Below is a list of the instructors that will be coming in 2023. This list will get updated regularly.
We owe everything to the instructors, without them, the knowledge skills and crafts would disappear.
Want to be an instructor?
Richard is the founder of the White Rock Traditional Skills and Crafts Gathering. He has been a yurt maker for over 10 years and made his living selling and renting yurts through his website CampingYurts.com.
He may or may not be teaching a yurt class as it will depend on how crazy it gets organizing the gathering, but if not he’s always available to chat and share yurt ideas and advice.
Originally from England, where he attended events similar to Primitive Skills Gatherings, but there they are called Traditional Woodland Crafts.
Richard now lives with his family in Summer Lake, Oregon.
Hari, a longtime primitive enthusiast, is from Santa, Idaho where he lives and works in the woods. He teaches bow making, paddle carving and making “diddley bows”, a primitive musical instrument from the plantations. At White Rock, he will be teaching Stick Bow making.
Jake has a bachelor’s Degree in Recreation management from BYUI where he developed his love for the outdoors and the peace it brings. This grew into a career when he started working for the Anasazi foundation in 2009. Since then he has worked as a professional desert guide teaching Ancestral living skills in a therapeutic setting to teens and Adults off and on for the last 10 years. Jake is an accomplished potter and basket maker.
You can see Jake on season 1 episode 6 of Discovery Chanel’s “Bushcraft Build-Off.”
Jake currently lives in Kanab, Utah with his wife and 3 children where he teaches classes in ancestral skills and works as a Canyoneering guide.
- Primitive Pottery
Daniel originally hails from California’s North Bay Area. He’s a self-confessed general survivalist, and has done everything from firearms/martial arts instruction, EMS and machining to permaculture, wilderness medicine and singing. Though a relatively new instructor in the primitive skills community, he’s been coming to Gatherings since 2011. By preference he’s usually exploring the Western US by foot, bicycle, car, bus, kayak, etc. He works when necessary in the knife industry as a professional sharpener.
At WRG, he’ll be running the knife safety and sharpening class (while peddling sharp and shiny things on the side).
Sofia is constantly curious with a background in Biology (MSc), art and nature connection (2 year program with Wisdom of the Earth). She loves to make all manner of useful beautiful things with material harvested directly from the earth. She brings with her a wonder for all things alive and a depth to her teaching.
- Natural dyeing
- Bird language
Estabon Fire lives in Oregon. He is a potter and ceramic instructor, specializing in primitively fire pottery and raku pottery. He regularly attends Winter Count and Rabbitstick skill gatherings where he specializes in forming and firing ceramic cooking pots.
- Primitive Pottery
Primitive skills and outdoor and environmental education has been a part of my life since the mid 70’s. I was fortunate enough to attend the Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Colorado, become a NOLS instructor and work for BOSS (Boulder Outdoor Survival School).
My main area of teaching at this point is yurt building and hide tanning but I am a good generalist with never having a knack for knapping.
I am a teacher of group facilitation, leadership and communication and have done this for much of my life.
With my wife Kirsten and my two sons Kiyota and Tomoki, we host the Winter Count and Sky Earth gatherings. This too is a great privilege.
And if you like the canvas flys you see at our gatherings, let me know, I make those too. Shade Cloud.
- Hide Tanning
- Yurt Building
- Fire Making
David is more at home in nature than in a building. It could come from his valued Native American ancestry (Walla Walla & Umatilla tribes) or his adventurous Irish / Scottish roots. Or it may simply be that the Spirit of the Ancient Ones is so much more clear amongst the trees of the forest and the red rock deserts; the Spirit which fills his soul.
Born and raised in Montana, he traded the Bitterroots for higher education. Two bachelors, one masters and two doctorates later, it is still the life in the rustic outdoors that offers the better part of living. With his large family, of course.
Outdoor-related interests include homesteading and primitive living, the atlatl, wooden longbows, kolrosing, the sweat lodge, some metal pounding, and so much more. A hundred lifetimes wouldn’t be enough time to cover the areas of exploration that he has in mind.
“The more I learn, the more I love being a student.”
Tyler Doyle is a survival skills and primitive skills instructor from Bend, OR. He co founded and teaches at Nighthawk naturalist school and has been teaching wildlife tracking and reading the land for over 10 years. He looks forward to nerding out over animal track and sign with everyone at white rock gathering.
