Perth Regional Heritage Fair Workshops 2019


Periods 1 and 2

Felting – Workshop leader -  Zoë Lianga (St. James Church hall)

Students will design and make a small piece of felt fabric from its individual fibres. They will learn about the unique properties of wool fibres that allow them to interlock into a felt fabric. They will be taken through the steps of layering dry fibres and then physically manipulating them into matted fabric, with the help of soap and water. These underlying principles of this age-old craft have remained largely unchanged over the years.

There will be various local alpaca fibres and sheep locks for the students to choose from, allowing them to design and build their piece of felt fabric to their liking. Felt making is fun, tactile, rewarding and seemingly magical in the way that the wool fibres come together to become fabric with a little bit of physical help and water.

Zoë has spent the last 6 years working full-time as a textile artist, felt maker and instructor. She makes functional objects, accessories and clothing from custom designed and handmade felt and is the owner and operator of the Cordwood Studio, just west of Perth.

The Old Burying Ground. Workshop Leader - Susan Code (begins at parking lot behind St. James Church hall)

Odds are we’ll be walking over someone’s grave during our exploration of the Old Burying Ground. Established in 1821, more than 1,300 bodies were interred here over the following 50 years, from murderers to duellists, infants to nonagenarians. We’ll learn the stories of some of the cemetery’s more famous residents, as well as the meanings behind the diverse symbols carved upon their gravestones. Try not to whistle.

Susan Code is a writer and storyteller of local lore, who loves telling tales about Perth’s rich past.


Periods 1 and 3

Illuminated Letters. Workshop leader - Amanda West Lewis (Room behind stage at St. James Church hall)

The “Illuminated Letters” workshop focuses on recreating 16th century letter shapes that were used in manuscripts during the Italian Renaissance. Before the invention of the computer, these letters were used widely in Europe and North America for important documents, books, signs and artwork. Drawing Illuminated Letters gives students a whole new way to appreciate visual language and meaning.

The workshop is led by calligrapher and writer Amanda West Lewis.

Baking Using an Outdoor Oven – Workshop leader Graham Beck, (Perth Museum Outdoor Oven)

Graham Beck and other local bakers will use the recently ungraded outdoor bake oven at the Perth Museum to demonstrate bread making and baking methods.

Graham has deep roots in the sustainability and organic movements. He is co-founder of The Green Door Restaurant in Ottawa and operates Little Stream Bakery in Glen Tay, producing artisan organic breads leavened with an old Ottawa Valley sourdough starter.


Periods 2 and 3

Making a woven mat. Workshop leader - Ankaret Dean (St. James Church hall)

Following traditional basket making techniques, students will weave a small mat using locally sourced willow and round reed. Each student will have a small finished mat at the end of the workshop.

Ankaret Dean has been involved in basketry and weaving for the past forty years and enjoys teaching the skills to children. A co-founder of MERA (McDonald's Corners and Elphin Recreation and Arts), she is active in the local fibre arts community. She recently founded the Lanark Highlands Basketry Museum at her home in McDonald's Corners.

Blacksmithing - Workshop leader Don MacKay (Curling Club Parking lot) 

Using the same basic blacksmithing tools that blacksmiths used to help develop our great country, Don MacKay will demonstrate the techniques of using earth (iron), wind (the air supply) and fire to create a small project - turning a  piece of metal into something useful.  As the hammer falls onto the anvil, the near liquid steel is transformed by years of practice into various forms.  Strike while the iron is hot!

Don MacKay is a heritage blacksmith who owns Forged in Canada - a company located in the Perth Area specializing in restoration and teaching.