Workshops and Special Talks

Every year during the week of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Western Folklife Center organizes more than a dozen workshops on a variety of topics. It's an excellent opportunity to be taught new skills, meet artists and performers, explore and gain knowledge of meaningful and interesting topics, and have a chance to meet and get to know others who share similar interests as you take part in the larger community found at the Gathering.

For 2014, we offered two talks along with workshops in cooking, gear making, contemporary ranch issues, writing, dancing and music, to provide a richer and deeper experience for those that make the trip to Elko. See how workshops and talks fit into the 30th Gathering's full daily schedule.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rawhide Braiding with Doug Groves
(4 days, through Wednesday, January 29)
Elko Convention Center - Silver Room
9:00am-5:00pm
$350
As long as buckaroos prefer rawhide reatas, reins, bosals and quirts, the ancient tradition of turning untanned hides into useful tools will remain strong. Learn all aspects of rawhide braiding from cowhide to finished product from respected Great Basin buckaroo and braider Doug Groves, a winner of the Nevada Governor's Arts Award in 2009. Motivated students can expect to walk away having finished a set of fine hobbles. Doug will be assisted by accomplished braiders Grant Groves and Charley Liesen.
Ornamental Chasing and Repousse with Valentin Yotkov
SOLD OUT WORKSHOP
Great Basin College - Arts Annex Room 103
(3 days, through Tuesday, January 28)
10:00am-4:00pm
NOTE - - there will be an additional charge for supplies, current estimate: $190
List of needed supplies will be provided to each student.
The ancient metalsmithing techniques of ornamental chasing and repousse are currently experiencing a rebirth among silversmiths and other artists of metalwork. During this intensive, hands-on workshop, students will develop basic to advanced skills in these techniques. They will discuss the principles of creating designs for metalwork, as well as the process of making tools, their different shapes and applications. All levels are welcome. Master artisan Valentin Yokov has taught for over 30 years, introducing his students to the magic of sculpting in metal through a series of demonstrations and personalized instruction.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hat-Making with Roy Jackson & Bernice Combs
Elko Convention Center - Turquoise Room
(3 days, through Wednesday, January 29)
9:00am-5:00pm
$425
Learn the art and craft of hat-making using methods that have changed little since the 19th century. This 3-day workshop will introduce you to hat craft without machines, using a few simple tools and techniques. Participants will learn dry and wet blocking, choosing the correct block, and pouncing and finishing the 100% beaver felt. Hats will then be sized, trimmed and ready to wear! Master hatters Roy Jackson and Bernice "Ben" Coombs build quality custom hats for clients worldwide at the Jaxonbilt Hat Company, Int'l, based in Salmon, Idaho.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cinch-Making with Jennifer Whiteley
Elko Convention Center - Gold Room
9:00am-5:00pm
$200
Learn to tie a cinch with local artist Jennifer Bieroth Whiteley of Jennifer's Custom Cinches. Jennifer began tying cinches to fill time in a remote cow camp with no electricity. Eight years later, she fills custom orders when not working on the ranch or raising kids. Supplies will be provided, including dyed mohair and a cinch board, as well as information on purchasing materials.
Dutch-Oven Cooking with Colleen Sloan
SOLD OUT WORKSHOP
Presbyterian Church Annex, 1559 Sewell Drive
9:00am-12:00pm
Raised on a farm near Promontory Summit in northern Utah, Colleen Sloan has been cooking with cast iron since she was old enough to lift a lid. Join Colleen to learn the tricks to cooking with your Dutch oven—the original open range crockpot/pressure cooker. While preparing cobblers, lamb stew and garlic cheese bread, Colleen will share her secrets about using different fuels, caring for your Dutch oven properly, and how the West was settled—by cast iron cooks.
A Panoply of Pies with Tamara Adams 
SOLD OUT WORKSHOP

Presbyterian Church Annex, 1559 Sewell Drive
1:00-4:00pm
From sweet to savory, crust to filling, we'll explore the intricacies of making pies such as chicken pot pie, quiche, apple, spanakopita, and lemon meringue. The class will experiment with butter, lard, oil and shortening—discovering which makes the best crust. For over 40 years, Tamara Adams has managed the kitchen and overseen the organic gardens at Emandal, a family retreat camp and farm in Mendocino County, California. She has been making pies since she was a little girl, and most have been delicious. This is definitely a hands-on class, so bring an apron and your appetite.

