Workshops Toggle

"Long Tall Sally" Book

Have some fun with the “Long Tall Sally” book. You’ll come away with a really interesting piece of art that you can keep on your shelf ( as long as it is a big one ) for years to come.

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3-Ring Circus

The “Circus” is coming to Valley Ridge! Richard Salley and Jessica Papke team up to bring you an intensive 3-day workshop that focuses entirely on the process of ring making. In this series of workshops we will be presenting how to make 3 rings, 3 different ways in 3 days. Whether this will be your first foray into ring making or you want to expand your ring making knowledge, you will leave the workshop with newly acquired skills that will launch you into a new level of jewelry making.

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A Personal Treasure Box

Would you love to have a special little box that you can hold in your hand? Create a one-of-a-kind box, complete with see-through mica and tiny images, using a myriad of materials for decoration.

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A Tote With A View

Create a one-of-a-kind, whimsical handbag with a view! Make your class project horizontal or vertical, in just about any size you would like in this one-day program.

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A Woman's Book of Shadows: A Grimoire for Soul Keeping, Secret Telling, and Self-Enchantment

Each day of this master class retreat deepens and enriches the mystery within as you begin your Book of Shadows through gentle guidance of and creative visual journaling techniques for insight, healing, and self bewitching. Words and thoughts, combined with unique imagery and intention, will create good spells, charms, cures; this is ancient medicine and will reveal a powerful force. Your grimoire, a personal instructional manual, handed down through the ages, woman to woman, is a record of your spiritual growth, and will unveil to you all you desire. You have chosen a unique and difficult path; the way of the wise woman, full of ancient ritual, secrets, and blessings. Welcome to this sisterhood. You are the wisdom that you seek. Call upon the spirits and powerful energies that surround you. This is more than a workshop, it is an event. Step out of the shadows. Come forward. Reveal your true self. It begins now for you in choosing your book, creating your altar, and gathering your supplies.

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a. We Each Have Our Charms; b. Knot Now, Nina

This extensive, technique-filled workshop takes an elemental approach to creating the more formal, elegant and finished look of fine silver using precious metal clay applicable to everything from jewelry to book art and beyond.

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a. We Each Have Our Charms; b. Knot Now, Nina

This extensive, technique-filled workshop takes an elemental approach to creating the more formal, elegant and finished look of fine silver using precious metal clay applicable to everything from jewelry to book art and beyond.

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Acrylic Manipulations, Experiments With Watermedia

Explore mixed media and acrylic–from surface, texture, pattern, to gold leaf and composition. This class will examine hand-stamped paper, stencils, glazes, dry brushing, squeeze bottles, shapes, advanced acrylic techniques and the pouring of paint.

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Acrylic Painting ~ Deluxe Decorative Papers!

Make an assortment of unique decorative papers to use in book arts, card and box making, scrapbooking or other collage work, paper dolls, gift wrapping, etc. Learn techniques of painting, stenciling, texturing, layering, glazing, and use of metallic paints. Experiment with liquid acrylic paints and inks. Cut your own rubber stamps; make your own texturing tools and stencils.

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Alchemy & Relics

Learn how to get the classic look of silver without paying the current price.

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All on Board for Mixed Media

Experiment and play with all the boards and panels that are on the market today.  From the incredibly versatile Claybord to Gesso Board to Pastel Board to MDF to Wood panels, we will check out all the rigid substrates.  We will work on a number of pieces at one time, trying the same technique across the board (tee, hee) to see how they react and how unique effects can be achieved.  We will work with stencils and texture mediums, crackle paste that really cracks, gold leaf and 3D semi-sculptural elements. See how your end products can easily be bound into books or mounted on floating cradles.

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All Wrapped Up – Bracelets & Chokers

Spend three full days designing richly detailed jewelry wraps that are perfect for layering assorted treasured findings, beads, and ribbons around either your neck or wrist; if made long enough, these pieces will look wonderful wrapped around the waist as well.   I’ll be teaching a very wide variety of jewelry techniques for this brand …

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All Wrapped Up – Bracelets & Chokers II

Spend three full days designing richly detailed jewelry wraps that are perfect for layering assorted treasured findings, beads, and ribbons around either your neck or wrist; if made long enough, these pieces will look wonderful wrapped around the waist as well.   I’ll be teaching a very wide variety of jewelry techniques for this brand …

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Altered Books

Altered book artists like to say there are no rules. To that add, “just a chance to play and have fun!” Learn how to use collage and embellishments to turn old books into interactive works of art.

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Altered Books from Beginning to End, Background Techniques To The Cover

Play with a lot of different ways to make backgrounds for books or cards: scraping, bleaching, masking, stamping and more, using simple materials such as sponges, old credit cards, shaving cream and more. Be prepared for fun and lots of surprises! Then, take an old, unloved, book and turn it into an interactive work of art. You will learn to make pockets, pop-ups, windows, niches and drawers that will entice the viewer to keep turning pages.

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Altered Fabric Collage and Book

Create a fun fabric book with sketches, collage elements, finger painting and washes of color. Covers are thick and sturdy, yet flexible, and can be changed to any size you desire, or, can even be used as framable art.

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Altered Words and Imagery

Creative magic awaits in this three day program combining altered photographs, portrait imagery and the creation of a “Wish Book” holding the power of your words.

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Alternative Photo Workshop I

Learn new techniques; add photographic images to your work without the use of a darkroom. You can make a cyanotype anywhere if you have sun and water.  In this workshop, you will explore Cyanotype and Acrylic Lifts and Transfers. These are great processes for anyone who has wanted to use photography in their book making, painting, sculpture, or even quilting.

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Anthropomorphic Dolls

Learn to make animal heads using soft sculpture techniques and other techniques developed by Akira. These heads are attached to human doll bodies to create innovative anthropomorphic figures.

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Artful Alchemy: Finding the Gold Within

In this program, we will use archetypes as frameworks of how to claim, express and move energy. Follow and express your passion [fire]; access and speak your truth, experience clarity and peace of mind [air]; become enriched by your feelings, increase intimacy and deepen relationships [water]; and come home to your body, feeling nurtured and connected to yourself [earth].

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Artists' Books

Artists’ books have the potential to combine images and writing with sculpture in unique and exciting ways. Created as art objects, they differ from journals and scrapbooks while remaining a form of personal expression.

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Attachment and Devotion

Learn the art of attachment, the solution to creatively join objects to one another. In this program, you will construct a devotional/shine from raw wood and learn myriad techniques to ensure secure and flawless attachments.

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Back On The Chain Gang

Whether you’re making jewelry, assemblage or a journal, often the need arises to add a chain or clasp for that finishing touch.

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Back to Back Wooden Book: Ethiopian Style Bindings

Participants will learn both the Ethiopian and Greek bindings, as well have as ample time to perfect the Coptic endband in this playful Middle Age book structure comprised of two volumes yet only three covers.

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Backstage Pass

Pull back the curtain on your art to see what happens backstage in your visual journal. Create an assemblage while working simultaneously in your journal with sketches, notes, dashes of paint, and remnants from your piece.

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Beads, Books & Paint!

