s home visit exhibits and events collection get involved education musuem store links and resources contact trustees s
s education workshops school programs library carver in residence   s



Watch a carver at work or enroll in a workshop yourself. Demonstrations are given during most days that the Museum is open. Workshops, ranging from an hour and a half to ten weeks in duration are offered throughout the year. All programs listed below meet at the Wendell Gilley Museum in Southwest Harbor and are taught by Carver-in-Residence Steven Valleau.

American Bittern Class

October 7 through December 9
Carvers, both novice and experienced, can sculpt an American Bittern over this 9 week class. Participants will transform a wooden bird blank into a detailed finished work, as they learn carving, texturing, and painting techniques. Class meets from 1pm–4pm on Saturday afternoons (no class November 25). American Bitterns are cryptic and secretive medium-sized herons. Streaked in warm brown and buff, they can pose like a reed and blend in to their fresh-water marsh habitat. Painting this bird will be an intriguing study in earth tones. Valleau, who has been teaching carving for thirty years, selected this beautiful and elusive bird because of its sense of mystery.
$80 with Museum membership.

Museum Members’ Carving Club

November through April 1pm–4pm

All members of the Wendell Gilley Museum are welcome every Friday afternoon, from 1pm–4pm, November through April, weather permitting. (Call to confirm, if stormy.) The club is an informal gathering for the purpose of working with fellow carvers, sharing tips and using the reference resources of the Gilley Museum. Often homemade baked goods and freshly brewed coffee are an added benefit. New members are welcome to join at any time. You don’t have to carve to enjoy the camaraderie (or coffee). It’s a good time to use the Museum library or to get something from the gift shop.

Red-bellied Woodpecker Ornament Carving Workshop

Sunday, November 5, 10 am - 4 pm

Whether you have always wanted to give bird carving a try, or want a unique way to hone your identification skills, this workshop will enhance your artistic and naturalist talents. Carve and paint a Red-bellied Woodpecker ornament during this one day carving workshop. This short workshop is ideal for beginning adults. Children 11 and up are welcome with an adult.

Fee: $25 Museum members / $30 non-members

Winter Carving Class and
Whittle-a-Warbler Workshop

TBD. Please come back to read details about these 2018 offerings.

Introductory Carving Lessons for Adults and Children
June 1–September 21

Lesson for beginners ages 11 to 110 are available from 11am–12:30pm and from 1:30–3pm every Tuesday through Friday. Hatch or hone your bird carving skills with your choice of a cardinal, chickadee, goldfinch, loon or puffin as your subject. Gilley Museum carving kits include materials, except knives, needed to get started carving at the Museum and to complete the project on your own after your lesson. Carving knives will be provided during lessons or you may bring your own.

Daily fee for each class, including kit and museum admission:

$20 Museum members / $25 non-member

Return lessons (using kit started in first lesson) $15 each

Pre-registration is required for all programs except Members' Carving Club. Enrollment is limited; payment is due with registration. Fees will be refunded if cancellation is received at least two weeks prior to the program. For additional information, please call the Museum at 207-244-7555 or send an email to

Home | Visit | Exhibits & Events | Collection | Get Involved | Education | Museum Store | Links & Resources | Contact | Trustees
Wendell Gilley Museum, 4 Herrick Road, Southwest Harbor, Maine info@wendellgilleymuseum.org site map credits
Follow the Gilley on twitter facebook crowdrise   volunteer donate