The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Archive for the category “artisan”

Intro to Drop Spindles

Ruthann McCaulley talks about different kinds of spindles and how to use them.

So You Want to Be A Blacksmith

“how to get started in blacksmithing.”

How to Make Seitan

“Step by step video instruction on how to make seitan from wheat flour.”

You are washing away the starch in the flour and isolating the gluten (protein) in the wheat flour, so if you have issues with gluten, this is NOT for you.

Note that things will go even more quickly if you use gluten flour (a more expensive option).

How to Make Tofu

“Complete video directions for making tofu at home.”

Cultured Pickling

“Heres the clichĂ©: Alex Hozven craved pickles when she was pregnant with her first son, 12 years ago. And the twist: She started her own pickling business. The Cultured Pickle Shop sells pickles ranging from classic sauerkrauts to unusual kimchees and Kombuchas—way beyond the sour dill. But its the experiments, like the mysterious nuka pot or pickled blood oranges, that really get Hozven excited. Theres plenty of zing, zest, pow in all her pickles, though.”

Alex’s shop is in Berkeley, California.

Making Halloumi Cheese

How to make halloumi cheese at home, simply presented by Guru Ted in New Zealand.

I had no idea it could be so easy — and inexpensive — to make.

Here’s halloumi being produced on a larger scale in the traditional manner in Lysi, Cyprus. Notice how they use baskets as molds.

Using ‘Natural’ Clay to Make Pottery

These videos were eye-openers for me, because I hadn’t really thought of clay in the soil as anything other than a nuisance and certainly hadn’t thought of using it for anything.

Here we learn how to find and clean clay found in a river bank. There seem to be two methods of cleaning ‘natural’ clay. One is to dry the clay and then powder it and put it through a sifter screen, the other is to put a slurry of wet clay through a sieve. I haven’t tried either, though the wet method looks easier.

“Is mixing your clay economical. I hear arguments on both sides. But I think it’s important that you know how.”

Here wildmudpottery finds clay in a trench dug for a pipeline and uses the second wet method of cleaning the clay.

Cheesemaking in the City

Portland, Oregon resident, Claudio Lucero shows us her work as a cheesemaker and how it connects with local dairy farmers.

Urban Cheesecraft from Etsy on Vimeo.

Sweetgrass Basketmaking

Basket maker Vera Manigault talks about the history and culture of sweetgrass baskets. She also shows us the tools she uses to craft the baskets and how to harvest the materials (bullrush, palmetto, sweetgrass, long pine needles) used in them. She notes that as the South Carolina coastline has developed access to the basket making materials has been cut off. In most cases, large areas of marshland where the plants grow have been cleared for development.

Basketmaker, Joseph Foreman talks more about making good sweetgrass baskets:

Making Oak Gall Ink/Dye Using Acorns

Larry Vienneau shows us how to make oak gall ink using the more readily available acorns. This is a dark-brown-black ink. He writes:

“Iron Oak Gall Ink was used for hundreds of years until modern archival inks arrived. This is the same ink used to sign the Declaration of Independence and to write most Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts.”

He notes that a similar ink was also used as a dye by Native Americans.

What you’ll need: clean whole acorns (no other debris), vinegar, gum arabic (or honey, which he says works just as well as a binder), a slow cooker, a wide-mouthed funnel, cheesecloth, a strainer, iron (rusty nails, steel wool, etc. or iron tablets from the health food store), a preservative (he uses solvent alcohol).

It can take up to a week to make the ink.

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