A luscious hand-crafted book can take you places, keep-sake your personal stories, and display your special photographs. Make a beautiful hand-bound book with painted covers, bead embroidery inset into the front cover, and painted signature covers. Learn bead embroidery stitches, techniques for painting, glazing, stenciling and stamping decorative papers and a beautiful, yet easy and professional, book binding method.

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Beguiling Book House

This workshop is about the transformation of one book into a house full of books. Starting with a vintage volume of children’s stories, the cover will become the roof of the Book House, and the pages books of stories that fill the rooms. We will match the stories we find to structures that best present them (a hopping structure might be about a frog) with instructions for many, many shapes and sizes of small books. Book making, box making, painting, collage, storytelling and some illustration techniques will be covered in this nostalgic journey.

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Behind Closed Doors

In this 2-day workshop we will construct a locket that will be worn as a cuff

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Beyond Precious Little

Were you bitten by the Found Object bug? This exciting Master Class is designed specifically for students who took Keith’s Precious Little class in the past, have utilized the techniques learned there, and want to take it to the next level. Beyond Precious Little will hone technical skills, while encouraging you to go beyond your comfort zone and really step your work up a notch or two!

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BIGLinks

Think BIG! This NEW three day workshop will introduce participants to sculptural perspective on linkages for jewelry.  A variety of materials and techniques will be explored in the creation of BIG Link bracelets, neckpieces and belts. We’ll employ the fabrication techniques of die forming, forging, chasing, hot connections (soldering) and cold connections.

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Bloom True: A Brave Intuitive Painting Adventure

Bloom True is an inspiring and encouraging workshop for both novice and experienced painters that teaches a spontaneous, bold, and fearless approach to painting as a process of discovery. Learn how to create colorful, unique, expressive paintings through a variety of techniques that combine basic, practical painting principles with innovative personal self-expression and personal growth.

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Bookstone Journals

This workshop will explore a mica product intended for lampshades. Composite mica is made with finely flaked mica sprayed with shellac to form large sheets of various colors and thicknesses. The strong translucent material is an ideal collage material and is a wonderful book cover alternative. Create two different book structures, each taking advantage of the unique quality of this form of mica.

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Botanica Exotica

Spend a day making wild and exotic sculptural flowers out of iron wire and sausage casings. The casings make luminous, transparent, taunt coverings over the wire that can be painted, inked, stitched, and written on.

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Captured! Bezel Setting for Found Object Jewelry

Learn how to bezel set a small found object like a pencil, a small toy, or a simple stone into a simple setting. Of course, this is not limited to just jewelry, you can embellish an altered book cover with an interesting found object, or adorn a shrine with a devotion.

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Clasps, Hinges & Closures

Learn basic and diverse ways to create metal closures for a myriad of projects. We will begin by making a wooden board coptic bound book that will receive your closures. Based on historic examples we will then build hinges, pegs and clasps fashioned from brass and attached with hand formed rivets and woven leather thongs. Hammer, saw, stamp and shape simple sheet into a working wonder!

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Collage Unleashed: Butterfly Flower Graffiti Journal

Bring out your playful artist and child-like spirit in this mixed media weekend featuring inspirational art exercises and idea jumpstarts. Explore a variety of unusual techniques, culminating in the creation of a mixed media journal with unconventional layers of textured "fusion-dyed" painted papers, digital prints and fabrics covered with your own personal graffiti marks.

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Consulting the Oracle: A Visual Journalist

Learn to become your own guide into unknown territory and develop intuition, intention, self dialogue, and uninhibited self expression. In this program, you will create a deck of cards with unique personal symbols and translate that information into a precious journal.

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Copy Machine Etching and Rivet-Making for Jewelry

Master two new jewelry, assemblage and collage techniques in this two-day program. First, learn a quick and easy way to etch designs into brass or copper using a copy machine and simple tools. Next, learn to make rivets, one of the most versatile and strong connection methods.

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Crafting Personal Shrines

Learn how to construct a shrine that will tell your story, using your special photos and memorabilia. Using assemblage and collage, make a shrine to someone, someplace or something special.

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Crafting Personal Shrines

Learn how to construct a shrine to tell your own story, with photos and memorabilia special to you. Using simple materials, and techniques such as assemblage and collage, everyone will assemble a shrine rich in personal meaning.

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Creating Objects and Elements in Jewelry

This powerful retreat is offered as a three-day workshop to focus deeply and explore a variety of hands on jewelry techniques Challenge the norm in wearable adornment by building layers and incorporating mixed medium into your metalwork.

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Creative Soul: a Portfolio of YOU

What brings you happiness?  A smile to your face? What feeds your soul? What images do you relate to? Words that describe YOU.colors that call to YOU.who are YOU? These are questions you will answer as you paint, collage and build a visual journal that expresses your creative soul.

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Daily Observations: ArtFolio

Replace your blank journal with this multi-layered ArtFolio designed to jumpstart your creative process. You will learn variations of fusing different mediums with varied design elements creating a smooth and unified, print-like page that will easily incorporate into various artwork.

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Dear To My Heart Beaded Locket

Learn to create a beautiful beaded locket that can showcase up to three tiny pictures of loved ones or your choice of artwork. Techniques include designing the locket shape and photo placement, beaded elements, bead embroidery stitches, peyote stitch around glass and several fringing and edging techniques.

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deMent-triloquism

deMent-triloquism:  In case you were wondering, the fear of ventriloquist’s dummies is called automatonophobic (which by the way includes the fear of wax dummies and automatons like Zoltar the fortune teller).   I can understand how ventriloquist dolls could illicit terror and trepidation; typically they are bit creepy looking.    Remember Anthony Hopkins in the film Magic, …

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DeSigN – dEsiGn – DesIgN!

Take this Design Master Class with Tom and pump up your jewelry design skill set with a jam-packed demo and hands-on jewelry design throwdown. You’ll be given a design challenge that will lead into the process of developing a personal design vocabulary of techniques. materials and concepts. Then, fabricate a piece that demonstrates that vocabulary.

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Diary Paintings for Quilted Art Books

Make soft, hand drawn, painted, written, and machine sewn art books of personal thoughts and images, based on the concept of a diary, so your theme will naturally evolve.  In an open and sharing environment, discuss your work each day in show-and-tell format.

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Discovering the Creative Self

We enter the creative process when we reconnect deeply with our self. We each have a unique way of entering this process, experiencing  and drawing from it.

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Dwell: The Coffee Table Book

Build a coffee table visual journal that measures up to 16" x 21". The journal covers are painted mixed media board with a doorway cutout, which tips out to expose a personal mantra. Inside the journal houses, hand painted and stained pages flip and fold in "non-traditional" ways.

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Eat, Paint, Love: Exploring the Good Life

Instructor: Jill Berry
A collaborative workshop culminating in the creation of a Cookbook for Life, based on the poetry of farmer poet Wendell Berry. Three days of collaging, painting, cooking, eating, drawing and basking in gratitude.

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Enamel on Copper

Enameling is one of the oldest methods used for creating colorful designs on metal. In this workshop students will complete jewelry projects by way of fusing powdered glass enamel on copper. Techniques and skills covered in the class will include: surface preparation of metal, types of enamel, basic torch-firing, solders to use with enameling, use of holding agents, sifting enamels, wet inlay, enameling tools and supplies, safety considerations.

