Please help me to build a unique Centre for teaching Ancient Skills! I am in the process of looking for a plot of land in Sweden on which to develop this school. I would deeply appreciate a hand in getting the Centre for Ancient Technologies on its feet!
If sharing financially is tough, I completely understand, and it would be just as helpful to me if you could share the link!
SPOILER ALERT!!! If you've not watched the season finale of Alone Season 8, then best give this a miss until you have!
The experience I had while on the land for Alone was absolutely amazing.... The scenery was incredible, the water was clean, and the land was…well, challenging! It tested me, it tested my mental and physical skill set, and it tested my ability to innovate and make the best life possible out of the resources I had on my section.
The fishing, hunting and trapping was bang-your-head-against-a wall-tough, due in no small part to local regulations. This meant that I had to fill my belly via gathering - the same way groups of people the world over have done since time immemorial.
Gathering has always filled the gaps between bouts of successful hunting, fishing and trapping, and stored plant foods are often the difference between making it through a winter, dry season or wet season. Not to mention they provide fibre and nutritional content that allows our bodies to function at their best.
The last two episodes were tough to watch. While it was fascinating to see the different strategies that allowed us all to get as far as we did, it was clear that despite our individual successes, we were all struggling to provide enough calories to sustain our bodies. In the end the medical crew made the decision that I had put mine through enough and I had to walk away without the prize money.
I have been blown away by the number of people asking if they can donate to my van remodel project or even my retirement fund!
But I am an educator. Bringing together academic knowledge about the past and the deep understanding of materials and processes possessed by craft practitioners is at the heart of what I do. My time on Alone has only solidified my desire to develop the Centre for Ancient Technologies!
If you want to help me, then help me do what I do - share knowledge!
I went on Alone for the experience… no one lasts a week if they are there just for the cash, as money becomes a very abstract concept when you spend a large portion of your time thinking about what to eat next.
However, the prize money was a major motivation in my participation, as it represented the ability to purchase land from which to run a school for teaching and researching ancient technologies!
Your donations will go to support the development of a Centre for Ancient Technologies where a guiding ethos will be equal opportunity access to information and skill acquisition.
Knowledge belongs to everyone, and access should not be thwarted by financial barriers.
I have been in a position where I have missed out on opportunities to attend courses or even purchase books or journals because I simply couldn’t afford them. One of my life goals has been to be able to offer knowledge for a reasonable price. While we all have to eat there are ways in which a school can break down some barriers to access information and share skills.
- Offering family housing during courses, where a student can bring their family with them and have a place for them to stay while they study;
- Free housing for guest instructors while they are present on site, who in return for this offer one or two scholarship places on each course they teach;
- Offering prices on a sliding scale for outreach work at open air museums based on the financial capability of each museum.
I have spent two trips scounting likely areas and properties over the last year with an eye to purchasing the land in late Spring 2023. I have settled on the area to the west of Lake Vanern, near the Norwegian border (feel free to google the name of the lake and have a nose around, it's a beautiful area). I hope to have the school operational within two years!
I often straddle two worlds, craft and academic, and it can be challenging to make a living from either without committing fully to only one side of the coin. However, I fill an unusual niche between arts and science, and bringing scientific evidence together with hands-on practical knowledge is important to me.
I am committed to open access to information and, as such, I self- and crowd-funded the publication of my PhD so that the information it contained would be freely available rather than housed in a difficult and/or expensive publishing house.
I want to continue to bring together academic information and craft knowledge so both can benefit from each other. These types of collaboration produce research which is far superior to what can often be accomplished with only one angle.
This is the vision that you will be helping to support!
This is the legacy I want to leave behind.
Your help in making this school a reality would mean more than I can express. More importantly, it will help preserve and expand the knowledge of our past and how the skills practised by our ancestors can improve our lives today. These skills belong to the world, and everyone should have the chance to learn if they so choose.