Ada MooreFiber Crafts
Brandon’s interest in pottery began when he was fifteen. In 2013 he began taking lessons at Homestead Pottery. At the age of eighteen, he began a two-year apprenticeship and is now currently a journeyman potter. He is perfecting his skill and is one of Ploughshare’s main teachers for the pottery courses. Brandon enjoys teaching pottery and throwing a number of pieces such as Homestead pottery’s lacto-fermentation crocks and a line of horsehair Raku.Pottery
Butch speaks regularly to groups locally and nationwide on the issues of sustainable agriculture based upon his 35 years of experience as a gardener and farmer. As an instructor at The Ploughshare for the past 21 years, he has taught sustainable farming and ranching to hundreds of beginning and experienced farmers and gardeners. He has also developed numerous courses and published curriculum on these topics.
In addition to teaching and research, he is a farm and ranch consultant with Homestead Farm Design. Butch and his wife, Diane, along with their children and grandchildren own and operate Aquilla Valley Farm, a small, diversified family farm north of Waco, Texas.Gardening Homesteading
Master blacksmith Caleb Nolen began learning blacksmithing at age 14, and for more than two decades has been a fixture at Heritage Forge. He continues to expand his skills, having recently studied under noted blacksmith Tsur Sadan, as well as at the renowned Granfor Bruks Forge in Sweden, learning traditional axe making. Caleb crafts both tools and custom furniture and received recognition by his peers with the 2010 Texas Furniture Makers Best of Show award.
Caleb lives near campus with his wife Rebekah, a cheese-making instructor at The Ploughshare, and two sons.Blacksmithing
Cary has been making cheese with her family for over ten years. She has taught classes for The Ploughshare and demonstrated and taught seminars at various sustainability conferences. She enjoys sharing her delight in watching liquid milk turn into a variety of delicious soft and hard cheeses. Through her experience in making small batches of cheese at home, she now inspires others to provide their own families with fresh, homemade dairy products, including butter, yogurt, mozzarella and cheddar.Cheesemaking
For more than 25 years Cindy has been teaching classes on Machine Sewing, as well as traditional Quilting. In addition to teaching, she’s also developed extensive curriculums to help other instructors. The mother of two accomplished seamstresses, together they operate Simply Fabrics, an artisan quilting and fabric store. A mother of six, and grandmother of many and counting, Cindy lives near the campus with her husband Warren.Sewing
Cynthia VidaurretaSourdough Breads
Elizabeth Adams first learned to make soap from her mother when she was nineteen. Since then, her family and friends have been the glad beneficiaries of her soap-making endeavors. She apprenticed under two master soap makers who taught her more advanced skills. For the past five years, Elizabeth has enjoyed teaching students with Ploughshare from as far away as Mexico, South Africa and the Netherlands.Soapmaking
Grady is the farm manager at Homestead Heritage. After growing up on a holistically-minded cattle and sheep ranch in southwest Oklahoma, Grady apprenticed at Polyface Farm to learn directly from Joel Salatin. Two years later, he and his new family managed a Polyface rental farm in Middlebrook, Virginia where they cared for cattle, pigs, laying hens, broiler chickens, and turkeys, all raised on pasture. In 2014, Grady and his family moved to Texas to help start a large-scale pastured poultry enterprise on an existing ranch. They are now full-time farmers at Homestead Heritage where Grady manages day-to-day work on the farm.Horse Farming
Hannah began making soap 17 years ago at her home in Central Texas. Over the years, she has continued making basic soap for her family and has expanded her skills to make specialty soaps with a variety of minerals and other ingredients to add color and texture. For the last 7 years she has been teaching soap making with the Ploughshare, where she shares her enjoyment of this craft and has inspired many others to take up soap making.Soapmaking
Hannah grew up in multiple foreign countries including England and Panama. She now lives on her family’s 67-acre farm and tends large gardens, integrating fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs, and saving open-pollinated seeds. She regularly makes a variety of cheeses from her family’s herd of Nubian goats. Hannah inspires many students at The Ploughshare with her experiential knowledge in gardening, homesteading and cheesemaking.Gardening
Guest Instructor: Joanne Hall
Joanne is a nationally known weaver who has been weaving since 1968 and teaching weaving since 1971. One of her main interests is Swedish weaves, both decorative weaves and drall weaves. Joanne is well known as a tapestry weaver and teacher. She also teaches rigid heddle and other types of weaving on small looms.Weaving
Joe Slack has 30 years’ experience crafting wood. Having played guitar for 40 years, he continues to play and also teach guitar lessons. Joe teaches guitar making through seminars and workshops here at the woodworking school. His goal is to help each student make a quality instrument and continue guitar making at home.
Born and raised in England, Kay Toombs first learned from her mother how to knit, at age 10. A former Baylor University professor, Kay holds a PhD in Philosophy and speaks nationally on issues regarding illness and suffering in the context of intentional Christian Community. A frequently published author, she’s penned numerous medical journal articles, as well as publishing several books including, The Human Dimension, Thinking Outside the Box, Living and Dying with Dignity, and Living at the Boundary.
