Natural deer skin tanning workshop
Damariscotta River Association (DRA) is hosting a two-day, hands-on deerskin tanning workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 18 and 19.
On Saturday, participants will scrape and prepare the hides. The second day will be devoted to stretching and drying the hides, then tanning them using a deer brain and possibly an alternative method.
Using a solution of brain and water to tan deerskin is a traditional, all-natural method. Though labor intensive, the result is an extremely soft and absorbent hide.
Participants should come prepared to work inside and outside. Hides and tools will be provided. Because space is limited, advance registration is required. The cost of the workshop is $95 per person, or $80 for DRA members. To register, call (207) 563-1393.
Instructor Steve Cayard says of himself, “I have roamed the woods for many years, starting in the hills of West Virginia where I grew up. It was there that my German mother and grandmother taught me to love nature, and there that my Texan father taught me to work with my hands.
“I first moved to Maine in 1973, where the woods still felt like home, just a little further up the Appalachian chain. I roamed a while longer, until I met and married fellow West Virginian Angela Derosa, and together we settled on a backwoods homestead in Wellington, Maine in 1987.”