Crankie Workshops - Sue Truman

Sometimes the workshop has a theme, other times it's a free-for-all.

UPDATE: May 24, 2021 -  Though my in-person gigs were cancelled, I was invited to teach and perform at many online festivals.   2020 turned out to be busier than ever and 2021 has been even busier.  I am so grateful to stay connected through on-line events and social media. 

In normal times, I teach in person at museums, folk festivals and folk schools. Be it small, medium or large-sized crankies, each participant takes home their very own! Sometimes I teach alone and other times I teach with the band Podorythmie, at folk festivals where we are perform.

East coast, west coast, where ever! I love an adventure.  If you  are interested in a workshop, please feel free to contact me - stepdancesue @ gmail dot com.  See examples of workshops below.

Crankie: Storytelling Machines! - Presentation at Folklore Village, Oct. 2020
CRANKIES: STORYTELLING MACHINES! I was scheduled to teach at the Folklore Village in Wisconsin Fall of 2020. We all know what happened to that. However, I was able to give a presentation on Oct. 17th, 2020 and we had a wonderful virtual turnout. Thank you to all who attended. SPECIAL THANKS to Terri Van Orman, Director of the Folklore Village, who hosted, recorded and edited the presentation. ❤ I hope to do another online workshop for the Folklore Village in the fall of 2021. Stay tuned!
Crankies for Kids for the Mission Folk Music Festival - 2021
I was happy to make a crankie workshop + videos for kids for the 2021 online fest.The Mission Folk Music Festival is in Mission, British Columbia and it is a treasure. Please pass along to the younger generation or teachers thereof. Thank you much!
Kitchen Crankies at the 3rd Annual Winnipeg Crankie Festival, March, 2021
See examples of crankies made from containers from the kitchen: a soap box, mint tin, Barry's tea box, coffee filter box, raisin box, matchbox, food take out box AND a coffee cup crankie. Materials for the scroll: butcher paper, freezer paper, muslin and parchment paper. And we can't forget about the spindles made from bamboo skewers, wooden chop sticks and pencils. I hope this workshop gives you some ideas for making crankies in your kitchen. Many thanks to the Winnipeg Crankie Festival for inviting me back and going along with this wacky idea!


This photo taken at the John C. Campbell Folk School. The school is a very welcoming place!

I will be teaching a three day workshop at the Folklore Village in Dodgeville, WI. Sept. 11-13, 2020.  I will post more information when registration becomes available. CANCELLED!

John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.  - Five day workshop, Monday Oct. 26th through Friday Oct. 30th, 2020. See video below from last year's class. CANCELLED OF COURSE! 

In October, 2019, I taught at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. At the end of the week, the students displayed their work. They made some amazing crankies!! Visit the John C Campbell Folk School website at Sign up for a class, it's a magical place.


On the main stage at the Winnipeg Crankie Festival with live video projection so everyone can see!

The Winnipeg Crankie Festival, 2018 and 2019 - Winnipeg has become the crankie capital of Canada!  I taught and performed both years. In 2019, I added shadow puppetry to the workshops with the help of Cody Neal Creed and other volunteers.  75 crankies were made over the two days - we were busy but happy!

I was interviewed by John Nelson Prentice of Planet Mainstage. Listen to the interview here on sound cloud.

Here is a 6 second snippet of the shadow puppetry combined with the crankie. Great fun!


This workshop was sponsored by the New Bedford Whaling Museum which houses the longest surviving 19th century moving panorama!

Sponsored by the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, MA, Sept. 2018- As part of the celebration of the exhibition of a Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage Round the World, I gave a crankie workshop at the Kilburn Mill, where the moving panorama was displayed.  Read more about the workshop here.



At the Job Carr Cabin Museum in Tacoma, Washington.

Job Carr Cabin Museum, Tacoma, Washington.  The past three years I have taught crankie workshops along with the band Podorythmie at the Pioneer Days festival at the Job Carr Cabin Museum, Tacoma, Washington.

Sometimes we make rectangular crankies and sometimes we make cabin-shaped crankies.  I supply rubber stamps of objects from the pioneer days.  No art experience required!  Participants can illustrate the scroll with the rubber stamps or they can free style draw with markers.  

The Mackin House Museum in Coquitlam, British Columbia. An early 20th century house filled with things with cranks! One of our favorite places.

The Mackin House Museum, Coquitlam, British Columbia, 2017, 2018, 2019.

Myself and Julie Derby gave a workshop  at the Mackin House Museum in Coquitlam, BC.  Children and adults used rubber stamps and markers to illustrate their scroll. The theme was early 20th century items from the museum such as a hand-cranked pencil sharpener, egg beater and coffee grinder. We are partial to things with cranks!  Watch the video below from one of the participants. This workshop was a part of Festival du Bois, one of my all time favorite festivals. See the video below. 

At Mackin House Museum in Coquitlam, British Columbia
One of the crankies made in 2019 at the Mackin House Museum.


Laura Bouzid from Société Francophone de Maillardville shows the crankie she made!

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival, July 15th and 16th, 2017. Two busy days of crankie workshops, performances and jam sessions  in the Francophone Tent!  Fifty crankies were made!  See the video below of a crankie made by Ian. ❤

Check out their website: Vancouver Folk Music Festival

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival, British Columbia
Wow - Ian did an incredible job of making up a story, illustrating it then performing it for a video - all in one hour! Video posted with permission.
At Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island in Washington State
Here we are, on the water, teaching crankie making to adults and kids. We had the water and boats sailing by as inspiration! Visit Cama Beach State Park if you are in the area. It's just south of the San Juan Islands in Washington State.
Matchbox Crankies
For Winterfest, I created a tiny Hygge Crankie Winter Kit! Participants colored a scroll (or created their own design) strung charms, learned how to make a mini broom and rubber stamped a gift box. They made their own analog entertainment center!
Hygge House Crankie Kit! What is hygge? Hygge (/ˈh(j)uːɡə/ H(Y)OO-gə; Danish: [ˈhykə]; Norwegian: [ˇhyɡɡə]) is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.

Thank you!

One of the beautiful buildings at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina.

Special thanks and gratitude to all who have asked me to teach!



This page created in 2020, updated May, 2021

Sue Truman