JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT TO PRESENT
Jamestown Settlement will hold a “Historic Trades Fair” on Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5, showcasing a variety of historical trades and crafts, from flint-knapping, blacksmithing and leatherwork to spinning, quillwork and pottery. Crafts and wares also will be available for purchase.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the weekend event will take place in conjunction with the opening weekend of the Jamestown Settlement special exhibition, “Bartering for a Continent: How Anglo-Indian Trade Shaped America,” June 4 through December 10. The six-month exhibition highlights trade interactions between American Indian and English colonists and the development of a new world of exchange in goods and commodities across the North American continent.
The Historic Trades Fair will feature craftspeople demonstrating more than a dozen trades on the museum’s mall and in outdoor living-history areas.
Among the trades, the Southeast Virginia Primitive Skills Group will show techniques in flint-knapping, native coil pottery and broom-weaving, and present interpretive demonstrations on preparing and tanning animal hides and fire-starting. Artisan Duane Baldwin will display quillwork, a traditional American Indian art using quills of porcupines or birds to embellish cloth, and show styles in wrapping and embroidery.
Hand woodworking techniques common in the 17th to 19th centuries will be shown by Blood and Sawdust, a group of craftspeople using wedges, axes, drawknives and froes to make rough items such as shingles, clapboards, small boards for joinery, and benches. They also will use bench tools, including handsaws, planes and braces, to create finished parts.
Period and modern blacksmithing methods will be presented by Hollowing Creek Forge LLC and the Central Virginia and Tidewater blacksmith guilds, and a variety of hand-forged items will be available for purchase. Fort Vause Outfitters will demonstrate and sell leatherwork. Western Maryland Hornmacher will make scrimshaw to decorate powder horns and sell powder horns along with firearm tools, including turn screws, vent picks, loading blocks and powder measurers.
K.P. Knitcraft will demonstrate the use of spinning wheels, a modern upright and classic “Sleeping Beauty” style, as well as a drop spindle and knitting. The Travelling Cookshop and Sutlery will make pottery and sell examples of medieval pottery and ceramic household goods.
Visitors can see the progression in portraiture with demonstrations by Silhouettes By Hand of 18th-century silhouettes and by Ronald S. Carnegie Wet-Plate Photographer showing the 19th-century technique of making photographic images on glass or aluminum plates. Visitors also can have their own portraits captured for purchase.
Throughout the day in the museum’s outdoor living-history areas, visitors can take part in a variety of trade-related activities. In the re-created Powhatan Indian village, historical interpreters will burn and scrape a log canoe, a vessel used to travel along the waterways to trade and transport goods. At the ships’ pier, visitors can learn about the sailor’s trade of sewing and repairing ship sails. In the re-created colonial fort, historical interpreters will show the process of smelting iron from ore in an iron bloomery from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and, on Sunday, demonstrate armor-making.
Jamestown Settlement, located at Route 31 and the Colonial Parkway (2110 Jamestown Road), is a living-history museum of 17th-century Virginia, with expansive gallery exhibits and outdoor re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village, the three ships that brought America’s first permanent English colonists to Virginia in 1607, and a colonial fort. The special event is included with Jamestown Settlement admission: $17.00 for adults, $8.00 for ages 6 through 12, and free for children under 6.
Residents of James City County, York County and the City of Williamsburg, including College of William and Mary students, receive complimentary admission with proof of residency. For more information, visit www.historyisfun.org or call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838.