Wednesday, January 29,2014

A Day at The Ranch   
SOLD OUT EVENT
Meet at Pioneer Saloon, Western Folklife Center
9:00am-4:00pm
Join native Nevadan John Collett for a unique experience highlighting the work and challenges of running a modern-day ranch. Learn about the daily life of a Nevada cowboy, such as winter-time care of livestock and the art of breeding and training horses. The historic Maggie Creek Ranch, owned by the Searle Family and run with a full time buckaroo crew, will graciously host us this year.
New Twists on Old Favorites
Presbyterian Church Annex, 1559 Sewell Drive
9:00am-12:00pm
$65
Now in its second printing, the Elko County Cattlewomen's The Real Ranch Cookbook has become a popular staple in town, ranch and restaurant kitchens. Join local cattlewomen Sidney Merkley Wintermore and Angie Burns Heguy as they draw on the cookbook for ranch-style recipes such as Beef and Horseradish Rolls, Pine Nut Salad, Portuguese Beans, Peppery Flank Steak, and Wine Cake.
Story Roundup
Elko Convention Center - Gold Room
9:00am-4:00pm
$45
Remember that great story your uncle always tells at family gatherings—the one about the exploding cow? This workshop will focus on collecting those family narratives. Join Randy Williams, Utah State University's Folklore Curator and Oral History Specialist, for a hands-on workshop designed to train participants in collecting and preserving their stories. Using Oral History Association best practices, participants will brainstorm about what to collect, how to collect it, and the basics of transcription and preservation. Bring your iPad, smartphone, or digital or cassette recorder if you have one.
Dutch-Oven Cooking with Colleen Sloan
SOLD OUT WORKSHOP

Presbyterian Church Annex, 1559 Sewell Drive
1:00-4:00pm
Raised on a farm near Promontory Summit in northern Utah, Colleen Sloan has been cooking with cast iron since she was old enough to lift a lid. Join Colleen to learn the tricks to cooking with your Dutch oven—the original open range crockpot/pressure cooker. While preparing cobblers, lamb stew and garlic cheese bread, Colleen will share her secrets about using different fuels, caring for your Dutch oven properly, and how the West was settled—by cast iron cooks.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Old Time Ranch Dances
Elko High School Old Gym, 987 College Avenue
10:00am-12:00pm
$25
Relive the fun of dancing in grange halls, barns and around the kitchen table in the age before television. At the turn of the 20th century, dancing was the most popular form of recreation. Community halls were filled every weekend with couples swirling to the tunes of a waltz, a Virginia reel or a big circle dance. Craig Miller will teach a variety of fun dances with simple steps. Beginners are welcome and you don't need a partner. Come prepared to meet a lot of people and have a ton of fun the old-fashioned way! Live music provided by Caleb Klauder Country Band.
At the Songwriter's Desk
Great Basin College Theater, 1500 College Parkway/
Chilton Circle
10:00-11:30am
$25
Join beloved songwriter Ian Tyson for a lively conversation about his creative songwriting process, musical influences and deep connection to western life.
36 Years On The Trail with Riders In The Sky
Great Basin College Theater, 1500 College Parkway/
Chilton Circle
1:00-2:00pm
$25
A physicist, a wildlife manager and a music historian walk into a theater. . .It's not the start of a joke, it's the origin story of "America's favorite cowboys," Riders In The Sky. Ranger Doug, Too Slim, Woody Paul and Joey the Cowpolka King will share stories and give insight into the secrets of keeping a band together for over 36 years and having fun doing it. (Hint: separate hotel rooms!)
Cajun & Zydeco Dance
Elko High School Old Gym, 987 College Avenue
2:00-4:00pm
$25
You have to be pretty stodgy not to want to dance to the lively, good-time, let-your-hair-down Cajun and Zydeco music of Louisiana. Dick and Sandy Sturm will get you up to speed for Friday's dance with Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys. You'll learn the two-step and waltz and be ready to rock'n'Zydeco. This class is for everyone, and no partners are required.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Harmony & Duet Singing
SOLD OUT WORKSHOP
Elko United Methodist Fellowship, 539 Court Street
9:00-11:00am
The only thing better than singing is singing with someone else. Renowned for their close vocal harmonies, Caleb Klauder and Reeb Willms will handpick a few gems to add to your repertoire, focusing on two-part singing, including for male/female pairings. Students will work on listening to one another, blending, strong lead singing, and how to find the harmony above and below the melody. Caleb and Reeb will delve into the nuances of phrasing and tone, blending two voices together until they're as smooth as hand-churned butter. Bring your songbook and a pencil. Extra credit for pie! Listen to a sample.
Two-Step & Swing Basics
Elko High School Old Gym, 987 College Avenue
10:00am-12:00pm
$25
Don't settle for always being the wallflower and never the dance-floor lothario. All it takes is one left foot and a few basics to get you out of your seat. You provide the feet and instructor Amy Mills will show you the moves to get you two-stepping and swinging in time for Saturday's dance. No partners necessary.
Gary Allegretto's "Learn To Play
Cowboy Harmonica Instantly"
Great Basin College Theater, 1500 College Parkway/
Chilton Circle
11:00am-12:30pm
$25
Join the world-renowned "Harmonicowboy" and learn four western songs at lightning speed—guaranteed. Family fun for adults and kids age 5 and up. No experience is necessary! Admission includes a top-quality harmonica, song booklet and everything you need to start playing.
Rodeo Swing
Elko High School Old Gym, 987 College Avenue
2:00-4:00pm
$25
Every generation seems to have its own take on the jitterbug. Go to a ranch rodeo dance anywhere in the West, and you'll likely see the teens and twenty-somethings doing rodeo swing. That's because this is a great dance to get you off your posterior and onto the dance floor. Craig Miller will teach you the basics, as well as a few moves to wow your friends. Beginning and intermediate dancers are welcome and you don't need a partner.

 
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