorite pop culture or personal icon/cartoon character, like this Felix the Cat crystal radio from the 1930s. You will assemble a crystal set radio kit and create your own design from wood to hold the radio components. This will involve using hand tools. Age 8 and older to participate. $75 Non-Members, $65 Members

Make a Catapult Workshop (4 Hours)
Make your own toy, as the Victorians sometimes did. Learn about potential energy, springs, gears, levers and post and beam construction, with dowel pegs, on a small scale with your completion of a wooden table top siege weapon of yore measuring 24” x 12” x 12”. Age 8 and older to participate.
$55 Non-Members, $45 Members.

Blacksmithing for Teens (4 Hours)  
This custom designed course is for teen groups of boys and girls who wish to be introduced to the basics of blacksmithing and metallurgy. We will cover safety, fire making, heating, bending and cutting, and shaping with the completion of some small projects ( S-Hook and/or J –Hook). Tools and materials provided. We may use propane forges rather than coal forges during the winter.

Contact us for Information/Reservations: (207)793-2784,

 19th Century Willowbrook Village
                                                                                                       the way life used to be…
                                                70 Elm Street, P.O. Box 28, Newfield, Maine 04056

Our Recent Mortise and Tenon Workshop for Kids

A local home-schooled group did our mortise and tenon workshop on Saturday, January 18. This was a group that consisted of five boys and their dads.  The project completed was a hacksaw in the style of an old fashioned bucksaw. The project was completed in wood solely with hand tools. If you are interested in this beginning woodworking class contact us.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Family Workshops, Jewelry Classes

Family Workshops: Fathers and Sons, Fathers and Daughters, Mothers and Sons, Mothers and Daughters, and Friends sign up now for the following jewelry workshops with Maine artist Ann Thompson.

Saturday, February 23, 1-4 PM: Recycle a Button Workshop at 19th Century Willowbrook Village

Use your own antique buttons ( or use our) to create original jewelry items like brooches, trings and earrings.

We will use cold connector techniques such as riveting along with traditional jewelry making skills to assemble unique one-of-a-kind wearables. Sea glass and other found objects also welcome.

$75 Non Members $65 Members. $10 worth of materials included. Buttons will be available from the instructor for a small additional fee.

Sunday, February 8, 2-5PM: Valentine Pewter Casting for February 14

Learn pewter casting and create an original Valentine for someone special using traditional jewelry making skills. Class will involve melting metal and casting from molds. No previous experience required and all materials and tools will be supplied.

$65 Non Members $55 Members

Reserve your place in the limited class by contacting us at Tel. 207-793-2784 or by email: Credit cards accepted.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Traditional Arts Workshops for January, February, and March, 2014

Friday, January 17, 9AM-5PM, Metal Casting Class in Brass/Bronze. Furnaces, fuels, molds and metals. Students ( mature teens welcome) will complete one or two castings. In addition to some lecture, students will have hands-on experience creating green sand patterns which will receive molten metal from a crucible. Metal will be heated in a cylinder furnace using propane fuel. There will be a choice of patterns, including a door knocker, sun dial and others. Non-Members $175 Members $165

Saturday, January 18, 9AM-1PM. Woodworking, Mortise and Tenon Construction. Make a Buck Saw. Beginners will make a half size buck saw out of maple wood using mortise and tenon joinery. A turnbuckle will be created to achieve the proper blade tension. Non Members $65 Members $55. All materials provided. Adults and teens welcome.

Saturday and Sunday, January 25 & 26, 9AM-5PM. Woodworking, Dovetailing, Make a Blanket Chest Class. Learn to make dovetail joints using traditional hand tools. Prepare all the joints for a traditional ix board chest with a hinged top. Non Members $275 Members $265

Saturday, February 1, 9AM-4PM. Blacksmithing: Make Hardware. Learn basic metal work with a propane forge. The project may consist of making hinges, latches, a set of handles, a door knocker or a coat rack ( see photo). Non Members $125 Members $115

Saturday and Sunday, February 15 & 16, 9AM-3PM. Metal Casting Class: Make Your Own Metal Casting Furnace. Create a cylinder furnace fueled by propane for aluminum, brass, and bronze casting. Non Members $175 Members $115

Saturday and Sunday, March 1 & 2.. 9AM-3PM Blacksmithing: Make a Draw Knife and/or Slicks (chisels). Shape a blade out of spring steel on a coal or propane forge. Form tangs to fit wooden handles to. This will be offered as a package deal or singularly with the Create a Shaving Horse Class ( 20% discount). Intermediate students can make a froe (see photo) involving a forge weld. Non Members $275 Members $265

Saturday and Sunday, March 8 & 9, 9AM-4PM. Woodworking: Create a Shaving Horse Class. With master woodworker Fred Chellis of little River Windsor Chairs, students will learn riving, an early woodworking technique in which a froe, wedges and a maul may be used to split a big log into workable lumber. The wood will be further shaped and fitted with a shaving knife and other tools. Non Members $275 Members $265

To reserve your place in the class, contact us at: director@willowbrookmuseum,org and/or (207) 793-2784.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Workshops in Restoration for the Young and the Mature

Model T Restoration Classes

  • Re-Wooding a Homemade Vintage Model T cord saw
  • Restoring a Model T engine 

Country Store Panel Wagon Restoration Class

If you would be interested in being a member of one or both of these workshops, contact us: or (207) 793-2784. We will consider teens for these classes, as we believe these types of hands-on learning experiences to be important foundational skills and knowledge for young minds.

In discussing workshops for the near future, we are planning to offer two unique workshop opportunities. The workshops will involve restoring a Model T engine and re-wooding, with some blacksmithing necessitated as well, a horse drawn grocery wagon. Students will pay a nominal fee to support the cost of materials and the instructor's time. The students will be given mini-lessons to carry out the individual steps of these restorations. The class will last one season with a weekly meeting planned. Students will learn about tools and materials; they will complete the class knowing that they have contributed to the restoration of this museum object, and that its functionality will continue to both impress, educate, and inspire. The student of these classes will become knowledgeable of this technology. They will be prepared to replicate this process foir themselves and for others.