Hands on History

Inspiring creativity through historic crafts

Interested in coming to a basket class? 

1.  Choose the basket you would like to make

2.  Check on the calendar for available dates HERE.

3.  Send an email to Niki with your selections HERE

Swan Bay Folk Art Center & Farm

in Port Republic, NJ

Nestled in the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey is Swan Bay Folk Art Center, a place where people can come to learn skills from days gone by in order to create pieces of their own history.  For 32 years, Niki Giberson and her husband Gary have run Swan Bay Folk Art Center out of their home, a sheep, chicken and one donkey farm settled on land that has been in Gary's family since 1637.  


We currently do not have "open house" hours for farm tours.  Please follow us on Facebook for information on upcoming events at the farm.  

Hello Friends

I hope you have all enjoyed your quarantine in the best way possible.  I am so glad to finally be able to write this.  I am teaching basket and felting classes again. The schedule will be every Tuesday at 7pm and every Friday at 10:00am.  The classes will be limited to 8 people so we can still be socially distanced.  At this point masks can be worn especially if you have not been vaccinated and of course please do not come if you have a fever or are sick.  I look forward to seeing you all.


Basket Classes 

Basket classes are held every Tuesday night at 7pm and every Friday morning at 10am.  Classes are limited to 7 people, but each student can do felting or basketry. 

Check the calendar for available dates. Go to the basket description tab to choose your basket.  I also teach friendship classes upon request.

Friday Night Friendship Classes

Sign up with 5-7 friends altogether and come for an evening of basketweaving .  Please see calendar for available open dates.  To see a picture description of baskets you and your friends can make, click here.  

To celebrate our 34th year here at Swan Bay Folk Art Center, for every friendship class completed this year, we will be  providing a needy family with a dozen baby chicks. They will grow up to lay hundreds of eggs every month, blessing a family with a rich source of protein, a steady source of income, and daily reminders of God’s faithfulness through Samaritans Purse.


 See what classes are being offered by going to the calendar

Ode To A Butterfly
Nickel Creek (Nickel Creek )

Featured on CNN's Parts Unknown

Gary and Niki were taped for an episode of the Emmy Award winning television series, "Parts Unknown."  We had a wonderful day shooting with Anthony Bourdain and his talented crew.  We had a small clip of the farm and Gary's carving that aired on the NJ episode of the show in May 2015.  

Wool Felted Nativity Sets 

can be made during basket classes.  It takes for classes to complete all 17 pieces.  The cost is $25 per class ($100 for the entire set)

New to Swan Bay Folk Art Center Needle/water felted pictures

 This process is like paint by number except instead of paint we use wool from our sheep farm. We have kits available, or needle felt a VanGogh or Monet or any  picture of your choice. Each picture will take two classes. Classes start on Monday nights at 7pm starting on September 14th. The cost for the two classes and all supplies for your masterpiece is $65.00. 

 To sign up, you can call me at

 609 652-0366 or PM me or email me from this site 

Make sure you like our FACEBOOK page to get the latest details on events at the farm, projects, and sheep stories! 

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