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Making a Tule Boat with Charlie Kennard
September 9, 2023 @ 9:30 am - September 10, 2023 @ 5:00 pm$300
Learn to make California-style tule boat
Join us at the beautiful Fibershed Learning Center on Black Mountain Ranch near Point Reyes Station, CA, where will make a five-bundle California-style boat using tule previously gathered at a large pond on the ranch. The workshop will take place from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm both days.
The variety of tule we are using is Schoenoplectus californicus, a giant species of bulrush that grows in freshwater and brackish marshes. In addition to boats, tules are used to make rope, baskets, bowls, mats, hats, clothing, duck decoys, and more by Native people.
Wild grapevine and tule rope made on site will be used for the bindings. The two- or three-person boat will be launched on the pond on Sunday, and everyone will get a chance to paddle.
Representatives of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria will participate in the workshop.
Participants should bring:
- personal snacks, lunch and beverages
- suitable boating clothes
- bathing suit and towel (optional)
Maximum 10 students.
ENROLL HERE: eventbrite.com/e/503126363497
ADDED OPPORTUNITY: Those who enroll in this workshop are also invited to participate in the tule harvest on July 30th at no extra charge. Details provided on enrollment.
Tuition Scholarships & Transportation/Childcare Stipends
Fibershed is offering two scholarships to most workshops; one scholarship if it’s a small class. In addition to scholarships for tuition, we are offering a limited number of stipends for transportation and/or childcare. If you would not otherwise be able to attend, and would like to be considered as a scholarship and/or stipend recipient, please answer a few brief questions on this Google Form. Responses will be reviewed by Learning Center staff and kept strictly confidential.
Charlie Kennard of San Anselmo is a long-time basket weaver and student of California Indian and other traditional basketry techniques of the world. He has taught for the Point Reyes Field Institute, East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden, Fibershed, the Laguna Center and in many schools and at teacher trainings. Tule boats made in his workshops can be seen at the Bay Model in Sausalito, Lake County Museum, and another is in the collection of the Oakland Museum. You can also visit a basketry plant garden Charlie has created at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross. Charlie is active in native habitat restoration in Marin, managing several projects for Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed.
Photo credits: Portrait of Charlie by Paige Green, tule boat photos courtesy of Charlie Kennard, tule growing at Black Mountain Ranch pond by Dustin Kahn.
BONUS: The Clothing Swap Closet is now open during workshops and events at the Fibershed Learning Center!
Visit the Clothing Swap Closet when you attend a workshop or event at the Learning Center and exchange your natural fiber garments and accessories. Your clothing contributions must be clean and in good condition. Each contribution entities you to choose one item of comparable value.
You may arrive up to 30 minutes early for the workshop you are attending, and/or depart up to an hour after the workshop ends, to allow time to browse and try on items in the closet, and make your trade!