Some New Classes Offered at Newfield in March & April

Sat., March 24, 9-3. Make a Crystal Radio Set. This class is open to Ages 11 and above.You will build a working radio using a crystal diode and other components on a wooden base. Ear phones and all materials are included. You will learn to solder wire. You will also be introduced to a razor blade trench radio that was used during WWII by POWs. This is a foundational class for an understanding of communications technology dating back to the 1920s. Tuition: $50 Pay to register. First come, first serve. Limited to 5. Call: (207) 205-4849 or (207) 745-4426 Visit: Email:

Sat. & Sun., March 24 & 25, 9-4, Knife Making Class at 19th Century Curran Homestead Village at Newfield, formerly Willowbrook Museum, 70 Elm St., Newfield.  Our third class this season. Instructor: Frank Vivier. Make your first knife or a better one. This is both an opportunity for beginners and intermediate level knife makers. Using propane or coal fired forges (your preference), you will cut and shape a blade and tang from spring steel.You will use a combination of hand and power tools. You will oil quench and oven temper your knife. Create hardwood handle scales and brass pins. You will epoxy your handle scales on and set pins into your tang by the end of the class. All materials and tools provided. Cost: $225 Discount to returning students. Pay to register. First come, first serve. Limited to 5. Call: (207) 205-4849 or (207) 745-4426 Visit: Email:

Sat., March 31, 9AM-3PM. Make a Propane Burning Forge/Furnace at 19th Century Homestead Village at Newfield, formerly Willowbrook, 70 Elm St., Newfield. This is an inexpensive alternative to a coal fired forge for the budding blacksmith or blade-smith. It is perfect for knife-making because you don’t burn up your project. Also, can be adapted to use for metal casting. You will be provided with a kit of our making that includes a metal tank with legs welded on it. You will create a mold, mix refractory cement, and line your tank and its top with this high temp, commercial grade refractory rated for 2700-3000 degrees Fahrenheit. It will set quickly in our heated workshop. You will attach other elements to the tank, complete the flame wand assembly with a 10 PSI regulator. We will demonstrate the forge at the beginning of the class. Cost: $325 All materials provided. Pay to register. First come, first serve. Limited to 5. Call: (207) 205-4849 or (207) 745-4426 Visit: Email:

Sat., March 31, 9AM-3PM. Make a Catapult at 19th Century Homestead Village at Newfield, formerly Willowbrook, 70 Elm St., Newfield. Ages 11 and above. Using a design created by Leonardo Da Vinci you will create this projectile thrower approximately 12” x 12” x 24”. This is of wood construction and wooden peg fasteners and glue will be used for assembly. This is our custom-made kit which might require some occasional drilling with hand tools. A good foundational class in post and beam construction. Cost: $50 Materials provided. Pay to register. First come, first serve. Limited to 5. Call: (207) 205-4849 or (207) 745-4426 Visit: Email:

Saturday & Sunday, April 14 & 15, 2018, 9AM-3PM (12 hours instruction). Fire Maker Class: Primitive Skills, including a Beginning Blacksmithing Component at Newfield. Ages 14 and Above. Craft the components to a fire making survival kit that includes making a ferro striker (strike-o-light) from a steel file using blacksmithing techniques. you will learn to create a coal fire and heat metal for the purposes of forging your strike-o-light. You will create char cloth, waterproof matches, and mini infernos as well as build fires, gather tinder, and make kindling. You will produce a flint & steel set as well as the ferro rod and scraper. The class will end with cooking a meal over an open-air fire. Cost: $150 All materials and tools provided for making your walkaway kit. Pay to register. First come, first serve. Limited to 5. Call: (207) 205-4849 or (207) 745-4426 Visit: Email:



Letterpress Printing Class at Newfield

Sat. & Sun., February 24 & 25, 9AM-3PM Letterpress Printing Class. 12 hours total. Under the tutelage of professional letterpress printer Mark Matteau of the Dunstan Press of Scarborough, students will learn to set type in a chase, ink a platen on either a foot treadle or hand letterpress, and feed the press for a production. Working our 1890s replica letterpress printing shop with authentic period equipment will learn some of the foundational skills of mechanical printing in an age of inkjet and laser printing attached by cables to a computer. Students will complete five projects over the course of two days. Opportunities for additional volunteer work in the shop if interested during our regular museum season. Tuition: $125, includes takeaway materials.

