Bowmaking Workshops

Make a bow and arrows in Rincon Valley, Santa Rosa, California
The bowmaking workshops are a series of sessions where you reserve time to work on your project. We have group, family or individual workshops for all skill levels. The plan for each project depends on what you want to do and what skills & materials you need to get it done. Shooting proficiency is not required to make a bow. If you’re new or returning to archery, we recommend the “Bowmaking – Orientation” workshop below or one of the shooting classes on our “Archery Lessons” webpage.    

For all bowmaking classes:
Weekday and weekend workshops are available year-round to fit your schedule.
Go to the SIGN-UP PAGE to reserve your project time. We will email confirm with directions and parking. Cash or check payable to Mark Smith at start of workshop.

Bowmaking – Orientation   

This is where we start if you want to make a bow and you do not have previous experience or you want to engage in advanced bowmaking. We don’t make things in this class, we learn how it’s done & what to expect. The class reveals a “how & why” to one of our most ancient method arts. We compare wooden bows & arrows to factory made materials and review what skills & behaviors are required to make wooden bows. Along the way, we will cover some history, science, art and primitive skills. Demonstration & evaluation will be hands-on, using woodcraft tools, tiller sticks and trying out a few bows. We arrive at your measure and choose the right project that matches your size, crafting level, shooting level and expectations. This class is not required before making a bow, but highly recommended for the first time archer and first time bowmaker.
$30 Bowmaking Orientation class 
Time: 4hrs typically 9am-1pm,  or  3pm-7pm

Bowmaking – Craft 

Here is where we focus on creating your bow. Archery proficiency is not required, but basic shooting skill will come in handy. The bow staves are prepared to different levels of completion, so people can select & complete a bow within their skill level. We will methodically teach the wood to bend perfectly by repeating the crafting process: exercise/measure/scribe/tiller. Tillering is removing shavings of wood in just the right place in just the right amount. We will explore several methods, hand tools and work techniques to shape the limbs and handle. When the bow reaches the desired performance, we will seal the wood or create wood dyes and then seal the bow. Stock bow materials are straight-grain seasoned hickory and heat-treated planed Moso bamboo. Class hours are flexible, we take lots of tiny breaks and you can come & go. We recommend reserving 2 long  days or 4 short days. Bring your snacks or there are grocery & restaurant services about a half mile away. We have an outdoor sitting space, cooking area and water available. NOTE: The work will require hand & finger strength endurance, ample fortitude and keen attention to small changes. Adult helpers are required for youth bow projects.
Bowmaking Craft classes
$100 Youth bow, adult helper required
$147 Native Plains Longbow, beginner skill level
$157 Native Plains Longbow, beginner skill level, long length
$177 Modoc Hunting Bow, intermediate skill level
$297 Bamboo Reflex Deflex, advanced skill level
Time: 20hrs, any day, example: 2 days 9am-7pm  or  4 short days   

Bowmaking – Arrows and Tuning 

This class is open to all folks that need traditional arrows. Some basic shooting skill is required. Arrows carry their own chapter of science; and require the archer & bow to prove the right arrow for the best flight. Your tests may point to adjusting brace height, nock height, arrow length, arrow weight, arrow spine, making a bowstring, shooting technique and so on. After we dial-in the bow and find your arrow recipe, we make six Port Orford cedar arrows with Trueflight feathers. Extra arrows and hunter practice sets are available. Bring your notepad; there will be lots of detail regarding your parts & specs, accessories, tournaments and more.
$60 Arrow and Tuning class
includes 6 fieldpoint premium arrows
add $10/bowstring, $6/extra arrow, $9/broadhead
Time: 4hrs, typically 9am-1pm,  or  3pm-7pm

Mobile Workshops – archery craft and culture  

We offer a variety of mobile workshops featuring archery crafts or demonstration  – set up in your space – designed for your group, gathering, school or organization. Typically, the mobile workshops are scheduled as a 3 to 5 day event, or they span a couple weekends. We offer basic, select or comprehensive mobile workshops including almost everything archery:
– crafting series: longbows, arrows, atlatls, darts, tuning and leather accessories.
– culture series: history, art, science, games, practice & bowhunter setups.
The CALENDAR PAGE shows fun archery events and our mobile workshops.
Email or call for detail and planning.     


Archery Lessons

  • Discover traditional archery in a comfortable informal setting.
  • Available year round for all ages and all skill levels.
  • Schedule your practice, bring your friends, play some archery games.
  • Click on ARCHERY LESSONS PAGE for more info