Press Release Category: 
Program and Event Press Releases
Publication Date: 
July 2007
Press Release Contact: 

COOPERSTOWN, NY, July 5, 2007—From July through November, The Farmers’ Museum will offer a series of hands-on workshops on 19th-century trades and crafts including oval rug braiding, woodcarving and letterpress printing.

Wondrous Wild Things Growing In Your Own Backyard
July 14, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Fee: $40, materials fee may apply

Participants will learn about the different types of weeds growing in their backyards. The program will cover the household culinary medicinal and cosmetic use of about half a dozen herbs that we commonly ignore. This lecture will also include a walk through the museum grounds (weather permitting).

Basic Woodcarving with Ron Riley
July 25, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fee: $75.00, plus a $10.00 materials fee.

Learn the basics of woodcarving with Ron Riley, a woodcarver from Massena, NY. Students will learn the basics of woodcarving by carving several different projects, such as a woodspirit face, a wooden boot and a dog.

Introduction to Draft Animals
August 18, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Fee: $40

Oxen and Draft Horses were the motive power on early American farms; they were used to plow, cultivate and harvest crops, log forests for wood and fuel, and they were even put on treadmills to provide a stationary source of power. This workshop is a rare hands-on opportunity to learn the basics of working with oxen and draft horses at The Farmers’ Museum’s farmstead. Be prepared to work alongside the farm staff as you drive, plow and cultivate to gain an appreciation of the beauty and utility of these wonderful animals.

Introduction to Woodcarving with Gerry Holzman
September 21, 22, & 23, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fee: $225, plus a $25 materials fee

Gerry has been a professional woodcarver since 1970, a carousel restorer since 1976 and a collector of New York State folklore since seventh grade. Holzman learned his woodcarving trade by studying in England with the late Gino Masero, one of England’s 32 master carvers. During his career, Gerry has restored over 75 pieces of antique carousel art and has created approximately 200 pieces of original carousel carving.
Since 1984, he has been the head carver and executive director of the Empire State Carousel Project. This project, which features the work of over 1000 craftspeople throughout New York State, is now on view at The Farmers’ Museum. In this workshop Gerry will introduce the variety of woods, techniques and tools involved in creating carved masterpieces. He will guide participants through basic carving exercises including chip carving, working with roughed-out blanks, tool handling and wood selection.

19th Century Photography Workshop
September 28, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fee: $75, materials fee may apply

Explore the varied processes of photography that arose after its conception in the 1830s. Participants will learn about the history of photography, from the camera obscura to the first box cameras, and will create their own sun-exposed cyanotypes during the class (or, if it’s a cloudy day, we will use a light box). Participants will be shown methods of making transparencies on their modern-day computers that can be combined with historical techniques to create their own unique images at home. Participants are encouraged to bring negatives from home (not required) to experiment with techniques during the class.

Letterpress Printing
October 13, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fee: $75, materials fee may apply

This full day workshop will give participants the opportunity to create their own letterpress “masterpiece” by using nineteenth century type, cuts and presses. Participants will be walked through the process of setting and locking in type, inking and printing their own copies.

Beginning Oval Rug Braiding
October 27 & 28, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Fee: $140.00, plus a $30.00 materials fee.

Join Helen Condon from Adirondack Rug Braiding in Parishville, NY, and learn the basics of rug braiding and how to make an oval rug.

Fragrant Waters
November 17, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Fee: $40.00, materials fee may apply

Participants will aid in the preparation of a variety of fragrant waters as well as hot sauce. There will be a discussion on how other extracts are prepared.

All workshops are held at The Farmers’ Museum. Registration is required for all workshops, call (607) 547-1450, ext. 410 or toll-free (888) 547-1450 for information and reservations.

About The Farmers’ Museum
As one of the oldest rural life museums in the country, The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, New York, provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience 19th-century rural and village life first-hand through authentic demonstrations and interpretative exhibits. The museum, founded in 1944, comprises a Colonial Revival stone barn listed on the National Register for Historic Places, a recreated historic village circa 1845, a late nineteenth century Country Fair featuring The Empire State Carousel, and a working farmstead. Through its 19th-century village and farm, the museum preserves important examples of upstate New York architecture, early agricultural tools and equipment, and heritage livestock. The Farmers’ Museum’s outstanding collection of more than 23,000 items encompasses significant historic objects ranging from butter molds to carriages, hand planes to plows. The museum also presents a broad range of interactive educational programs for school groups, families, and adults that explore and preserve the rich agricultural history of the region.

The Farmers’ Museum is located on 5775 State Hwy. 80, Lake Road, in Cooperstown, NY. Museum admission is $11 for adults, $9.50 for visitors age 65 and over, and $5 for children age 7 to 12; children 6 and under and members are admitted free. Reduced price combination admission tickets that include the Fenimore Art Museum and The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum are also available. The museum is open to the public daily from April 1 through October 31, with special events throughout the year. For museum hours or general information, please call 1-888-547-1450 or visit


For more information or images, please contact:
Christine Liggio/Public Relations Office
New York State Historical Association
Fenimore Art Museum/The Farmers’ Museum
Phone: (607) 547-1472/E-mail: