Please note that Strasenburgh Planetarium is closed for exciting technology upgrades. Click here to learn more about what you can look forward to.

May 24, 2018

Cumming Nature Center Summer Heritage Maker Workshops begin Saturday, June 2

ROCHESTER, NY—The Rochester Museum and Science Center’s (RMSC) Cumming Nature Center, kicks off its 2018 Heritage Maker Workshops on Saturday, June 2, 2018. Participants will explore artisan craft, build community, and create beautiful things while getting hands-on experience in blacksmithing, paddle carving, soap making, food preservation, and more. Workshop fees vary and include admission. Registration is required; visit RMSC.org/heritage maker for class and enrollment information.

Blacksmithing Fundamentals | Saturdays, June 2, June 30. August 4 | 8am, 10am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm

Learn the fundamentals of blacksmithing in a two-hour, small-group, hands-on session. Topics include learning how to heat with a coal-fired forge and techniques for safe hammer usage. Participants will have the choice of creating a wall hook or bottle opener.

Instructor Jonathan Bernard began blacksmithing at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, MA., where he volunteered in the Colonial-era smithing shop. In 2012 Jonathan purchased a portable forge and farrier's anvil, and began demonstrating at school programs before moving to the Rochester area in 2014. For the past three years he’s been invited by the Gettysburg National Parks service to the Spangler Farm site for presentation of his craft with the unit’s traveling forge wagon.

American Robin Bird Carving | Saturday, June 16–Sunday, June 17 | 9am–4pm

Baltimore Oriole Bird Carving | Saturday, July 7–Sunday, July 8 | 9am–4pm

Participants in these two-day courses will carve and paint a life-size replica of a one or two popular species native to the region.

Instructor Robin Salsbury wanted to be a wood carver at a young age, and a shorebird-carving class at RMSC gave him the chance to explore this art form. He has since taken classes from some of the foremost carvers throughout the U.S. and Canada, and won numerous ribbons at carving shows—including best of show at the Genesee Valley Woodcarvers Show. For over 20 years Robin has carved numerous birds, generally preferring native species.

Paddle Carving | Saturday, June 30 | 9am–4pm

In this full-day course participants will hand-carve a one-piece wooden paddle with traditional edge tools. For this introduction to paddle carving, participants will carve a softwood paddle; however hardwood paddles are available for experienced participants.

Instructor Patrick Smith owns and operates the West Hollow Boat Company in Naples, N.Y. He pursues his passion of restoring old boats to their former glory and building new watercrafts—including several of his own design—using methods and hand tools largely developed in the 1800s. In 1998, he was integral in setting up the Adirondack Boat Building School at the Historic Great Camp Sagamore in Raquette Lake, N.Y.

Intermediate Blacksmithing | Saturdays, July 14, September 1, September 22 | 8am, 10am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm

Intermediate blacksmithing explores the use of chisels and punches, and gives students the opportunity to impart their own artistic flare through decorative hammering. Participants in this two-hour session create a plant hanger with decorative leaf work or a hay penny scroll for ends.

Instructor Jonathan Bernard began blacksmithing at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, MA., where he volunteered in the Colonial-era smithing shop. In 2012 Jonathan purchased a portable forge and farrier's anvil, and began demonstrating at school programs before moving to the Rochester area in 2014. For the past three years he’s been invited by the Gettysburg National Parks service to the Spangler Farm site for presentation of his craft with the unit’s traveling forge wagon.

Soap Making | Saturday, July 21 | 10am, 1pm

In first half of this two-hour class, explore the basic science and history behind soap making. In the second half, get busy making a batch of cold-process soap.

At the suggestion of a friend, instructor Lisa Fredrickson began making soap containing only natural ingredients—like and coconut oils—in 2001 while living on a small farm in the majestic Rocky Mountains. Over the course of 16 years and after several moves and name changes, Flint Creek Soap was founded in Italy, N.Y. Flint Creek now operates out of Naples, and supplies soap to retailers nationwide (including many great local shops!).

Food Preservation | Saturday, August 18 | 9am–2pm

Explore different ways to preserve food including dehydrating, steam juicing, vacuum sealing, freezing, canning, and fermenting in this hands-on workshop. Turn fruit into juice using a steam juicer, and into snacks using a dehydrator. Add salt to cabbage to ferment into sauerkraut. Protect dry goods such as flour and rice using a vacuum sealer. Compare boiling-water-bath canning to pressure canning, and learn tips for freezing your bounty.

Food preservation has been a part of instructor Barb Brenner’s entire life, from 4-H activities and helping her mother can and freeze, to preserving her own harvest as an adult and teaching food preservation classes. She has earned Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Food Preserver Certification, has a food preservation informational/demonstration booth at the Lima Farmers Market, and enjoys year-round meals from the bounty of her canning jars, freezer containers, and vacuum-sealed bags.

The Cumming Nature Center is a dynamic, 900-acre environmental education facility that celebrates the unique landscape and culture of the Finger Lakes region through experiential learning opportunities and thoughtful exhibits. Educational programming at the Nature Center explores the complex relationship between humans and the natural world. These programs are designed to inspire innovative thinking among participants and provide them with the tools, knowledge and confidence to take action in the face of local, regional and global challenges. The preserve includes six miles of trails and countless opportunities to connect with the outdoors.

Admission: RMSC members free; general public donation requested ($3 per person; $10 per family). All hikes/programs are free with admission. For group reservations and rates, call 585.374.6160.

Trails are open five days a week: Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. (closed Monday and Tuesday). The Cumming Nature Center will be CLOSED Monday, Nov. 14–Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2017.

The Cumming Nature Center is located at 6472 Gulick Road, Naples, NY 14512.

For high-resolution images and additional information, contact Mare Millow, Marketing Communications Manager, RMSC, 585.697.1944, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) includes the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium and Cumming Nature Center. Offering experiences at the Museum with more than 200 interactive exhibits, Planetarium with a 65-foot dome and Nature Center on 900 acres, the RMSC stimulates community interest in exploration. In addition, the more than 1.2 million RMSC collection items tell the story of Rochester’s past and present, including its rich history of innovation and invention. RMSC receives major funding from Monroe County, where it is one of the top three most visited attractions serving children and families. For more information about RMSC, visit http://www.rmsc.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.


Sign up for E-news

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for Teacher E-news

Get valuable teacher-specific news.