Courses in Lost Skills
Learn a Traditional Rural Skill
Our short courses are designed to encourage interest in traditional crafts and skills with enjoyable, short introductions to a variety of interesting subjects. Courses are highly practical and you will meet a variety of clever local craftspeople who are normally not so easy to access. Courses are typically for 6-8 students over one or two days, and include demonstrations by accomplished visiting craftspeople, study of local historic examples of work, and practical application, usually on an actual work in progress at Mill Pond Farm.Where applicable students will create their own work which they can take with them. All tools and equipment are supplied; each course has specific requirements for appropriate dress. Students completing carriage driving courses must provide proof of current membership of the Equestrian Federation of Australia which extends insurance for the driving components. Lunch and refreshments are provided.
Some courses are reliant on seasons and weather; please check close to the date to confirm any schedule changes that may have to be made.
Subject areas include:
Willow coppicing & trellis making
Field-stone Wall building
Carriage and Harness maintenance
Sundial construction and setting
Carriage driving for pleasure
Our carriage driving courses held in various parts of NSW are designed to introduce novices to safe and enjoyable carriage driving for pleasure. Our courses provide a practical introduction to the preparation of your horse, maintenance of a carriage and care of several types of harness, for single and pair driving. After the two day course you will be proficient at driving a two wheeled vehicle safely, and be familiar with the basic elements of pair driving. Students who complete this course may wish to develop their skills at driving a pair. Each student must be a member of the Equestrian Federation of Australia, which will provide personal injury insurance whilst you are driving at a nominal cost. Courses include refreshments and lunch.
Our courses are arranged the to suit small groups of people who wish to book together, which allows each student to support the others as you practise in the weeks following the course.
Furniture restoration courses cover a variety of skills which will allow you to tackle simple conservation measures including introductions to a variety of traditional finishes, repairs and techniques for protecting and preserving antiques. Students can bring a small piece of furniture of their own to work on, or choose an item from our store to practise on. Most furniture restoration skills require considerable practise, and you won't master everything in a day, but this course will allow you to understand where to start and how to proceed when dealing with antique or vintage furniture.
One day courses
Include the specialist subjects of traditional carriage wheelwrighting, harness fitting and balancing for two wheeled horse drawn vehicles, and carriage restoration techniques and maintenance. Courses held at Mill Pond Farm include refreshments and lunch. Limited accommodation is available at a modest cost nearby.
Fieldstone wall building
Our short course in fieldstone wall building might be just the thing to get you started on some attractive landscaping projects at home. Designed for complete amateurs with enthusiasm, the two day course will introduce you to various traditional styles of stone wall building, looking at a variety of stunning historical and contemporary walls on Mill Pond Farm and in nearby villages. Then our visiting master stonemason will demonstrate some simple techniques to achieve a variety of looks and show you some clever ways to ensure that your wall is structurally sound, serves its purposes and looks great. Finally we will build a small wall as a team to show you how easy it is. The projects currently include the stone forges in the blacksmith's shop, and a wall to support the enormous steam engine flywheel being refitted alongside the Mill. Please email us for more details by clicking the button.
Blacksmithing for beginners
This two-day course is run quarterly by talented local blacksmith Glen Moon, who will teach complete novices the introductory basics of traditional blacksmithing on our traditional stone forge. Day one involves basic techniques and practise which will enable students to complete a set of simple objects. On Day two, students can make their own small object with Glen's assistance. The course is designed for 6-8 students, and blacksmithing students work in pairs, with one holding the tongs and the other the hammer. Everyone gets a go at all of the skills, and the double forge and twin anvils allow for plenty of simultaneous activities. It's also a great course in winter, given the open fire and cool Jembaicumbene weather!
Please email us for more details by clicking the button.