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Snowshoe Construction: Build Your Own

Course Overview

Carve, bend and lace your own pair of wooden snowshoes in the traditional Ojibwe style. Pointed at both ends, this snowshoe design is efficient for travel through both wooded areas or across frozen lakes and open expanses. During the evening session, students will steam bend and shape ash frames. For the remaining three days of class, students will mortise in crosspieces with simple hand tools and learn traditional techniques for lacing their shoes using lightweight, hollowed nylon cord. Traditional bindings will be provided and their uses will be covered in detail. The end result is a satisfying reflection of craftsmanship and skills handed down through the generations. This course is scheduled for a full three days in order to allow enough time for students to completely finish lacing both snowshoes and to return home with a finished project, to provide for a comfortable pace throughout the class, and to create opportunities to participate in parts of the Winterer’s Gathering and Arctic Film Festival. Students who work quickly or feel confident in completing their work at home could plan to leave earlier than 5 PM on the last day.

In the November 2019 session, students are highly encouraged, though not required to attend a session on Wednesday, November 20 from 5pm-8pm to bend their frames. The frames will set-up on Thursday and class will re-commence Friday-Sunday to complete the project, allowing students to go hiking, take another course or enjoy a day off on the North Shore on Thursday. Students unable to attend the Wednesday evening session will have frames prepared for them by the instructor.

November 20, 5-8pm: Optional Frame Bending session

November 21: no scheduled activities

November 22, 9am-5pm: Course officially begins

November 23, 9am-5pm: Course continues

November 24, 9am-5pm: Course ends 


Fri, Nov 22nd, 2019  –  Sun, Nov 24th, 2019

Course Details

Length: 3 Days, plus an optional 5pm-8pm session
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: 9am-5pm, plus an optional 5pm-8pm bending session offered 11/20/2019
Intergenerational age: 16+
Registration Cost: $365.00
Includes materials fee of $65.00

Required Tools

You will need the following tools for this class:

  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • leather gloves

Optional Tools

  • square
  • block plane

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.