Celebrate craftsmanship on September 16th and 17th as our skilled craftspeople work on more complicated and unique projects not regularly displayed at the Village.
Join us for Craft Weekend, highlighting a variety of New England crafts and trades from the early 19th century. The Village’s craftspeople will showcase their skills by crafting more complicated or unique items that are not usually displayed at the Village.
Pottery highlights include loading of the pottery kiln and learning about the world of glaze chemistry. Visit with the potters and see them loading the kiln for the annual wood firing taking place the following weekend during Friend’s Day.
Learn about Simeon Allen who was a bespoke shoemaker in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, during the 1830s. Explore his life in and out of his trade as he was a captain in the militia and held many town offices on top of running his own shoe shop.
In addition there will be barrel firings in the Cooper Shop, the New England Lace Makers group will visiting and demonstrating their talents, and there will be a new vignette on display in the Visitor Center of a household kitchen scene complete with handcrafted furniture, pottery, tinware, iron ware, cooperage, shoes, bookbinding, textiles, baskets, and more.
One of the highlights of the coming weekend is our annual kiln firing. Firing the kiln at Old Sturbridge Village is no simple task. It must be heated to a whopping 1900 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of more than 24 hours. This can take about three cords of wood!
The kiln at the Village is a replica based on archaeological research at the original site of Hervey Brooks’ Pottery Shop and kiln in Goshen, CT and pictures of similar kilns from the early 1800s. It stands 24 feet tall and contains approximately 15,000 bricks.
Firing the kiln is a lot of work and requires a lot of wood. It must be heated to 1900 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of more than 24 hours. Hervey Brooks, who owned and operated the Pottery Shop now at Old Sturbridge Village, burned his last kiln in 1864 at 85 years old.