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Encaustic Painting Rediscovered: Age Old Techniques Updated for the Contemporary Artist

Come explore encaustic wax painting in this new two-day workshop highlighting this age-old technique– while incorporating today’s tools, materials, and vibrant waxes. By starting with the basics, you will learn to work with the unique properties of wax to create textures that can be smooth and enamel-like, or extremely dimensional.  We will continue to build on these techniques learning to layer materials, alter the wax with a variety of hot tools, incise, add found objects like fibers, nature and small treasures, and embellish with additional color such as oil pastels, micas, dyes, stamp pads, spices and more.

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Etched Copper Letter Opener

Beautiful, and functional, is a great way to describe the project that you will complete in the class. We will put your jewelry making and craft skills to maximum use while constructing this utilitarian letter opener. Etch, saw, rivet, solder and polish to produce an exquisite object d’art you will use and be proud to show.

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Ethiopian Binding: Leather-Covered Wooden Boards with Leather Carrying Case

Following a tradition that continues today we will begin this weekend by preparing wood covers for this sewn board structure by carving, filing and sanding. Leather thongs will be woven into braid-like endbands and sewn to the book after covering. Tooling will ornament the wide turn-ins, spine and covers. This flat spine, unsupported binding will only become more beautiful with use.

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Every House Tells a Story

Gather your memories of people or places significant to you, and we will begin the journey of creating a spirit house that will tell your story. Here is the place for those mementoes and scraps of papers you couldn’t bear to throw out, the bits and pieces gathering dust in a drawer, the photographs in a box. All these mementos can be used as you tell your story in your personal shrine.

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Exploration of Resins- an Emerging Voice in Metalwork

Explore the vast possibilities resins have to offer in jewelry and in combination with metalwork. Learn mold making and cast charms using a non toxic, jewelers grade resin. This hands on workshop offers many ground breaking techniques such as creating and filling hollow bezel forms and working with nature to create durable, water proof elements such as sticks, flower buds and egg shell. Create colorful stone like textures from organic material such as sand, pepper and crushed powders. Use resin on paper to create transparent layers or journal pages. Students will complete a collection of elements, build a mold and take home endless ideas for this technique.

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Exploring Fabric Books

Explore the many ways fabric can be used to create unique, non-traditional books. Work with favorite fabrics
and new, fabric-like materials that take the place of paper and learn how to dye, paint and pattern fabric
for your pages. We will construct three different styles of books in this program.

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Exquisite Corpse Book

Combining a variation of a collaborative technique invented by Surrealists with a book form generally considered a child’s toy, we will create a unique journal with whimsical and intriguing covers. The nature of the Exquisite Corpse covers will hopefully lead to imaginative and collaborative content. The covers will be constructed from composite mica, tyvek and/or handmade papers incorporating drawings and collage.

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Faux Bone Workshop – Now in Full Color

In this very hands-on workshop, we will explore Faux Bone™, a new, friendly and extremely versatile material. Faux Bone™ can be cut, and carved, sawn and sanded. It can be filed, hammered, polished, drilled, stamped, inlayed, dyed, and painted. It can look like ivory, have the patina of aged ceramic, or be polished to a pure white.

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Faux Bone and Metal Clay Cuff

In this fast paced workshop, you will make a Faux Bone cuff and adorn it with a fired piece of metal clay. Additional designs on the cuff can be added by electric engraving, carving, drilling, epoxy inlay and more. Color can be added with the use of paint, stains and alcohol inks. All sorts of additional pieces of metal, metal clay, found objects, and ephemera can be attached. We will also cover a whole host of cold connections that will be applicable to most any work you would like to do.

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Fiber Play Days: Create Your Own Wearable Art!

Explore the endlessly inventive world of wearable art.   Whether you transform an old sweater by reshaping it with a few snips of the scissors; or rework a coat with original applique designs;  or use bleach to create new patterns on t-shirts; or embellish with anything from old laces, ripped silks, freeform crochet or fabric paints … you will surprise yourself with the countless fiber art techniques you can incorporate into the creation of one-of-a-kind wearable art !

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Forming Lasting and Meaningful Attachments

The scene: you have a glass marble, a vintage photo of a race car, a piece of fired metal clay formed from a silicone mold you made of a Monopoly piece, a broken bicycle tail light and a carnelian cabochon. All these need to be combined with sterling silver to form a bracelet and of course, be as durable as possible. You could just hang them from a chain however, you also want to ensure that the materials and the manner in which they are combined forward the idea you want to express in the piece.In this very useful and extensive workshop, participants will explore ways of attaching almost anything to almost anything else and enhance the message in your work.

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Found Object Alchemy

Transform the seemingly useless into something magical using the process of assemblage, collage and painting.

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From the Ground Up: Building Your Own Spirit Village/Necklace Installation

Imagine yourself the creator of a spirit village

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Fused Fragments Extended Journal

Construct a Landscape Fragment Journal, combining bookbinding and a NO SEW fusion technique to explore Nature

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Gatherings

Spend two days learning several different "framing" techniques to create shallow shadowboxes on vintage book covers from such everyday items as dowel rods, box tops, matchboxes, and mica. Create one, two, or more art pieces that can be tucked within a ribboned "portfolio" that will hold your treasured artwork as a unified piece.

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Gatherings II

Spend two days learning several different "framing" techniques to create shallow shadowboxes on vintage book covers from such everyday items as dowel rods, box tops, matchboxes, and mica. Create one, two, or more art pieces that can be tucked within a ribboned "portfolio" that will hold your treasured artwork as a unified piece.

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Get Your Art On Buffet

A three-day workshop buffet of experimental printmaking and mixed-media art gluttony. Fuel your hungry soul with an art diet full in protein to keep you energized long after you leave. Each day is intertwined with the next, building on and taking from each other to make a weekend full of tasty treats! You’ll go home with a hand-made and hand-bound mixed-media artist’s book, original printed collage material, a funky-sugary-sweet self-portrait, and handmade printing blocks and printing rollers to continue printing when you return home. You will look at the oddities from dollar stores, thrift stores and garage sales in a whole new light, and you will never be able to pass one up.

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Golden Acrylics Overview

A fun, fast paced overview of Golden acrylics.  We will briefly touch on the history and philosophy of the new acrylics, and how they expand vast array of acrylic possibilities. We will explore: the various "lines" of paints with different viscosities,  the rich pigments and inherent qualities from interference paints to historic colors, grounds to draw on, texture, and provide lush surfaces,as well as mediums , gels and pastes. Included will be demonstrations of the new line of "open" paint with the expanded dry time, and some possibilities with the new digital grounds.

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Golden Product Lecture

Join us for a two hour overview of the Golden acrylic painting line. Learn a brief history of acrylic paints from both a historic and a scientific perspective. We will discuss kinds of paints, the difference between historic and modern colors, as well as demonstrate the full range of products.

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Grey Matter Meddling

Program details coming soon.

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Guns and Torches: A Weekend of Waxy Wonder

Join Mary Beth Shaw and Julie Snidle for a weekend of wax on wax off as they push the limit of mixed media wax techniques. We’ll explore ideas for Batik paper, traditional Encaustic techniques and Intarsia, wood burning, icing and tar. Additional techniques include flocking, Pan pastels, shellac, clay, rigid Wrap, Saral paper, transfers, stencils, rubber Stamps, and wood glue burns.

