Natalie Bogwalker ~ Founder and director of Wild Abundance, LLC, the Living Skills School and the Firefly Gathering. Natalie teaches at the Living Skills School, Wild Intelligence, the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, the MAPS meet, Earthskills Rendezvous and has given talks at FSU, Southern Adventist University, Toulane University, Ohio University, Vanderbilt University, Western Washington University and lots of other places. Recently she gave the keynote speech at the Evolver Conference in Atlanta. www.fireflygathering.org
Raven Carlson-Smith ~ Raven Carlson-Smith, aka Candy, is a severely retired Chemical Engineer and Program Manager from a Fortune 500 corporation. She has been 'primitiving' for many years and into retirement formally taking classes since 1998. And also received the gift of reiki healing since that same time becoming a reiki 3 or mastery level through Usui lineage. Although she feels even as a reiki level 3+ trainer and teacher she is foremost a reiki practitioner - always a continuous student. Her first wool blanket coats, capotes, was in !998 and since then has made wool blanket coats and products for others and has taught capote making. She spent 12 years among the Navajo in Arizona and has learned a dash smattering of wool arts and fiber arts. Her life is centered around primitiving with her wondrous teacher husband, Coyote. They travel across this beautiful country at least twice annually to participate in primitive gatherings and love being with family and extended family and friends throughout their travels.
Miranda Coonrod ~ Miranda Coonrod has from a young age been interested in creating things with her hands. That journey has led her from new age craft to the ancient skills; from lace making to naalbinden; from funky spinning to hide tanning, and everywhere between. She desires a self made life with deep connection to fiber, food, community and the world around them and teaches at skills events across the Southeast.
Micaila~Ayorinde Milburn-Thomas - Micaila~Ayorinde Milburn-Thomas has a Bachelors degree in psychology from Bates College, years of corporate experience with ATT, and more than 25 years experience as an actor and singer/songwriter and voice-over artist. She credits her approach to acting to her years of experience with Living Stage theater in Washington DC, where she was trained in improvisational theater techniques for social change. Her more than 20 years of experience in bands, improv troupes and poetry slams from D.C., through New Mexico to North Carolina have given her the chops to create on the spot. Her accreditation in psychology, massage and Reiki therapies as well as her knowledge of nutrition and love of good food, allows her to offer healing comfort in many forms. Her pursuit of hidden Truths and desire to understand deep seeded issues behind racial inequality and social injustice have led her to attend or facilitate workshops conducted by the Race Equity Institute, Race Matters for Juvenile Justice, Race Forward and Brownicity. Strongly influenced by Charles Eisenstein's book entitled "The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible" and other well known authors such as Napoleon Hill and Steven Covey and her investment in the Life Visioning Process a Life coaching course by Mary Morrisey and other life altering processes like Holosync by Bill Harris, Micaila~Ayorinde is developing her own more ethnocentric approach to wellness in order to better serve her community.
We are so very grateful to ALL of these most talented and powerful women who teach for Women's Wilderness Workshops, without you there would be no workshops...
If you are interested in teaching or offering a class please contact us for more information.
Peggy Patrick ~ A native of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and a lifelong musician who enjoys living a traditional mountain lifestyle. Known for her beautiful and functional white oak baskets, she is also skilled in rivercane basketry, trained under the guidance of Emma Garrett of the Cherokee Nation. Peggy is a singer of ballads, a banjo player, a bead worker, and a leather craftsperson. Having studied shoemaking with Sharon Raymond, the late Glen Leasure, and Cliff Pequet, former Master Cordwainer at Williamsburg, she has been making her own shoes since 1995.
Camila Karam ~ Camila Karam has a strong background in Brazilian dance with her specialty being “samba” and the art form of North African dance (belly dance). Ms. Karam has performed in Africa, Europe, Japan, Puerto Rico, Canada, and all over the U.S. She has performed with various Brazilian bands and dance companies that have opened for The Grateful Dead, Cab Calloway, Celia Cruz, Airto-Flora Purim, Rod Stewart and Third World. Her list of teaching credits includes being an instructor and co-director at the Batucaje Escola de Samba, a San Francisco dance project. Camila has taught and performed nationally and internationally.
She was founder and director of NYANSA/SARAVA Dance Co. who perform North African (belly dancing) dance and “samba”. Camila received a B.A. in The Healing Arts and Ethnic dance from New College of California-San Francisco and conducts Earth Goddess Workshops™ that promote well-being, gardening, and respect for the Earth and all life forms.
Ms. Karam is currently studying the art forms of Jazz, Modern and Ballet at Joy of Motion Studios in Washington DC.
Karen Watkins ~ Karen Watkins learned to spin and weave 40 years ago from Barbara Bergman of West Virginia, who was taught by the Shipibo Indians of the Peruvian Rain Forest. From 1976 to 1996, Karen also worked full time repairing antique Oriental carpets and textiles, many of which have been exhibited at the Textile Museum in Washington DC.
During the last 25 years, Karen and her family have been living on their farm in Yancey County, North Carolina.
Christina Gordon - Coordinator and Founder of Women's Wilderness Workshops and Animal Phat. Christina has worked as an Organic Farmer, Brain Tanner, Veterinary Assistant, Soap Maker, Cheese Maker and Educator since 2003. She co-owns/operates Fun Frolic Farm with her partner in Burnsville, NC where she hosts a variety of workshops on sustainable living, dairy goats, soap and cheese making, traditional brain tanning and more. Christina has taught and demonstrated for both public and private schools, national parks, state parks, festivals, community colleges, High Museum of Art and a variety of Primitive Skills events. She also has created a line of all-natural, hand made, old fashion bath and body products based from their farm's goat milk. Please go to www.animalphat.com or www.funfrolicfarm.com for information or year round learning opportunities!
