Our Staff

Founder and lead instructor Katharine Jolda is a child of the East Bay - Piedmont and Oakland. After high school she left to seek her fortune in college and beyond. Following opportunities, she studied Philosophy in New Jersey, worked a dry farm in Arizona, herded sheep on the Navajo Nation, worked in Type II Diabetes prevention, and became part of the Backtracks "primitive skills" community that gathers for teaching events in Arizona, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.


Returning to the Bay Area with a sack of treasures, she re-rooted with family and community.  Amidst the dense urban hustle, she is sustained by the powerful Life forces that endure, connecting us to our ancestors and the indigenous people of this land, and motivated by crafting the material world in which she and her family live. 


During the school year, Katharine teaches elementary Science, Math, and project-based Engineering. In an era of high technology, she wants all children to find the power of their five senses and their hands with opposable thumbs, which unites the entire lineage of humanity.   

She lives with her husband and two children on a patch of East Oakland lovingly cultivated into a garden oasis of native plants, food crops and living craft materials. 

Guest Instructors (each present for one week)

[coming soon]

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