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Gut Instincts

I have collected dolls and made dolls my whole life. But in later years I have become increasingly interested in spirit dolls and santos, or cage dolls. Come spend two days with me as we explore combining found objects, wire, metal and an ancient material used by hunter/gatherer cultures the world over, hog gut or …

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Hand Bound Altered Book

New for 2012, this workshop is Part Two of the Hand Bound Altered Book workshop.  In it, we explore the pleasures of creating and filling a hand bound book. The optional Part One, Wooden Altered Book Cover  is held prior to this workshop. Utilizing a binding that has withstood the test of time with its …

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Handbook of Elements

The earth offers tactile and durable materials for use in artistic expression. Metal and gypsum, both earth elements, are combined in this stout little book comprised of solder-flooded metal covers and plaster pages. In this project-focused workshop, students will learn how to transform and build up sheet metal, adding vintage and found elements to the cover of the book using basic metal-smithing techniques and materials.

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Handwriting In Journals

Handwritten journals are a treasure that last hundreds of years, cherished by family and historians for the insights they give. Students will learn to put their best “hand” forward by studying such alphabets as “My Old Typewriter,” “Clothesline Caps,” “Willow-by-Hand” and much more.

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Hunter Gatherer Maker – The Art of Found Object Assemblage

In this workshop, you will explore the fascinating world of assemblage art using found objects and create a stunning sculptural piece that creates an amazing dynamic personal narrative. Begin with the difficult part of planning and problem solving your design, then learn to construct an environment out of wood using power tools. Join elements together with a variety of connecting skills from soldering to wire wrapping, hammering, nailing and, of course, using a variety of different adhesives.

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Icons and Shrines

Students will use personal imagery and collected objects to create small reliquaries; suggestive and intimate spaces housing objects and symbols of meaning, be they spiritual or secular.

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Improvisational Bead Embroidery

Learn every basic bead embroidery technique there is, plus many variations on the basic stitches, fringe techniques, and edging methods!

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Intuitive Mixed Media Collage: Visual Board Journal

Create an intimate and delicate visual journal using recycled cardboard and cheesecloth and fill it with textured, chunky pages filled with a combination of personal artwork and journaling.

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Intuitive Mixed Media Collage: Visual Board Journal

Create an intimate and delicate visual journal using recycled cardboard and cheesecloth and fill it with textured, chunky pages filled with a combination of personal artwork and journaling.

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Island of Demented Toys

Remember the Island of Misfit Toys in the claymation epic “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”.  Well that’s nothing compared to what we’re going to do in this class.  You’re going to bring all sorts of parts and pieces from a variety of toys.  You round up everything from Barbies to Tonka trucks,  to snow globes,  to wind-up zeppelins, and reassemble them “into something rich and strange” (to quote Shakespeare’s The Tempest).

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Jigsaw to Jewelry: Monoprints and Jewelry from the same Plates

I had the unique experience of being able to be an “art major” during the junior and senior years of high school.  I can remember a semester of print making and how intriguing I found the process.  I got into it big time and pretty soon I was making silk-screen posters.  I had the opportunity …

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La Maison Fantôme

It is said that my home is haunted (though I have never seen the alleged spirit) but have had a number of friends who swear they exist and have experienced a variety of eerie occurrences with ghostly types. So it dawned on me that perhaps these ghosts just need a little bit of pampering, and this got me thinking about an interesting idea for a class: “la maison fantôme”, the ghost house.

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Learning Focusing to Help Free the Artist in You

Focusing is “direct access to bodily knowing.” It is a practice that takes a person towards a state of conscious perception that goes far beyond knowing something on a mere conceptual level. Focusing helps you learn how to be Present and listen to yourself so that you can move ahead in your life in an empowered and safe way.  Focusing brings you closer to wholeness and allows you to access your inner wisdom. This helps you move in the direction of your potential. It can help you move beyond artist’s block, time and money issues you may have around your art and help you get in touch with your goals. SPECIAL NOTE: This program begins the evening of Friday, September 10 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM, and continues on Saturday and Sunday between 9:30 AM and 4:30 PM.

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Learning Focusing to Help Free the Artist in You, Level One Focusing

Focusing helps you learn how to be Present and listen to yourself so that you can move ahead in your life in an empowered and safe way. Focusing brings you closer to wholeness and allows you to access your inner wisdom. This helps you move in the direction of your potential. It can help you move beyond blocks and get in touch with your goals. Focusing is a gentle and powerful way to develop a deep interpersonal healing relationship with yourself.

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Learning Focusing to Make Inner: Finding Inner Peace, Level Two Focusing

Focusing and creating art helps you learn how to be Present and listen to yourself in order to move ahead in your life in an empowered and safe way. It can help you feel more integrated and whole. Focused Art making is a gentle and powerful way to develop a deep intrapersonal healing relationship with the self. This program will teach you how to use Art Therapy and Focusing to invigorate your creativity, be calm and compassionate with yourself and access more of your imagination and creative potential. 

Participants will receive Level Two Focusing qualification. To take this workshop participants need to have completed Level One Focusing.

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Life Drawing

If you think you can’t draw, but you want to be able to, take this class. Drawing is to making other art like piano lessons are to making other music. Drawing is the basic knowledge you need to be versatile enough to make whatever images you want in your work. You’ll learn how to really look at what you’re drawing – how to analyze what you’re really seeing and move your drawing tool with your eye, looking a lot more at the image than at your paper.

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Lightbulb Shrines

Ever wonder what to do with all those old lightbulbs? Create art, of course. Specifically, tiny shrines with exterior adornments and imagery inside the glass bulb.

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Love Letters: A Passionate Correspondence

…should I draw you the picture of my heart it would be what I hope you would still love though it contained nothing new.  The early possession you obtained there, and the absolute power you have obtained over it, leaves not the smallest space unoccupied.   Abigail Adams to her husband, President John Adams. December 23, …

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Mad Alchemist Freak Fest

Grab some stuff…some new…some rough. Bring your gears, Mickey Mouse souvenirs, old cans for beers, perhaps some shiny chandeliers. You might prefer something off the wall, a bocce ball, a broken doll, or a bust of Charles de Gaulle. Next we need some glues, screws, power tools, adhesive goos and paints in a variety of hues. Power up those Dremel tools and give’ em a test…. everybody do the Mad Alchemist Freak Fest!

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Mad Alchemists Cabinet

Back in the olden days, (you know, back when you’d take the kids to a drive-in movie in an ox cart) alchemy was all the rage.  In a simplified nutshell, alchemists were scientist/mystics who had two main goals: to find the “elixir of life” (sort of the Fountain of Youth) and to transform every day metals into gold.  They remind me of the quintessential mad scientist, obsessed with the knowledge of the unknown, not matter the cost.

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Magical Metal

The class incorporates two main techniques – making fabric paper from candy wrappers and working with metal embossing foil. The fabric paper will be made to take on the appearance of metal and will be combined with the foil to create magical embellishments. The foil will also be used to create a wall hanging which will be a series of foil panels manipulated and machine stitched to a fabric background. The excitement begins when we start to emboss the foil and change its appearance with colored inks, nail polish, gesso, modeling paste, glass bead gel, water soluble paper, rubber stamps, embossing powders, eyelets, brads and punches.  

