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April 9, 2022 @ 10:00 am 4:30 pm

Registration Closes: Friday April 8 @ 3pm
PW22 Cordage

Let’s make rope and string from the natural world!  In this hands-on workshop, students will examine and learn to process a variety of natural fibers from plant and animal sources to make useful, strong and beautiful cordage suitable for a host of practical jobs, from tying shoes to building a house!  Using handwork techniques and traditional tools, we’ll learn how (and when and why) to make high-speed, extra-strong, and three-ply cord with excellent quality control.  All materials provided.

Why cordage? Cordage tied the ancient world together. It is one of the pillars of technology, allowing the invention of a long list of vitally important objects. This knowledge helps us to understand the otherwise hidden history of how regular people contributed to the world as we know it. The knowledge of hand techniques allows us to construct and repair things that would otherwise have to be bought new, saving money and resources. Best of all, it fosters a powerful can-do positive attitude, giving us confidence and self reliance.

Workshop Details

The class will be on April 9, 2022 from 10:00am – 4:30pm in Asheville, NC. It will be held outdoors in a covered pavilion. There will be a half hour break for lunch. Please bring a bagged lunch and a sharp knife and/or scissors to work with.

This class is for everyone interested in making cordage, from beginners to advanced. We will begin at the beginning and go until we learn things we never knew we could! Minimum age is 12, minors must be accompanied by an adult.

About the Instructor

Jeffrey Gottlieb, MS (in Biology), has been a Naturalist, Outdoor Educator and Primitive Skills Instructor for more than 40 years. He works with school groups, nature centers, museums, scout troops and summer camps, builds full-sized wigwams and longhouses and replicates primitive tools and artifacts for display.  His areas of special interest include fiber arts, flintknapping, basketry, edible and utilitarian plants, and nature awareness. He travels widely in the Eastern U.S. teaching at rendezvous, gatherings and historic fairs. He has written a how-to manual on building wigwams, an instructors’ manual entitled Teaching Primitive Skills to Children and a book on natural fibers and ropemaking called Fibers of Life.

Sliding Scale $125 – $45

In order to make our workshops more accessible, we offer two price options for each class, with an additional Equity Discount for qualifying individuals. Please consider these options and select your price at checkout.

Thank you for helping to transform the world into a culture of abundance, resilience, and opportunity for all.

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Registration Closes: Friday April 8 @ 3pm

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Lily Harlin


Lily is an artist, creator, and dreamer. Since a very young age, she has been immersed in the natural world and draws heavy inspiration from the wild. Though her medium changes frequently, Lily’s art and expression always incorporate an element of the organic and unpredictable. She got her associate in fine arts in 2023, and now volunteers at her school as a ceramic studio monitor. She hopes to open a studio of her own one day to have a place to teach and inspire others. In addition to doing commission work, Lily has been creating many graphics for The Firefly Gathering since 2019. Lily grew up in the Earthskills community from the time she was eight years old, so having the opportunity to grow and give back in so many ways has been incredibly fulfilling. No matter where she ends up, this group of people and ideas will always hold a special place in her heart.