Thursday, January 31, 2013


Shelter Institute power, phones and Internet have all been restored. See you in the store soon!

Temporary Closure

Shelter is temporarily closed today because if a widespread power outage due to high winds. We will re-open as soon as possible and will post updates here and on Facebook. If you need something immediately, please call our main line 206-442-7938 or email and we will arrange to assist you. Thank you very much for your patience and understanding.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Top Bar Beekeeping 101: February 9-10 at Shelter

A New York Times reporter referred to bees as the "angels of agriculture." It's amazing to learn and see how essential bees are to the production of our food.  A recent documentary vividly depicts the threats facing bees. We can help sustain these essential insects by maintaining hives in our own backyards and get the wonderful reward of harvesting honey.

Shelter has again invited guest speaker, Christy Hemenway from Gold Star Honeybees, to offer a two-day "Intensive" beekeeping workshop on Top Bar Beekeeping February 9-10 at the Shelter campus. The class is designed specifically for those who want to get started keeping bees in top bar hives in the 2013 beekeeping season.

This in-depth classwith emphasis on the why of thingscombines important how-to information, history, hive management techniques, and natural disease and pest control methods. You can get started with confidence!

The Weekend Intensive workshop is two full days of "Bee Buzz" and includes the following topics:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Spoon Carving Workshop: Saturday 2/2 at Shelter

Carver Ken Wise
Join us on Saturday, February 2nd, for a full day of carving. Instructor, Ken Wise, has been teaching woodworking and carving for over thirty years. He brings blanks, tools and technique to help you build your skills in carving. This is a hands-on class using, primarily, hand tools. Demonstrations include design and layout, discussion of wood species and selection, tool selection and maintenance, techniques and finish techniques.

All materials and tools are provided for the workshop, but you can also bring any tools you would like to try. Hardwood Blanks are provided for each student but please feel free to bring a special piece of wood if you have one on hand.

Register for the class online, or contact us for more information.
Cost: $45 per person
Date: February 2nd, 2013
Time: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Location: Shelter Campus

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Hori Hori Knives are Back! of you who have used the Hori Hori Knife can understand my excitement. And those of you who have not . . .well NOW is your chance. This is by far the best gardening tool, and I say that from personal gardening experience (despite my black thumb). Numerous master gardeners have verified and confirmed it, as well as the Wall Street Journal (March 26, 2012: Can You Dig It).

A Hori Hori knife is for dirt and roots. It allows you to really dig into the dirt and loosen it to remove thick heavy roots. We ran out of them just before the end of 2012, and now they are back in stock. I know many of you have been waiting for them, so I just wanted to let you know that they are here and ready for you to come and pick up or for us to ship to you. Of course, January and February are not the typical months for purchasing gardening supplies, but while the snow flies we are all dreaming of summer and the veggies and flowers we will grow. Get your supplies ready because spring is just around the corner.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Basic Tools Workshop

You know that piece of trim that needs to be replaced, or the door that sticks in the kitchen, or the light fixture you want to replace. . .you can do it yourself and many other much bigger projects with the right tools!

My Mom always said – a woman may not have the strength to bash a beam into place, but she’ll find a way to get it there one way or another. Having the right tools and creative mentality are key to making that happen. A few years ago I gave a tool talk to an audience of women at a library in Damariscotta – the enthusiasm and standing ovation made me want to offer it at Shelter. Awhile ago I read an article in one of my FAVORITE magazines about tool selection and it was such a disappointment. It didn’t feature any of the really cool tools available. So here is my version of that article in real life. I offered this workshop last year to Women-Only and there was an outcry from the less-experienced men out there interestd in learning some basic tools in a friendly environment so I've opened this workshop up to men and women alike! This workshop will be an easy space to learn about tools and get your feet on the ground, an opportunity to bring your questions and have a discussion!

This is a four-hour workshop on tools—how to assess the problem and visualize practical solutions, what tools to look for, and how to evaluate them based on your use and your budget. We’ll discuss the basic tools you should have in your toolbox regardless of where you fall in the spectrum of house building, renovating, maintaining, and woodworking in general. A base level of knowledge about tools enables you to make confident decisions about where to spend a little extra money and when you can get a base model that will do exactly what you need. I’ll discuss hand tools and power tools and what to look for – which brands are ergonomically friendly and which brands are touting the best battery life! I can’t promise that you’ll never have to deal with a condescending salesman at the hardware store again, but I can promise that you will have confidence to speak clearly and accurately about a tool when you do have to deal with a sales person.

It doesn’t matter whether you're hanging a picture on the wall or building the wall yourself. There are a few select items that will make these projects manageable. We'll have on hand a selection of Shelter's favorite tools for you to handle and try and I’ll show you my absolute favorite essentials that you won’t necessarily find at the big box stores.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Intro to Woodturning Saturday January 19, 2013

If you've interested in wood turning, but haven't gotten the nerve up to begin collecting tools, then this workshop is ideal for you. Spend the morning with Turner and Carver, Ken Hatridge of Tree Trunk Designs. You'll be able to see his techniques and learn about favorite tools and qualities to look for in a lathe. Bring questions for Ken to address. He will discuss essential starter turning tools, the more unusual turning tools, and how you might use them. Ken will discuss wood species, layout, and design as well as tips and techniques for you to try in your own workshop.

Ken worked as a timberwright for seven years at a local timber framing company building beautiful timber frame homes, both far and near, up and down the coast of Maine.

During this time he was able to master his hand tool-skills and also began to specialize in carving decorative details and lettering on the timberframes.

Ken has trained in the art of woodturning and strives to continually learn more and experiment with new skills and techniques. He has been trained in cabinetry and millwork, is an active member of the Southern Maine Woodturners, and is a member of the American Association of Woodturners. Frequently Ken does woodturning demonstrations at meetings and shows.

Seating is on a first-come first-served basis for this workshop, and the workshop is capped at 15 students. Register in advance to ensure your seat!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Shelter's 2013 Class Schedule

Dogs love Shelter!
The 2013 Shelter classes have begun! We've kicked off the year with our winter Purely Post & Beam Course. (Follow us on Facebook and see the class in action.) If you've considered taking a class at Shelter, make this the year to join us at our Woolwich, Maine campus.

We've added classes this year to our Design Build, Post and Beam, and weekend workshop series offerings. We've changed our schedule a bit over the past month (to make room for returning to the Common Ground Fair), so if you received a class schedule in the mail, be sure to check for schedule changes in our fall offerings.