Metro Parks Tacoma

Crafts of the Past

The popular Crafts of the Past program returns for its fifth year at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum. Modern practitioners of 19th century artistic traditions share the methods and materials of their work.  
Each weekend from May through September a different artist will be “in-residence” at the Fort with demonstrations and displays of their work. Most will also offer guests the opportunity to try the craft themselves. Featured crafts include 19th century photography, tatting, blacksmithing, Native American basketry, and broom making. 
“It is an inspiring and educational experience to watch these traditional artisans at work,” said Fort Nisqually museum supervisor Jim Lauderdale. “Heritage skills, such as these, are valuable for knowing where we came from and deserve to be preserved.  We have witnessed people of all ages enrich their lives by watching and then enthusiastically pursuing these time-honored crafts.”

Crafts of the Past is sponsored by the Fort Nisqually Foundation and made possible by a grant from the Tacoma Arts Commission. It is free with paid admission.

Located in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park, Fort Nisqually Living History Museum is a restoration of the Hudson’s Bay Company outpost on Puget Sound. Visitors experience daily life during the 1850s with the help of costumed interpreters. Seven restored and reconstructed 1850s buildings are open to the public, including two National Historic Landmarks. There is also a Visitor Center with Museum Store.The Fort is a facility of Metro Parks Tacoma.
2017 Schedule
Artist Date Craft
Synthia Santos May 27 and 28 Textile Arts
Heather Kibbey  June 3 and 4 Spinning 
Ray Baker June 10 Blacksmthing
John Simpkins June 11 Blacksmithing
Patti Logan June 17 Tatting
Dave Pettersen June 18  Fire Starting
Rich Repp July 1 and 2 Scrimshaw
Karen Haas July 8 and 9 Weaving
Judy Bridges July 15 and 16 Basketry
Dave Pettersen June 25 Fire Starting
John Salicco July 22 and 23 Banjos and Banjo Making
Jerry Kempe July 29 and 30 Leatherworking
Steve Ricketts August 5 and 6 Tin Whistle
Kelsey Boyce August 12 and 13 Punch and Judy
Finn Posner August 19 and 20 Wood Turning
Alan Archimbault August 26 and 27 Illustration
Elise Franklin September 2, 3 and 4 Quilting