The Craftmasters' Festival of Heritage Crafts

Due to low bookings, the Colonial Baking & Printing Workshops have been cancelled.

The Blacksmith Workshops will still proceed on Sunday and Monday has sold out, with some spaces still available for Saturday (as at 9 am Friday)


Labour Weekend: 23, 24 & 25 October 2021

Christchurch Heritage FestivalJoin us for a weekend of practical workshops learning from skilled craftspeople, using traditional techniques and heritage equipment to bake, print and forge.

The museum will also be open to visitors (standard entry prices apply), and accommodation is available in the Bay at the Museum bach,  Grandstand Bunkroom, Lyndhurst Farm Stay and Okains Bay Camping Ground. 

Tickets are available on Eventfinda.
Food will be available for purchase in the Museum Tearoom and the Okains Bay Store.

Listen to Blacksmith Les Schenkel and Colonial Baker Tanya Markham talk to RNZ’s Lynn Freeman about their crafts and the festival on Standing Room Only.


You’ll be guided by Howard Pettigrew, former President of the Ferrymead Printing Society, passionate letterpress printer and organiser of the Waitangi Day activities in the Printshop.


Half-Day Workshop:

Participants will explore the wonderful world of letterpress printing using the Museumʻs vintage printing presses.

The workshops will immerse you in the process of setting a quote or favourite saying of your choice in metal type, learning about locking up and ʻmake-readyʻ, and how to ink up and print your creation on our vintage printing presses.

Participants will also explore the setting and using larger type and graphic blocks on our flatbed presses.

Plenty of opportunities will be provided for participants to indulge their creative side.


  • Two sessions available on Saturday 23 October:
    • 9 am – 12 pm
    • 1 pm – 4 pm
  • Tutor: Howard Pettigrew
  • Maximum 10 participants per workshop
  • All materials will be supplied. Bring or buy your lunch on-site (cash only).
  • Cost: $55 (plus booking/credit card fees). Book on Eventfinda.

Please note: this workshop involves operating old and sometimes heavy equipment. Participants should wear appropriate clothing, covered footwear and have no loose clothing or hair.


One and a Half Day Workshop:

Participants will be introduced to the development of typography and printing through a short ʻtimeline tourʻ of the printing machinery within the Chris Pryor Printshop before exploring the wonderful world of letterpress printing using the Museumʻs vintage printing presses.

Explore and use the wonderful collection of metal type in the Print Shop and work through the process of setting a quote or poem in metal type in preparation for printing.

The importance of learning about spacing and locking up to ʻmake-readyʻ, and how to ink up and print your work on a variety of press types will be a prominent part of the course.

You will also explore the setting and using larger type and graphic blocks on our flatbed presses which will provide opportunities to explore our range of inks and paper in colour creative ways.

You’ll be guided by Howard Pettigrew, former President of the Ferrymead Printing Society, passionate letterpress printer and organiser of the Waitangi Day activities in the Printshop. day or so if participants wish to further extend their printing skills on a range of presses.


  • This is a one and 1/2 day Workshop:
    • Sunday 24 October: 9 am – 12 pm and 1 pm – 4 pm
    • Sunday 25 October: 9 am – 12 pm
  • Tutor: Howard Pettigrew
  • Maximum 10 participants per workshop
  • All materials will be supplied. Bring or buy your lunch on-site (cash only).
  • Cost: $150 (plus booking/credit card fees). Book on Eventfinda.

Please note: this workshop involves operating old and sometimes heavy equipment. Participants should wear appropriate clothing, covered footwear and have no loose clothing or hair.

One day each year on Waitangi Day, the Colonial Oven is fired up overnight so visitors can enjoy Tanya's legendary buns and pizza, baked and sold fresh from the outdoor oven. Crowds line up to buy these delights and outrageous deals are done for fear of missing out and having to wait another year!

We are so very lucky to have Tanya and Ron for an exclusive weekend of workshops to share with you their passion for this heritage craft.

During these exclusive workshops, Tanya will share her recipes and guide you through baking your own Colonial buns and pizza dough in the Museum’s heritage oven. And you'll get to eat the results!


Session times are:

  • 9 am – 12 pm, Sunday 24 October 2021
  • 1 pm – 4 pm, Sunday 24 October 2021

  • Tutors: Tanya Markham and Ron Vos
  • Maximum 10 per workshop
  • Cost: $55 (plus booking/credit card fees). Book on Eventfinda.

Please note: this workshop involves handling food items. Please bring your own apron, tea towel and container. Workshop participants will not be involved in operating the colonial oven.

Master Blacksmith Les Schenkel,  Farrier John Thacker and Blacksmith Thung Chutrchaivech will demonstrate the art and skill of working the forge to craft beautiful items from metal out of the museum's forge.

You will then work one-on-one with them to forge your own piece which you can take home with you to show off to friends and family.


Session times are:

  • Saturday 23 October 2021: 10 am – 2 pm
  • Sunday 24 October 2021: 10 am – 2 pm
  • Monday 25 October 2021: 10 am – 2 pm

  • Tutors: Les Schenkel, John Thacker and Thung Chutrchaivech
  • Maximum 10 per workshop
  • Cost: $55 (plus booking/credit card fees). Book on Eventfinda.

Please note: This workshop involves working in an environment with extreme heat, noise and other potential hazards. It involves physical work hammering steel. You will need to bring your own gloves, protective goggles and earplugs.  Participants should wear appropriate clothing, covered footwear and have no loose clothing or hair.


Festival Timetable:

Saturday 23 October 2021
•  Printing – an Introduction: 9 am – 12 pm
•  Blacksmithing: 10 am – 2 pm
•  Printing – an Introduction: 1 pm – 4 pm

Note: Saturday’s Colonial Baking Workshops have been cancelled.

Sunday 24 October 2021
•  Printing – Intermediate Part 1: 9 am – 4 pm
•  Colonial Baking: 9 am – 12 pm
•  Blacksmithing: 10 am – 2 pm
•  Colonial Baking: 1 pm – 4 pm

Monday 25 October 2021
•  Blacksmithing: 10 am – 2 pm