Chelsea Ernst is a cofounder of Nighthawk Naturalist School in Bend, OR. She teaches wilderness survival and ecology classes for adults and youth. She has enjoyed studying plants and their wonders for all of her life and especially loves diving into their ethnobotanical uses. She loves that no matter how much you learn about the natural world, it can always teach you more and surprise you; shifting your paradigms when you least expect it. She looks forward to teaching and learning with you all at White Rock Gathering!
Hey, Sam here! I’ll be teaching blacksmithing/bladesmithing.
I’ve taught at various gatherings, and professionally do metal work, specifically crafting knives and axes. I’ll be offering several more beginner focused classes, as well as taking a small group to do a more time intensive and advanced class.
I’m a holistic health practitioner; farmer and maker. I work on a 26 acre farm in southern Oregon growing, cultivating and seed saving natural and organic produce to feed my community and have a particular love for medicinal herbs. I own an organic cosmetics company with my focus on highly effective and nutritive products.
I love spending my time being in the forest gathering wild plants, needle felting and serving my community in non profits to improve our quality of life. I look forward to walking with you, laughing heartily and learning from each other!
Born and raised in beautiful southern Oregon, Jason has been living off grid for 15+ years learning and experimenting with all kinds of primitive skills, including yurt building, alternative structures, felting, solar ovens and cookers, water heaters, and other fun older technologies.
“Wet felting is my passion and what I would like to to share with those interested in an ancient, fun and creative skill that can bring a sense of great achievement by making something that is both functional and artistic
I can also share some alternative cooking stoves and techniques for those interested.”
Originally I’m from Israel. I’ve traveled the world and love learning tribal art, plant medicine, local music, and traditional food everywhere I go.
I’ll be teaching old Appalachian style broom making.
I am a long time resident of Klamath Falls, OR, I have been Flintknapping for 30+ years, percussion and pressure. This will be my first Primitive Skills experience but I’ve been demonstrating and teaching for 15 years at numerous varied events.
In addition to Flintknapping I make and compete with traditional bows and flintlock rifles and pistols. I am also a reasonably accomplished in metal crafting, wood crafting, stone work and leather work.
I have been living a primitive lifestyle for 40 years in a tipi in the mountain forest of North Idaho. I have learned many survival skills and crafts.
I will be teaching a cordage class. All ages 7 and up are welcome.
My name is Brian Deglow and am a member of the American Mountain Men. I have been interested in Native American Plains history as well as the Mountain Men pre 1840 period for over 30 years. My experience to share is traditional hide painting with primitive materials and application. The paints I use are earth pigments with hide glue to make paint and various primitive tools used such as sticks and bone pain brushes. I will be demonstrating painting on tanned hides as well as the rawhide containers known as parflech and the preparation of the primitive paints.
1820’s Fir Trade Era Camp
I will be demonstrating primitive fire making with flint and steel and the bow drill. I will also show my primitive gear and camp items used for my primitive camps, and answer questions about my mountain man camping experiences.
I am a member of the American Mountain Men. My interest in the pre-1840’s fur trade and Native American Plains history and artwork has been a learning experience for over 40 years. Along with my good friend Brian Deglow, I will share my knowledge in painting on tanned hides and rawhide parfleche containers. We will be using traditional earth pigments and hide glue to make our paint. Also offering talks on tipi furnishings and mountain man lifestyles.
Originally from Vermont but a Northern California transplant since 2014. Lily is an herbalist, botanical plant dyer, medicine maker and crafter of many things. She will be offering a hands on Intro to Plant Dye and/or talks about Herbal Medicine Making 101 + Intermediary Methods to boost your apothecary with.
- Bring non-bulky natural fibers you might want to add in the dye pot! Silk, wool, cotton, etc.
Class: Making a Rocky Mountain Dulcimer
Learn to build your own musical instrument in a day
Aaron is a sailing and bushcraft enthusiast fond of teaching young and old tricks with rope and string. When not tangled up with teaching, he is spinning a yarn online or around a fire.
- Knots and cordage – Basic common knots and a couple uncommon tricks with small diameter cordage.
- Rope Making – This will be done with a mechanical device using store bought Sisal, but hand rolling with natural cordage will be discussed.
- Line handling – “Not knot therapy”, we’ll tie that joke in. Basic line handling including coiling, and line tossing.
- Splicing and Whipping – Make a simple becket that is eye-spliced and whipped. Discourse on uses, and related knots.
- Basic Storytelling- I will offer some traditional stories for the campfire, but more broadly present the role of storytelling as a central competency for primitive and modern society.