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Make What Ya Brung Number One!

Valley Ridge Art Studio Play Date
Come on out to the best art studio location in the world to have a fun weekend of making art! The studio at Valley Ridge will be available to make whatever you want to over a 48 hour period with the materials you bring. You will need to bring whatever tools you need. Sharing is encouraged. You may work in the studio as early or as late as you like within the established schedule. We will rely on each other for trading, sharing and training.

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Make What Ya Brung Number Three!

Valley Ridge Art Studio Play Date
Come on out to the best art studio location in the world to have a fun weekend of making art! The studio at Valley Ridge will be available to make whatever you want to over a 48 hour period with the materials you bring. You will need to bring whatever tools you need. Sharing is encouraged. You may work in the studio as early or as late as you like within the established schedule. We will rely on each other for trading, sharing and training.

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Make What Ya Brung Number Two!

Valley Ridge Art Studio Play Date
Come on out to the best art studio location in the world to have a fun weekend of making art! The studio at Valley Ridge will be available to make whatever you want to over a 48 hour period with the materials you bring. You will need to bring whatever tools you need. Sharing is encouraged. You may work in the studio as early or as late as you like within the established schedule. We will rely on each other for trading, sharing and training.

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Making Fabric and Tyvek Paper and Embellishments

Learn a layering technique using three layers ( fabric / Tyvek, ephemera and photocopies, tissue paper ) to create a fabric-like paper. Use paints to create integral colors within the paper and to embellish the final piece.

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Mask Maker, Mask Maker, Make Me a Mask

Mask making is one of the oldest cultural traditions in the world. The ancient hunter world used masks to disguise themselves and stalk prey. In essence this is what a mask does, it changes the wearer into something else. This class will play with this concept, and using various found objects or existing masks, transform them into strange and unusual facial disguises.

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Memento Mori: A Book of Remembrance and Joy

The Roman General has a slave that follows him closely from behind. The slave whispers “Memento Mori” —remember you are mortal, remember you will die.

The symbolism of memento mori has occurred again and again in artworks for centuries. One’s inevitable death can have transformative power for art, as in “Ars Moriendi”  — The art of dying well or living righteously in this moment.  In this workshop, you will create a very personal tribute book, filled with mementos and touchstones. This book will be a celebration and a memorial to our loved ones’ past and a commitment  to a life and love to honor their memory.

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Metalsmithing Basics

Advance your metalsmithing skills in this introduction to Metalsmithing 101 course. This three-day program will give you an intense exposure to the 12 basic tools and the five primary techniques any metalsmith needs to know.

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Metalsmithing BASICs 101 The SOLDER Challenge

This workshop will focus on one of the most challenging skills to be mastered in any metalsmith’s kit of tools and techniques.  Tom will guide you through soldering challenges ranging from basic techniques to advanced projects.

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Mica Album

Learn to work with the remarkable material mica to construct an Album exploring various techniques that emphasize the unique qualities of this layered mineral.

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Mica Album

Back by popular demand! This workshop will push beyond using mica just as an element in book arts. Build covers and collage pages that are primarily mica. Use and explore the Indian version in its vastly different grades, translucencies and commercially available shapes. The main focus of this program will be using composite mica used in the lampshade industry, which are much larger and come in several colors, depending on the variety of mica and the shellac that holds the sheet together. You will learn how to use and recognize both natural and composite forms of mica, when to pierce, to sew, to drill, to glue or to nail.

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Mixed Media Encaustic

Explore new mixed media techniques, creating textured paintings of paper, paint, and collage, mounting them on wood. Then, continue to build up the surface with more paint, more collage and a layer of encaustic wax that you’ll will transfer onto, incise, and glaze with oil-based pigment. This is a class to help all levels think outside the box when creating mixed media paintings.

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Natural Phenomena: Using Nature as the Path to Meaningful, Beautiful Work

Create a phenomenal journal using the natural world as a framework to build a book with personal and meaningful content. Work with the places you know – our yards, our worlds, our special vaction spots, a favorite season, or even a favorite poem.

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Nature Inspired

Explore ways of developing and painting a scene from Nature. This workshop combines methods for sketching images onto muslin canvas, working with and mixing acrylic paints to render natural subjects, capture the important details of delicate flora and fauna, along with examining multiple ways to distress large areas to make interesting backgrounds and creating a swatch book of sample techniques for reference.

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Non-Traditional Forms in Wire/Mixed Media

Create unusual, interesting and dimensional jewelry and journal structures created of all wire and metal, using a wide range of unique techniques and cutting-edge fusions of materials and forms.

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Oddities and Peculiaria – Sideshow Shenanigans in the Big Easy Workshop

In this class you’ll be creating a sideshow stage featuring unusual character of your own invention. It all starts with discarded toys, dolls, figurines and other found objects of your choosing. Using the process of assemblage, painting and collage, you’ll bring your fantastic freaks to life. Of course, these extraordinary performers will need a place to show off their unusual talents, so you will also construct a stage or shrine to house your little oddity.

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Painted Cloth Diary Books

Bring out your freer inner self and get your creativity really flowing out again. In this three day program, you’ll start a small book, exploring hand brush painting and line drawing with markers and airpen on white cotton fabric, to create diary paintings and turn them into quilted book pages. Draw freehand on Kona cotton with black permanent fine tip markers, then brush paint in the colors, and finally use the markers again, as well as an airpen, to write freehand on the surface, creating a verbal texture over the images in the story.

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Paper and Fabric Marbling

Learn to make the beautiful, multicolored patterned papers you often see in the covers of old book on paper and fabric, including traditional patterns like the Peacock, Stone Marble, Spanish Wave, Feather, Nonpareil, French curl and more.

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Paper and Fabric Marbling

Learn to make the beautiful, multicolored patterned papers you often see in the covers of old book on paper and fabric, including traditional patterns like the Peacock, Stone Marble, Spanish Wave, Feather, Nonpareil, French curl and more.

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Paper Batiking Extrodinaire

Tired of being cooped up in the house this winter?  Do you have a few tired sheets of paper screaming for a little zest?  Feel like you want to transform yourself and your papers?  Well, why not? 

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Paper, Metal and Stone

A weekend of fresh materials and techniques including picture tracing/transfer, art charms from aluminum cans and masonry shrine construction.

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Papermaking with Plant Fiber

There is something magical about making paper by hand. You start with a fiber: the fallen leaves from the maple tree in your yard, or the bast fiber from the milkweed sticks you harvested from the roadside. You cook it, beat it, and pull it into a layer of wet pulp that dries into the most beautiful paper — comprised of textural earth tones and feathery deckle edges. When you use this handmade paper in bookmaking, it provides one more element where you have control of the aesthetic.

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Parlor Tricks

Fabricate a wickedly cool gothic mansion from paper! This vertical format triptych book is the perfect place to clear the cobwebs and work some magic. For two full days we will have a riot employing creative trickery with paint, stencils, and dimensional deceptions resulting in one-of-a-kind architectural tomes. Come to my neighborhood and we’ll cast some spells together. Address: Mysteria Lane (ha!)

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Paste Papers – Open Studio

This is the second of a three series winter open studio program. Our February theme will be paste papers. We will mix up a few paste mixtures add some paint and away we go. Gives finger painting a whole new meaning.