Sat. & Sun., Feb. 24 & 25, 9AM-4PM, Blacksmithing: Make a Knife Class

Curran Homestead Village at NEWFIELD (Formerly Willowbrook Museum): Saturday and Sunday, February 24 & 25, 9AM-4PM. BLACKSMITHING: MAKE A KNIFE. This popular class is back with instructor Frank Vivier. You will heat and forge a billet of spring steel into a blade and handle tang. Grind and hand file your blade to perfection. Heat treat your blade with an oil quench. Prepare brass rivets and hardwood scales for a handle. Temper your blade and apply handle to the tang with epoxy. Final sanding and polish may be your homework unless time permits. You will complete your first hand forged hunting knife. Tools and materials provided. Class limited to 5. Ages 15 and Above. Tuition: $225. Students may retake this class and take on new bladesmithing challenges completing other knife forms under the tutelage of the instructor. Pay to register. First pay, first serve. Contact: Robert Schmick, Museum Director, (207) 205-4849. Email:

Six Week Blacksmithing Class Begins March 13: Sign Up Now!

~ For Immediate Release ~

Monday, January 22, 2018



Robert Schmick, PhD, Museum Director

Tel: 205-4849, Email:


Irv Marsters. President, Board of Directors

Tel: (207) 745-4426, Email:


Learning to Create with Red Hot Steel and Iron in the Greater Bangor Area


19th Century Curran Homestead Village’s Six Week Beginning Blacksmith Course Begins Tuesday, March 13


19th Century Curran Homestead Village at Fields Pond


Starting Tuesday, March 13, 6-9PM and limited to ages 15 and above, 19th Century Curran Homestead Village, 372 Field’s Pond Road, Orrington will offer a basic six-week introductory blacksmithing course Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 9pm. It is limited to six participants.

In announcing the course, Curran Homestead Village Museum Director, Robert Schmick, said “our exceptional instructor Dwight King of Orrington will once again share his knowledge and hands-on approach to teaching this traditional art. The class has been popular among both men and women throughout the region, and many have sought it out for many reasons, including exposure to another form of artistic expression, a skill for utilitarian applications, or as a complement to welding, among other reasons. This beginner’s course will introduce participants to traditional blacksmithing methods using coal-fired forges, hand tools, and shop equipment. Each participant will come away with new found skills and an amazing variety of products of his/her work that evidence experience with creating utilitarian objects and an attention to artistic details.

“Many students claim they have always had a great appreciation for the hand made and the ability to satisfy their own needs through their own industry. Certainly, the creative output of our last beginning blacksmithing class embodies this. Many have sought learning experiences beyond the six weeks and met for additional projects and contributions to the museum’s programs. We thoroughly invite this; we want people to utilize our facilities. King and several students from our last blacksmithing class will do a weekend together at the museum’s Knife Making Class in Newfield, our York County campus,” said Dr. Schmick.  “Never stop learning, when you rest, you rust!” is instructor King’s mantra, as he continually brings new material to his class syllabus.  The Curran Museum seeks to develop its facilities and a community of students of the craft exploring it in all its applications in follow up intermediate and master classes in the near future; this includes knife and blade smithing at Fields Pond, Orrington in 2018. Contact them, if you are interested.

The class under King’s instruction runs the full gamut of functional, handcrafted items for the beginner with forays into ornamental botanical forms particular to King’s own talents. The course curriculum includes: safety, materials and tools of the trade, fire starting and maintenance, heating the work, hammer blows and hammer control, measuring and marking, tapering to a square point, drawing out metal, forging square to octagonal and round, bending, twisting, forging a basic S-hook, a drive hook, screw-in/nail-in hooks, making a chisel, a punch, a drift, punching holes, flattening and spreading, forging a spoon, simple leaves, nails, rivets, tool handles, door handles, scrolls, preparing for welding, forge welding a ring, butt hinge and riveting as well as working on personal projects.

No experience needed. Practice studio offered each Saturday. Leather shoes, cotton or wool clothing (no man-made fiber), bring a pair of work gloves. Safety glasses and a 2lb cross pein hammer required.Tuition is $395, which includes materials and a copy of Lorelei Sims’ The Backyard Blacksmith, a great reference resource. A 2lb. plus straight/cross pein hammer is required.  Pay to register. First come, first serve by cash, check payable to “The Curran Homestead”, or credit card (MasterCard or Visa only). Contact us at 745-4426 or 205-4849, or by Email: Homestead Village is a 501c(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to hands-on, experiential learning. It uses the lessons of the past for the challenges of today and the future especially our school’s science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics learning objectives.