You’ll find Kay most afternoons at the Homestead Fibercrafts studio, where she teaches knitting and rigid heddle weaving classes, crafts custom pieces, and oversees the “Elevenses” (daily tea time) for weaver’s, knitters, spinners, and whoever else happens to wander in.Knitting
Krista first learned simple hand sewing skills at the age of 5, and then learned to sew on a foot powered treadle machine at age 9. In her teenage years she began custom sewing for friends and neighbors and creating a line of clothing patterns. She also helped develop the Ploughshare’s sewing curriculum. She has been teaching sewing classes at Ploughshare for the last 11 years. Krista especially enjoys crafting fine tailored garments from hand-woven fabric.Sewing
At the age of 9, Mark’s interest in woodworking began, which led him to begin an apprenticeship with Homestead Heritage Furniture at the age of 17. In his own shop he has built many pieces of furniture from small dovetail boxes to large 10′ round conference tables. Most of his work has been for clients who have ordered custom pieces for their homes and offices. Mark has been building custom furniture for the last 20 years and is now the manager of the Heritage Furniture business.
Mark enjoys making hand tools and jigs that can simplify the building process. He has taught children how to shape simple utensils like wooden spoons and cutting boards as well as other larger projects. “Seeing the young grow to maturity in their craft is what I appreciate.”Woodworking
For over 25 years, Matthew has enjoyed raising poultry with his family. Over the past few years, he has begun breeding a flock of Black Australorp chickens, working to adapt them as for use on a family homestead, to produce eggs and meat and to hatch and raise offspring.Poultry
Melissa has been teaching others to make bread for nearly 25 years. She’s taught students as young as age 5 and as old as 97 and believes anyone can learn the skill. Also an avid guitar player, she bought her first guitar as a teenager, with money she earned baking. Now a mother of six, she also helps her husband John run their family feed business: Texas Natural Feeds.Breadmaking
Rachel has been weaving for over 20 years, as well as sewing and knitting. She’s also an accomplished spinner, having won numerous awards and medals. Rachel’s studied with noted instructor Joanne Hall as well as with English weaver Jason Collingwood.Weaving
Rachel has been making soap for 20 years. Her enjoyment of this craft, along with encouragement from family and friends, led her to open Artista Naturals as an outlet for her specialty soaps and soap making supplies, which she sells at at Homestead Craft Village. Rachel has been teaching for the last 12 years and helped develop the curriculum that is now used in the Ploughshare soap making classes.Soapmaking
For more than a decade Rebekah has been teaching soft and hard cheese making classes at The Ploughshare. She started making cheese in small batches at home and later honed her craft at Brazos Valley Cheese, which during her time there, won multiple awards from the American Cheese Society. She’s also studied under renowned French cheese maker Ivan Larcher. Rebekah lives near campus with her husband Caleb, a blacksmithing instructor at The Ploughshare, and two sons.Cheesemaking
Robin Wilson first ventured into the art of soap making more than 30 years ago. Since then, she has taught dozens of students to make soap and natural cleaning products as an instructor at Ploughshare. One of her favorite aspects of teaching is to hear back from students later about the soap they have crafted in their own kitchens as a result of the class.
In addition to teaching, Robin has explored a variety of methods and techniques for soapmaking and has developed a line of natural soap and body care products offered through Heritage Soap Company.
Ruth teaches Canning and Preserving and assists with the Bread Making and Weaving classes. The daughter of Gardening instructor Butch Tindell, Ruth has grown up in the classroom and finds great fulfillment in being able to impart craft and homesteading skills to others. She lives on a nearby grass fed cattle ranch with her husband Peter and their two young children.Breadmaking Canning
Sarah lives on her family’s farm, “Double Yew Family Farm” just north of Waco, where she can often be found in her kitchen preparing their fresh produce or making cheese from their rich, Nubian goat milk and experimenting with lacto-fermentation. She also makes functional baskets and inspires students at The Ploughshare with all of these skills and crafts.Cheesemaking
Stan Beckworth began his woodworking career in 1983. His wide experience in woodworking enables him to teach as a practicing master craftsman. He began woodworking because of a desire to work with his hands and pass some hand skills to his children. Some of the classes he teaches are the Finishing class, Relief Carving class, Foundational Classes and the Advanced Furniture courses, such as the Chest of Drawers and Rocking Chair classes.
Stan has spent a lot of time learning about furniture finishes, as well as relief carving, studying with Mary May, a renowned woodcarver in South Carolina.
When Stan isn’t teaching, he runs a small remodeling business at his home and builds and refinishes furniture for different clients. He has been commissioned to make furniture for several congressmen as well as refinishing furniture for past presidents. ”Being able to pass on practical skills that are useful for everyday application is what I love to do.”
Sue has, for the last seven years, managed and overseen the Homestead Fibercrafts shop in addition to teaching classes on spinning with the drop spindle and Tahkli. She’s studied with master handspinner Patsy Zawistoski, as well as attended classes at the Vavstuga Swedish Weaving School. She lives nearby with her husband Gary on their homestead, where she makes her own cheese and enriches the lives of her numerous grandchildren.Spinning
Tara MartinezFamily Goat
Yohannah began weaving on a rigid heddle loom when she was ten. At thirteen, she apprenticed with Ann Chase, of Martha’s Vineyard, where she was living at the time. Using the techniques she learned, Yohannah began weaving and selling small items to neighbors and at craft fairs on Martha’s Vineyard island. Over the next five years, she saved enough to buy her first floor loom and three Corridale sheep. She continues this business to this day, selling custom weaving through the Homestead Gift Barn and Homestead Fiber Crafts. Yohannah has taken classes with Jason Collingwood, Becky Ashendon, Joanne Hall, Su Buttler and Jette Vandermeiden.
Yohanna has been recognized over the years with several awards from the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas guild, including an Award of Excellence, and Best of Show.Weaving