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Personal Geographies: Mapping Your Life

Humans have been making maps for thousands of years: it is an urge some of us can’t resist. Using collage, illustration, journaling, paint, paper and other mixed media, you will create "maps" of your life experience, based on historical models. These maps of the imagination can record our journeys of the past, future, backyards, hopes, dreams, and mythological places.

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Personal Iconology

Throughout history, Icons have provided fascination and comfort to highly-varied cultural groups; from 12th Century jewel-encrusted examples from Russia, to exuberant spontaneous "pathway icons" from modern-day India. Whether viewed as objects of reverence, or as remarkable works of art, they inspire and invite creative curiosity. As mixed media artists, our specialty is to gather inspiration from traditional artforms and bring our own sense of adventure, creativity and exploration to the challenge of re-inventing and re-interpreting these ideas.

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Pipe Dreams

Create several original pieces of art to wear. Learn how to fashion a pipe bezel pendant, construct a bezel ring, and alter the surfaces using a variety of textural effect including the use of a rolling mill and a dapping block.

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Plaster Architecture – An Exploration in Sculpting with Plaster

In this exploration of translating plaster into three dimensional forms, learn plaster sculpture construction and armature, carving and shaping sculptural forms with plaster and plaster-like products. Finishing and textural effects using paint, carving, sanding, incorporating paper ephemera and found objects and plaster casting will be explored in depth.

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Playing with Polaroids

Polaroids can be much more than a quick snapshot, they can be altered to create magical, one a kind pieces of art. This class will work with two types of Polaroid alterations: transfers and emulsion lifts.

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Playing with Polaroids: The Next Step

An extension of the September 16 workshop, this program uses your mastery of the method to use Polaroid transfers in a wide variety of ways. In this workshop, image transfers and emulsion lifts will be incorporated into books and other mixed media. Your only limit is your imagination.

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Pocket Book Softie

In this easy and fun project, play with both fabric and paper to create a soft and cuddly creature that carries a small handmade book in its back pocket.
This workshop is closed.

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Pop-Up Paper Structures

A special kind of creative magic awaits you in this workshop. You will learn basic on-the-fold pop-up structures, then progress through a series of more complicated three-dimensional constructions.

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Postcards from the Other Side of Your Brain

Through collage, found poetry, and experimentation with inks as paint, you’ll create intuitive art for one side of the postcard. The other will be messages developed using your own inner wisdom reached though guided visualization during deep writing sessions. The result will be Postcards From the Other Side of Your Brain, a set of tarot-like cards.

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Precious Little: Poetics of the Found-Object

The materials we use for creative expression can be found literally at our feet.

 

Join noted American art jeweller Keith E. Lo Bue on an energetic exploration of unusual and unexpected materials in jewelry making. Through hands-on projects and thought-provoking instruction, students will learn the varied methods of selection and assembly this limitless palette demands. 

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Precious Little: The Poetics of Found Object Jewelry

An energetic exploration of unusual and unexpected materials in jewelry making. Learn the varied methods of selection and assembly that this limitless palette demands.

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Preserved Relic Polymer Clay Journal

Capture evidence of your journeys in a resin well within polymer clay. Students will delve into polymer clay
manipulation and design and construct a long stitch journal with time-honored techniques.

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Print, Pattern and Paper

Look at various ways to make patterned and textured paper to use for fine art, books and fine Crafts of every kind using acrylics, glazes, stains, stamps, stencils, collage and more. It will be hard to ever go back to machine printed paper!

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Raise the Bar

Are you ready to move forward from your typical art-making approach and take your painted surfaces to a new level? Curious about how tap your talent and amp it up to eleven*? Raising the Bar is a workshop designed to support you in the quest to push the boundaries of your creative process. Through both group and personal brainstorming sessions we will review and investigate opportunities for growth that arise in studying the interpretations of assignments I have prepared for you. We will discuss and practice many design principles like composition, color, and content, with both painting and collage. We will try many surface treatment techniques and will spend some time making our own tools inspired by a field trip through the gorgeous Valley Ridge property.

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Re-sin'-blage: A Charming Exercise in Jewelry Adornments

Experience the magic of creating resin objects.  Make molds, fill bezel cups, and explore the myriad of ways to use resin.  Transform objects into elements to incorporate into unique jewelry pieces and embellishments to enhance your assemblage and journaling work. We will then take these elements to the next level, to assemble your own signature, one-of-a-kind, “charming” bracelet.

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Reaching Back

Returning to childhood allows us to collect and reclaim the very first rumblings of undiluted, unencumbered creativity. You’ll return to low-tech ways of creating a surface that is full of layered color, images, words, and history. The process of layering creates a rich surface, full of history and accumulation — a good metaphor for living a life full of various shadings of experiences and a wide range of interests.

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Resin Charms – Open Studio

Our new Open Studio series begins in January with resin bezel cups. Although no “formal” instruction will be given, Kathy will help anyone who is not familiar with the process to get started.

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Resin Open Studio

The 2008 Open Studio series begins in January with resin bezel cups. Although no "formal" instruction will be given, Kathy will help anyone who is not familiar with the process to get started.

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Roll With It

Learn to create interesting painterly surfaces with layers of texture, pattern, and color. We will brush, brayer, scrape, stamp and spray to create an informative dossier of over twenty techniques on a twenty-five foot roll of paper. Day one is focused on the process, and is fast-paced to stay one step ahead of the inner critic. Day two is focused on the project, where the completed work is manipulated into a journal where every page has its own foundation, ready for your personal entries. The composition of each layout is only the first of many discoveries that will take place as we review several methods for adding content to the painted backgrounds.

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Sacred Play

In this 3 day workshop, our collective intention is to explore this creative realm and discover the myriad ways it reveals itself to us. We will lead you on various “adventures” designed to enhance your imagination, relax your body, and help you access the expansive, sometimes elusive YOU. Activities include (but are not limited to) various painting projects – both individual and collaborative, nature art/walks, yoga, visual “journeying”, performance art and sacred ceremony.

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Savor Life's Flavor

Come join Mary Beth for an intimate weekend of Flavor loosely based on her book. Join us as we shake it up, moving seamlessly from art to music to food to dancing. We’ll share a multi-sensory weekend that transcends any art class you’ve ever attended.

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Sculpting a Doll in Cloth

Learn how to use knit fabric as a sculpting medium, including needle sculpting a human face, fabric stiffening, options for covering the sculpted piece with other materials such as gauze, paper clay, paper and more.

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Sculptural Collage – Working with Found Materials

This workshop focuses on re-used and found objects. Use found media like books, cassette tapes and maps and alter them to become new works of art. Consider the original intentions of the material and the meanings and assumptions of the material and its uses to transform them into something new, either functional, pictoral or purely sculptural.

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Selective Seeing: Painting the Mind's Eye View

The mind remembers, in fuzzy or vivid detail, snippets of history and portions of the whole picture. You might remember what dress you wore the first day of kindergarten but the rest of the school year is a blur. You may even have the outline burned in your memory of the peripheral view of those who were with you when you stood for an award, but can’t for the life of you remember who those people were. Or, maybe, you remember every little detail of particular event – the people, the scents, the colors of the sky, sounds of commotion but most important to you are a few key details of the moment. The apron grandma always wore, dad’s work boots, the color of morning on the farm. Those are the details we will bring into focus in this two-day intensive exploration in dreamscaping.