Robert Schmick, PhD

Museum Director
Curran Homestead Village at Fields Pond & Newfield
372 Fields Pond Rd.
P.O. Box 107
Orrington, Maine 04474
(207) 205-4849
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Sunday, January 14, 4:30-7:30 PM Annual Members Gathering (Dinner)

2018 Membership Offer. Act on our Early Bird Special with a 2018 membership level at a 2017 price (Discount offer expires January 31, 2018). Membership comes with added benefits in 2018. See membership benefits on our website: ( also included in our in-print and mailed December 2017 newsletter that can be seen on our website or we can mail it to you, if you haven’t received it—contact us). With a 2018 membership our Sunday, January 14, 4:30-7:30PM, Annual Members Gathering and Recognition Dinner at Jeff’s Catering, East/West Industrial Park, 15 Littlefield Way, Brewer, ME, is free. Food, presentations, and socializing. We’ll have a silent auction with some interesting items; don’t miss out. Learn about our our progress in 2017, our latest collections acquisitions, and our future development. Reservations Necessary. Call: (207) 745-4426.

Six Week Beginning Blacksmithing Class Begins Tuesday, January 23, 6-9PM: Sign Up Now. A Great Gift For the Holidays!

Think about this as a present for a loved one for the holiday. We can give you a gift certificate or register you for this January 23 class in time to present that as a present! Starting Tuesday, January 23, 6-9PM, Six Weeks of Beginning Blacksmithing Classes, Tuesdays and Thursday Evenings, at 19th Century Curran Homestead Village, 372 Fields Pond Rd., Orrington, ME 04474. The class covers all the basics of coal fired forging including safety first, tools and materials, heating, bending, piercing, and forming steel objects. Students will start off with a small project and build on their knowledge with a variety of tools that they will subsequently use in the class and after, hooks, a nail, spoon, and more… Students will be introduced to forge welding. Time permitting, students may forge a knife blade, if desired. This class also includes Saturday morning studio by arrangement; you can practice and get more forge time in. Cost: $395, tools and materials provided. Students required to supply their own 2lb. hammer. Registration is required and is first come, first serve by cash, check payable to “The Curran Homestead” or credit card (MasterCard & Visa only). Call: Robert Schmick, Museum Director at (207) 205-4849, email:, or  Irv Marsters, 745-4426, email:


North Castine Post Office

On Saturday, December 2, board members Dick Hanson, Dick Stockford, Ron Sucy and volunteer Nate Coe disassembled the North Castine Post Office in Penobscot, Maine and brought it by trailer back to Curran Homestead Village at Fields Pond. The building was located on the property of Jean Devereux who generously donated it to the museum. Mrs. Devereux donated the Kerrihard Power Hammer that presently resides in our blacksmithing shop back in 2010; the hammer belonged to her late husband Ralph Devereux who had a smithy and at one time taught an adult education blacksmithing class at the Mary Snow School in Bangor. The building had served as a post office until the 1950s and then as a workshop for the Mr. Devereux.


The building had once been positioned right in front of the 18th century farmhouse that still stands across Devereux Lane. It was moved when town lines were re-configured and what was known as North Castine became Penobscot. The building is of 2 x 4 and 2 x 6 construction. Since Mr. Devereux’s death more than twenty years ago the building has set idle with the hard winters taking its toll on portions of the building. A characteristic that likely saved the building was its 24 inch overhanging roof which protected the clapboard siding.


In disassembling the structure we had to cut the sides and half as well as the gables in order to fit the structure in sections on a flatbed trailer. The ends of the vertical studs that connected to the sill were decayed, and a plan for re-assembly will be to sister up these studs to connect them will new sill work. The structure will be a free floating one constructed on floating concrete pads. There will a wooden, tongue and groove floor. We will insulate the structure and sheath the interior with bead board.


The structure will our new history of communications building with a working collection of telegraphs, magneto telephones and crystal radios for hands-on learning experiences. The idea is to connect this building to other buildings by wire so that there will be an opportunity to communicate between buildings using historical technology. This was accomplished at Willowbrook with the HMS Titanic and Carpathia in the Hands On History Building; this telegraph exhibit continues to be a feature of our school field trip programming.

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