Women's Wilderness Workshops
Robin Blankenship - Owns and operates Earth Knack and has been working in the outdoor field since 1978 when she began leading horse packing trips into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness for Adventure Unlimited Ranches, eventually directing their mountaineering program. She began teaching for Larry Olsen’s School of Urban and Wilderness Survival in 1984, the National Outdoor Leadership School and Outward Bound. She holds a B.A. in English Literature, a minor in Spanish from the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as a B.S. in Education with a Colorado elementary teaching certification. She is the author of Earth Knack Stone Age Skills for the 21st Century, published by Gibbs Smith in 1996. Robin made a friction fire for Katie Couric on The Today Show, has been featured in publications including Outside Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Denver Post, and appeared on Channel 4 news programs in Denver featuring self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyles. www.earthknack.com
Jamie Sparks ~ Founder and Director of Herban Farmacy, Asheville's first Community Supported Herbalism (herbal CSA), which offers seasonal shares of herbal medicine and education to support the journey into the world of herbal medicine. She is also a long time felter, silversmith, dancer, herbalist, massage therapist and more. She teaches for the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine, Earthskills Rendezvous, Florida Earthskills, The Firefly Gathering and many other events. You can either find her in the woods talking to the plants, making some herbal preparation or busy in some amazing craft project. www.herbanfarmacy.org
Sangoma Oludoye ~ Sangoma Oludoye is a traditional Yoruba priestess of Obatala and ancestral custodian of the customs, traditions, codes of conduct for a diversity of cultures. Sangoma lives in Winnfield, Ga. with her husband of 26 years...Eddie Paschal, mother of three daughters, grandmother of 11 Grands and a multitude of tribes and communities throughout the Southeast. Sangoma is an artist, sacred activist and spiritual midwife. The descendent of 7 generations of root medicine people, born in the caul...the gifts of her ancestors in the Cherokee, Dogon, Bombara and Yoruba tribes continue to manifest healing/wholeness for the wounded, downtrodden survivors of cultural amnesia. Sangoma is an elder/instructor/willing vessel to Divinity ....to nurture, tend and be an advocate for the reconnection of humaity with the forces of nature...She teaches us how to keep the ceremony in our everyday lives, find, keep and maintain AT ONE MENT in the seat of the soul through youth summer camps/ On the Forest Floor, Earthskills villages and gatherings, in the celebration of Orisha festivals in Oyotunji, SC or sharing insights and revelations at a solo fire with Coyotes from the Wild Intelligence community in Athens, Ga. www.kindredofsangoma.wordpress.com
Strengthening connections between Women and the Earth.
Mira Brown ~ Mira Brown, raised on a farm in Yancey County, NC, has been a spinner, weaver, basket maker and leather worker since childhood. She'll offer Poplar bark backpack basket making, bone and bamboo needle case making, and card weaving from basic to advanced techniques.
Nancy Basket ~ Nancy Basket learned pine needle basketry from her friend, Judy Arledge, in 1981. She met a Cherokee man, Mr. Lee, in Yakima, Washington at a bead store. He shared his family collection of pine needle baskets with her and the stories behind them. The collection included a cradle board and an effigy bear basket. After offering to buy the collection, he told her, "Your job isn't to buy these baskets. Your job is to make them." Nancy remembered what he told her and to get more instruction, she helped form the first basketry guild in the US. in recent times. This Seattle, Washington group, The Vi Phillips/Northwest Basketweavers Guild is still active.These traditions have been passed down to her children and grandchildren. Her oldest daughter, Jessica, is helping with the business end of basketry, and with the formation of their non profit organization, Native Traditions. www.nancybasket.com/about.htm
Alicia Bliss Hall, ND, RYT ~ Alicia Bliss Hall started her education at the University of Georgia and continued her education at Trinity College of Natural Health, where she received her doctorate in Naturopathy. She is an expert in Nutrition, Iridology, Kinesiology, Herbology, and Yoga and applies these tools to assess each individual’s health concerns. She’s had successful practices in the Western North Carolina region and held weekend retreats and workshops to teach people hands-on approaches to living simply and making medicine. Alicia is also a registered yoga teacher and incorporates balance and structural movement to enhance the healing process. She is an accomplished Herbalist and has developed a skincare line for various skin issues and structural repair. Because of her extensive yoga training along with her handcrafted skincare, she specializes in anxiety, joint pain, blood pressure, sleep, and stress. www.creativelivingwellness.com
Kerry Fulford ~ As a child, I could feel how being close to the natural world helped calm my heart. And now, I am aware of the necessity of being close to the Earth and it's elements to balance my sense of well being. After receiving my BA from the University of Georgia in interpersonal and public communications, I began to attend earth skills gatherings and they were life changing! I served as manager of several health food and medicinal herbal healing stores, attended many herbal courses and apprenticeships and enjoy always continuing to learn. I have attended and taught earth based workshops and facilitated healing ceremonies for several decades. In 1995, I became a certified Yoga Instructor and later studied Yoga as therapy assisting in healing from injury and illness and those with special needs. The incorporation of all these passions and therapeutic massage is at the root of my business Athens Yoga Therapeutics. I have committed my life's work to sharing these connections as a reminder of the real meaning of "first aid" to empower ourselves and help others on our path.