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Shadows and Light

Spend three lovely, relaxing days learning a wide variety of different mixed media and jewelry wiring techniques in a project that includes both a rosary-style "gated" necklace and an evocative shadowbox that houses favorite tiny items.This will be a wonderful time of incorporating assorted approaches to artwork with dimensional items or relatively small treasures gathered throughout the years; using mica, wire, nails, hand drills, paint and paper and fabric, vintage findings and trimmings, we will each create a narrative vignette that will take our work "off the page", to the next dimension.

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Shrine Boxes/Assemblage – Open Studio

This is the third of a three series winter open studio program. Our March theme will be shrines. Gather up your this, thats, and whatnots and let’s pay homage to the beginning of spring! – or whatever you would like to honor.

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Sideshow Freaks & Fantasticals

Michael deMeng and Andrea Matus deMeng return to Valley Ridge in June for an (almost) week-long, extremely strange sideshow extravaganza starring an assortment of freaks, sirens, vampires and winged fantasticals. Featuring two workshops and optional special events, it’s the perfect experience to get your summer started on a wonderously weird note. Join Andrea for Sumptuous Sirens and Botanical Beauties and/or Michael for Vampires, Angels & Freaky Things with Wings. As an added bonus, Michael will provide optional, one on one art coaching sessions for students to bring in any work of their choosing for us to discuss everything from dilemmas to solutions.

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Silk Paper Making

Silk paper is very exotic and wonderful for book covers, art pieces, and cards. We will be using silk fibers to create versatile colorful papers that can be used in a variety of projects.

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Single Minded Binding

“One of these thing is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong”, remember that from Sesame Street?  Well believe it or not that song actually kind of relates to art of Single Sheet Coptic bookbinding.  “Why?” well because one of the things that this style of binding allows us to do …

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Solder Alchemy

Wouldn

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Soldering Success

Have you tried soldering on your own, want to learn how, or need some supportive advice for trickier projects? Then set the world on fire (but not your studio) as you work out the kinks in your soldering repertoire.

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Spheres, Cones, and Cubes Oh My!

In this three day workshop you will be taking on the challenge of making 1”-3” hollow constructions out of 18 gauge copper sheet. You will choose to make a sphere, cone, or cube that you will deck or make two sides which fit into each other. You will conclude by finishing the surface and presto!-you have a beautiful, delicate container. We will be practicing advanced soldering methods, scoring and bending sheet metal, dapping, forming, sanding and finishing.

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Stairway to Heaven I

A fascination with architecture and a love of pattern spawned Michelle’s interest in Byzantine imagery — with the deep, rich colors found in the religious icons, shrines, and cathedrals and the recurring use of arches and domes. With a nod toward Byzantium, learn to paint papers using layers of repetitive motifs, then the use the papers to build a triptych book.

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Stairway to Heaven II

A fascination with architecture and a love of pattern spawned Michelle’s interest in Byzantine imagery — with the deep, rich colors found in the religious icons, shrines, and cathedrals and the recurring use of arches and domes. With a nod toward Byzantium, learn to paint papers using layers of repetitive motifs, then the use the papers to build a triptych book.

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Sticks and Stones Won

The focus of this class will be on rough/basic jewelry technique and demonstration, with emphasis on soft stone, shell, and stick drilling, including miniature shadowbox construction we will incorporate into a very basic jewelry design.

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Stitch and Sew Book

This workshop is a mixed media festival, combining three different paper making techniques, various embellishments and sewing. You’ll make a small book which measures 5 1/2” x 5 1/2” and has four signatures plus a front and back cover. You’ll be making fabric paper and two new paper techniques, the first using modeling paste and paint on paper and the second using punch-outs glued to a paper background and gessoing.

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Story Booklace: an Intensive Three Day Journey into the Magic World of Jewelry Designs I

Back by popular demand is the wonderful booklace design, this time executed in nothing less than sterling silver. This time around, too, the booklace can be worn either front or back, as both sides bear intricate designs: the front (or back, if you wish) is hammered with either a poem or a statement, and the back is adorned with a vintage brass bezel, filled with resin and then attached by eyelets to the booklace cover.

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Story Booklace: an Intensive Three Day Journey into the Magic World of Jewelry Designs II

Back by popular demand is the wonderful booklace design, this time executed in nothing less than sterling silver.  This time around, too, the booklace can be worn either front or back, as both sides bear intricate designs:  the front (or back, if you wish) is hammered with either a poem or a statement, and the back is adorned with a vintage brass bezel, filled with resin and then attached by eyelets to the booklace cover.

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Sumptuous Sirens & Botanical Beauties

Remember those old carnival sideshow posters…like “Cobra Girl”…or the “Two-Headed Boy? Prepare to do some carnivalesque transformative magic of our own as we take everyday images and change them into large scale mixed media masterpieces. Using a combination of collage and paint we are going to take the ordinary imagery and transform it in to something “otherworldly” and divine.

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Synchronicity

A simple painted journal is transformed into a handsome and unique artist’s book when we begin with deliberate manipulations then let Synchronicity take over. Using circles in art-making is an endless adventure and I never tire of investigating the possibilities with the classic, simple shape. Circles play an integral role in our interactive art book that will focus on all celestial beings, particularly the sun and the moon. These subjects unlock portals where one can explore dramatic shifts from light to dark, the subtle nuances between positive and negative, and the navigation of scale and repetition.

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Take Three: The Magic of Color Triads is Revealed

Finally, the class you asked for … color management using acrylic paints.  You know how all the color books seem geared toward watercolors or oils? How even the most detailed of books never name colors you can find in your local store?  Combining theories from different art references, learn how to find the right Triad, because it’s all about Red/Yellow/Blue.  But you need to combine the right Red/Yellow/Blue in order to make beautiful colors.  By mixing colors and adding black and white, you’ll learn to make any color you will ever need and assemble an Easel Book Color Wheel that will become a constant companion in your studio.  

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Telling Stories

These whimsical puppets and their stories are brought to life by a little sculpture, a little painting, a little writing and some magic. Each puppet will carry your tale in words and image, canvas, paper and paint, on its surface, along with a small accompanying journal to serve as a storybook.

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The ADVANCED Found Object Sandwich

Anyone who has ever taken Tom’s Found Object Sandwich class will find this advanced version of the course equally challenging.  In this class, Tom will inform it’s participants in advanced metalsmithing
techniques that involve soldering, die forming, etching, and roller printing. 

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The Art of Being in a Relationship

Explore who you are in relationships, learn how to balance the two basic life forces; the drive for individuality and the drive for togetherness and learn how to maintain your sense of self when you are emotionally and/or physically close to others. You will learn skills to help you develop more resilient intimate relationships and emotional connection in this art therapy program.

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The Artful Alphabet

Create your own personal Exemplar — An artistic presentation of the letters of the alphabet. We will work with collage and mixed media painting techniques to create large, expressive works of art that describe and define our lives.

