2020 November - Workshop Weekend, Wilhelminaoord (NL)


Ever wanted to learn how to weave, make glass beads or carve spoons? Now is your chance. November 6-8, EXARC organises a workshop weekend in the Netherlands. This is especially geared towards those working with ancient techniques, in experimental archaeology, but also in live interpretation. Most, but not all participants will be from the Netherlands, but we look forward to people from abroad. This means that although Dutch will be spoken, we aim to accommodate to non-Dutch speakers as well. 

EXARC will offer a host of different workshops to choose from, and if you like you can learn something new every day. The weekend will take place in Wilhelminaoord, in a large hostel-like building with enough classrooms and in the back yard a prehistoric village. This is the perfect place for both indoor and outdoor teaching of ancient technology. We will follow all Covid-19 measures in place at that time but technically have place for about one hundred participants. 

The weekend is open to EXARC members and non-members alike. The participation fee (also for workshop coordinators) covers accommodation and subsistence. During daytime, participants will be engaged in hands-on activities. Depending on your choice of workshop, you pay a small extra fee, straight to the coordinator of that specific activity. In the evening, we eat together and may have a few speakers presenting interesting stories after that. 

Interested? Please email info@exarc.net.

How to get there

The nearest train station is Steenwijk. From there, take a bus, line 517/519 towards Wolvega via De Blesse. It leaves from Platform B and takes 16 minutes. It seems to run every hour. The bus stop is called "Wilhelminaoord, de Menning". From there it is 4 minutes walk to the Buitencentrum: Kon. Wilhelminalaan 24, 8384 GH Wilhelminaoord.


The main uncertainty about the Workshop Weekend is the possible influence of COVID-19, for example to the maximum number of participants. The Centre has about 90 beds in 22 rooms and we hope to be allowed to use them all. We will set the price for accommodation and food shortly before we open registration, which we expect to take place on July 15. This basic fee for the weekend will probably be between 125 and 175 EUR per person, with a 20 EUR discount for EXARC members and those teaching a workshop.


We will update the program by adding more workshops in the near future.


Workshop Braiding Techniques with Vegetable Fibers

Workshop Braiding Techniques with Vegetable Fibers
by Dorothee Olthof

Plant fibres are the oldest textile material of humankind. A recent discovery of a 40,000-year-old tree bark string made by a Neanderthal man confirms that again. Cordage, nets, baskets, fish traps, hats, coats, knife sheaths, shoes and possibly whole garments of lime bast, willow bast, sedges, rushes, nettle, flax, elm bast and grasses... read more ↓

Time: 3 hours
Participants: maximum 8 people per group
Minimum age: 10 years old
Costs: € 20 per person

About Dorothee Olthof: Your workshop leader is Dorothee Olthof from PRAE, archaeology and education. She has a lot of experience in giving textile and other workshops to young and old, from Leiden to South Korea.


Workshop Glass Bead MakingWorkshop Glass Bead Making
by Hans van Paassen

The oldest glass beads are around 3,500 years old and come from Egypt and Mesopotamia. The art of making glass beads has since spread to the rest of the world. In the early Middle Ages, glass beads were made over clay ovens. These ovens were fired on charcoal and probably blown with bellows... read more ↓

Time: 3 hours
Participants: maximum 3 people per group
Minimum age: 16 years old
Costs: € 30 per person including material and the beads you make

About Hans van Paassen: ...


Workshop NeedlebindingWorkshop Needlebinding | Nålbinding
by Rian van Zantvoort

Nålbinding is one of the oldest handcraft techniques. The oldest needlebinding (so far) has been found in a cave in Israel and are about 10,000 years old. One of the first needle-stitched garments is a pair of sandal socks from Egypt. They are made somewhere between 250 and 420 AD and perfectly preserved... read more ↓

Time: 3 hours
Participants: 4-6 people per group
Minimum age: 12 years old
Costs: € 30 per person, this includes the materials, a bone needle, a ball of wool and the needle binding booklet.

About Rian van Zantvoort: ...


Carving SpoonsWorkshop Spoon Carving
by Tom Hendriks

Learn the age old craft of spoon carving in this workshop. Participants will get a roughly pre-formed spoon or spatula to practice different carving skills on. All tools and materials will be provided by the workshop leader. Participants who wish to do so can buy a carving knife for an extra ca. € 20.

Time: 4-6 hours
Participants: 5-6 people per group
Minimum age: 16 years old
Costs: € 50 per person

About Tom Hendriks: I have followed several professions, like work in the architectural world, being a cultural worker, tour guide and having had my own eatery and massage therapy. However, I also like to work with my hands in a different way, with wood. I have been involved in historical festivals for a while now and for that I taught myself to cut spoons and make other things out of wood. More information