Waldorf Handwork Educators Hybrid Conference

Fibers & Spindle.HEIC

Are you in Australia, the Philippines, or SE Asia? We are organizing a special hybrid conference just for your time zone! August 14, 21, 28, 2021 (Saturdays in your part of the world). 


6:30am - 9:30am India

8am - 11am Vietnam

9am - 12pm Western Australia; Hong Kong; Beijing, China; Singapore; Malaysia; Philippines

10am - 1pm Japan

11am - 2pm Sydney, Australia

1pm - 4pm New Zealand

Double check your time zone at https://everytimezone.com/

Join us ONLINE as we enter 3rd grade handwork, the 9 year change, practical arts, and child development. The handwork curriculum is one long continuous thread, leading to and drawing from each stage of child development.


  • Examine this turning point of childhood

  • Explore how fabric created civilization and how the history of

      plant dyeing transformed it

  • Experience hands-on dyeing and spinning from diverse cultures

  • Finding an artistic balance between the foundations of Waldorf education and the needs of the children we teach here and now

      ...and much more!

Click the link below for an overview of our DRAFT schedule:

Click the link below for the full conference supply list:

If you have already registered for the conference you will find all of the conference materials, project videos, patterns, and instructions by clicking the link below. You will need a password to access this material which will be emailed to you once you register.

Spinning Hands.jpg

Innovative handwork projects in crochet, spinning, plant dyeing, weaving, wet felting and much more!

The third grade curriculum brings the practical arts that are rooted in the three basic human needs of food, shelter, and clothing. The Handwork curriculum supports this by learning about natural fibers and the plants and animals they come from.

This conference will benefit teachers and parents with children of all ages.

In this conference we will bring developmentally appropriate handwork projects in crochet, hand spinning, weaving, wet felting, and plant dyes. Some projects will be taught live online and others will be sent ahead of time as instructional videos for you to work through and practice at your own pace. 


Nothing replaces being fully present for the conference but we understand that life happens! The conference will be recorded and shared with registered participants daily.

Financial Aid Available!

We understand this has been a difficult year for many people around the world. We are pleased to be able to offer financial aid for the conference. Click the link below for more information.

Here is what you can expect (we reserve the right to make last minute unforeseen changes):

Pre-recorded videos: available on or before July 26 and freely accessible for a year. Watch and review at your own leisure.


From renowned presenters, 8-10 recordings, 60-90 minutes long, including:

Handwork Projects:

You will receive recordings of several traditional or innovative, successful handwork projects including spinning, natural dyeing, and crochet. We will also be teaching live in our Saturday sessions together!

Are you new to these handwork skills? In this conference we will be discussing a variety of handwork projects and best practices for bringing these skills to your children. If you have never tried spinning on a drop spindle, don't worry! We will teach you how to spin during the conference. We understand that most of you have had experience with crochet before so we will not be teaching the beginning crochet skills in the conference. But rather, we will be discussing various projects and teaching the finer details of the steps needed for these projects. 

If you are new to crochet or are in need of a refresher we will be offering a beginner crochet class in the Fall of 2021.



Betty K. Staley - The 9 Year Change


The 9-year change is a critical transition in a child’s life as a path of relationship to the outer world and fostering a sense of self.


Betty Staley has been a long-time Waldorf educator in handwork, elementary, middle school, and high school teaching, as well as teacher education and parent workshops. She is the author of eight books on child and adolescent development, adult psychology, and curriculum. Her website www.Bettykstaley.com invites you to visit her on-going thoughts, photos, and a free biography course.

Virginia Postrel - The Fabric of Civilization

1. The Fabric of Civilization: Fiber and Thread

Every textile starts with fiber and thread, whose cultivation and production represent some of humanity's oldest and most influential technological breakthroughs. Explore how humans created "natural" fibers and invented the processes for turning them into the staggering amounts of thread needed to produce cloth.


2. The Fabric of Civilization: Color and Chemistry

Going back thousands of years, dyes demonstrate how much people can learn through trial and error experiments, even without underlying scientific knowledge--and how much time, attention, and effort they're willing to devote to adding beauty and meaning to functional items. Hear some of the fascinating stories behind such biological dyes as indigo, cochineal, and Tyrian purple.


Virginia Postrel is an author, columnist, and independent researcher whose latest book is The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World. Her previous books include The Power of Glamour, The Substance of Style, and The Future and Its Enemies. She is currently program co-chair for the Southern California Handweavers' Guild. Visit her website at www.vpostrel.com.

Michael Howard - Why We Do What We Do


Waldorf education is not about following prescribed methods any more than doing what we feel like. It is about extending our own capacities and experience so we come to direct insight and creative impulses for the ways handwork can better serve the development of our children.

Michael Howard began sculpting at the age of fifteen, studied sculpture at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and received a BFA from Eastern Michigan University, and a MA in Fine Arts from Columbia Pacific University in CA. He met the work of Rudolf Steiner in 1969 when I attended Emerson College in England. He is an artistic researcher exploring the spiritual in art to better serve the evolving spiritual needs of humankind. This has led him to research the relationship between qualities of movement, sound and form, as well as the nature of metamorphosis. Michael is the author of several books including Educating the Will and Art as Spiritual Activity, Rudolf Steiner’s Contribution to the Visual Arts   www.livingformstudio.org

And More!