Hands on History

Inspiring creativity through historic crafts

SCOSA Classes at Swan Bay Folk Art Center in Port Republic

What is SCOSA?
The Stockton Center on Successful Aging promotes education, research, and services to respond to local, regional, and statewide needs related to population aging. The Center’s core mission is to encourage older residents to “age successfully” through vital involvements and engagement in their community.

Who can come?

Although these classes are designed with seniors in mind, ANYONE is welcome to sign up. 

How to Register

The easiest way to register is either email Niki from this site or nikig3@gmail.com or call  (609)652-0366.  There is no need to send a deposit.  We just ask that if you register and then decided not to come please contact us so we have the opportunity to fill your spot.   You will receive a confirmation email or phone call for any message that you leave.  

Niki Giberson partners with SCOSA

Niki Giberson has been asked to partener with SCOSA to bring classes to her classroom and farm in Port Republic.

The following classes will be taught by Niki Giberson at her Folk Art School and sheep farm in Port Republic, NJ, where she will be sharing her love of baking and cooking along with her desire to instruct participants in creating their own heirloom pieces

 Swan Bay Folk Art Center was established in 1988, located on Gary and Niki Giberson’s property in Port Republic, NJ which they share with their flock of sheep and laying hens. 
The folk art school was started primarily to teach children and adults to create their own pieces of history.

 Niki specializes in basketry and wool crafts using fiber from her own sheep.  Niki has a BA in Early American Crafts and Culture from Stockton University.

SCOSA Basket Classes

One Little Word Basket

Saturday, January 15, 10am-12pm $24.00-$28.00
     To begin your new year, pick one little word that will be your inspiration for the new year.  The word will be burned into the bottom of your wooden basket basket.  The basket size will be determined by the word you choose.  The recipe to be shared will be a 1234 cake.     

Nesting Heart Baskets
Saturday, February 12, at 10am-12pm $27.00 

Just in time to celebrate Valentine’s Day, two heart shaped baskets will be completed.  The larger one is about 8" across and the smaller is about 5" across.  The featured recipe will be Valentine Truffles.

Irish Soda Bread Basket

Saturday, March 12, at 10am-12pm $25.00

     Participants will weave an 8" round twined bottom basket and sample the best Irish Soda Bread ever.  Recipe will be shared.

Oval Footed Basket 

Saturday, April  9, at 10am-12pm.  $30.00

    This basket is a 10"x 8" oval, sits on 4 feet , has a swing handle and would make a great small project basket.  The best chocolate cake aver will be served along with the recipe.


S'more Basket

 Saturday, May 21, 10am-12pm $35.00

     This 12" round divided tote basket can carry all the fixings for s'mores, or can keep many knick -knacks organized.  Tea squares will be share which are made out of the same ingredients as s'mores.

Square Gift Baskets

Saturday, June 11, 10am-12pm, $25.00

     Create two of these practical baskets in one class.  These 6"square baskets have colored reed woven through them with a reed bow.  This is a great basket to fill with your favorite candy or cookies.  Keep one and give one as a gift.  To celebrate strawberry season we will be sampling strawberry shortcake along with the recipe.

Caramel Popcorn Basket


Saturday, July 16, 10am-12pm $30.00

     Caramel popcorn can be served in this 12" round basket with side bushel basket style handles.  Caramel popcorn will be sampled along with the recipe.

Peach Basket

Saturday August 20, 10am-12pm $35.00

     This 8" round twined bottom basket, 9" high, is perfect for peach picking.  It has a center grip handle.  Peach cobbler will be shared along with the recipe.

Wool Drying Basket


Saturday, September 10, 10am-12pm $42.00

     Traditionally this basket was filled with sheep wool and sunk into a shallow swiftly moving stream to clean the wool, then put in the sun to dry.  Notched handles and legs make this a useful project basket.  Apple crisp will be served along with the recipe.

Deviled Egg Basket

Saturday, October 15, 10am-12pm $35.00

    This wooden bottomed basket comes complete with leather handles and a deviled egg plate.  To celebrate fall, pumpkin dip will be served along with the recipe.  

You are Loved Basket

Saturday, November 12, 10am-12pm $28.00

     This wood burned bottom oval basket will help celebrate the Thanksgiving season.  Fill this basket with homemade treats, and give to someone special to you, but the best part of the basket is the "you are loved" message in the bottom.  The basket comes with the instructions to refill the basket and pass it along to another special person.   Sample pumpkin bread along with the recipe.  The "you are loved" basket is similar to this design with those words inscribed in the bottom.    

     Woven Christmas Tree 

Saturday, December 10, 10am -12pm $30.00

     Students will create a festive handwoven tree using an 8" wooden base.  There are many options available for decorating your tree at your local crafts store.  Christmas cookies with recipes will be served at this class.