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The Artful Alphabet

As children we’re told "A is for Apple, C is for Cat",etc. As artists we have a whole lifetime of experiences and inspirations to harvest to create our personal Exemplar. (Exemplar: An artistic presentation of the letters of the alphabet.) We will work with collage and mixed media painting techniques to create large, expressive works of art that describe and define our lives. Each artist will create a bold and distinctive alphabet, using personal memorabilia and other ephemera, combined with painting, stamping, mono-printing, and found objects. Learn new ways of working with images, as well as tips for maintaining your creative verve.

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The Artful Alphabet

Create your own personal Exemplar — An artistic presentation of the letters of the alphabet. We will work with collage and mixed media painting techniques to create large, expressive works of art that describe and define our lives.

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The Black Swan and the Lost Key

Discover the transformational and healing nature of Extreme Visual Journalism developed by Juliana Coles. Learn to recognize and develop your own personal mythology through the ancient myths, untold stories and faded fairy tales of your life. We gather at this retreat equipped with the compassion of our visual journals; not just as a tool for self expression, but the Secret Key to our rich inner world, full of unique signs, symbols, and golden threads. Within you lies a vast archive of stories and images that are rich with metaphor and energy to assist you on the Black Swan’s journey of telling the rare and as yet, untold tale of herself by combining words with art and images in the safe container of a book or journal.

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The Book of Talking Ribbons

Create a delightful book with hard covers, watercolor pages and colorful signature wraps sewn over luscious ribbons in a criss-cross fashion, known as the Romanesque braid binding.

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The Found Object Sandwich

Explore the design concepts and fabrication techniques important to an assemblage approach to jewelry making.

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The Found Object Sandwich: The Photo Assemblage Brooch

Explore the design concepts and fabrication techniques important to an assemblage approach to jewelry making.

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The Four Seasons II: Mixed Media for all Seasons

What color is Autumn to you? Could it be just one color, or is it a bountiful collection of colors, like a scattering of newly fallen leaves in the middle of October? What about Spring, Summer, and Winter? Can you capture them with paint and collage — yes, you can!

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The Four Seasons: Mixed Media for all Seasons

What color is Autumn to you? Could it be just one color, or is it a bountiful collection of colors, like a scattering of newly fallen leaves in the middle of October? What about Spring, Summer, and Winter? Can you capture them with paint and collage — yes, you can!

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The Golden Feast – a Sampling of Gritty Grounds, Seductive Surfaces and Luminous Glazes

This experience begins Friday evening with an optional two-hour product lecture and overview of the Golden acrylic painting line.  The Open Studio continues on Saturday and Sunday, with the opportunity to really work with the Golden product line from start to finish. Over these two days you will create a variety of painting — grounds, gels, knockdown finishes, layers, digital transfers and much more.

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The Heart of the Studio

Art making can heal, touch, and open your heart. Professional artists and those who are delving into art for the first time both can benefit from a process practice of knowing how to paint from the heart.

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The Journey from Spontaneity to Intent

Paint & play go hand in hand while learning the ins and outs of working on claybord!  When we are spontaneous and let ourselves really mix up the media, the result is a true artistic adventure.  

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The Mosaic Voyage

Get ready to set sail on a mosaic voyage like no other. In this intensive three-day workshop, you will transform a plain metal book case into a beautiful handmade mosaic travel compendium. Students will be guided through a myriad of mixed media techniques using polymer clay to create  highly embellished tiles. We will use paint, mica powders, gold leaf, beads,  metal findings and jewels to enhance the polymer clay tiles.

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The Mystic Marionette of the Marigny

Palm and Tarot readers line the New Orleans sidewalks with visions of the future…well…perhaps.  To honor Big Easy soothsayers I thought we’d have a bit of fun using some puppetry.  In this class we will be creating marionettes that have moving arms that foretell forthcoming events.  The real inspiration for this class is the card …

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The Nature of Poetry: Finding the Words To Honor Mother Earth

When we honor Mother Earth by inviting the expanse of the natural world into our writing, we become caretakers and stewards of the earth. When we write from the heart of our own wilderness we can experience a sense of joy and healing. This workshop is for anyone who wants to experiment and play with language by "spilling" words unto paper, be it poetry or prose.

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The Painted Page

Treat yourself to two full days of getting messy with paint and making interesting pages in your visual journal. Get immersed in the process and gain a new perspective and enthusiasm for both painting and journaling.

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The Painterly Print and Seductive Surfaces

The new digital grounds expand the possibilities for painting and mixed media artwork. Techniques for combining printed imagery with an inkjet printer with unusual surfaces will be explored. We will create acrylic  skins  for layering with transparent, opaque, metallic, and one-of-a- kind surfaces, and push imagery into a new realm.

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The Waxed-Linen Sailor

Many artists use waxed-linen thread to bind and attach – but after joining artist Keith Lo Bue for this day of sailors’ rope-rigging and micromacramé techniques scaled for small objects and jewelry, you’ll want to feature this strong and versatile medium front and center!

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The Wizard of Odds

The Workshop January 18 – January 23, 2016 Buzz buzz here. Buzz buzz there, using Dremels, drills and saws,That’s how we pass the day away in the merry ol’ land of Odds. Brush brush here, brush brush there, painting plastic, wood or brass. That’s how we pass the day away in the merry ol’ Land …

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Thrashing Out A Design

Those of you who have spent time at Valley Ridge are already familiar with the fabulous piece of antique farm equipment parked under the Burr Oak behind the Community Building – that beautiful old thrasher. While photographing this fabulous thrasher, it dawned on me that no matter what part of it I was shooting, it was a terrific design. Motivated and inspired by the intricacies of its structure, I thought how this piece of farm equipment naturally lends itself to all the elements of art and principles of design. Rather than speaking about design in abstract terms, we will use the thrasher as a hands on example. In this 2-day workshop, we explore the various aspects of design. Your assignment: To create elements for a piece of jewelry based on these design principles.

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Tin-tastic: Exemplifying Excess

We’ve combined our “whole 9 yards class” with our “put the pedal to the metal class” to offer you a tin-tastic class like no other! Starting with a funky, chunky, thick sterling silver bracelet and closure, you will create a variety of unique charms using a variety of materials and methods to make a one-of-a-kind conversation piece.

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Toolmaking 101

Knowing how to make your own tools will be a skill that will serve you well in jewelry making and metal working.  This workshop will introduce you to the basic methods of making simple tools. We will cover the shaping, hardening, and finishing of steel tools, as well as tool design. We will also learn how to modify existing tools to meet your specific design requirements.

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Transparental Guidance

Typically collage is about the clever ways we combine items to cover over and transform surfaces; this time we are going to explore this medium in a slightly different way.  In this class you will be guided through the collage process incorporating items that are transparent in nature. Combining transparencies, mica, photos, textured papers, ephemera, …

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Trash to Treasure Master Class

Artists are renowned for using whatever is readily available in there surroundings to create art. You’re not going to see many coconut carvings in Alaska. In many ways, this is why the process of assemblage has become so popular; after all, junk and discarded things abound. Perfect pickings for those with the desire for junking …

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Tunnel Vision

Play with forced perspective in a bookish format using layers of imagery, pages, and found objects to create mysterious tunnels of imagery that seem to travel back into infinity.

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Twenty-Two

Twenty-Two (22) was created for my partner, an artist. It is the story of our journey and the places and things that are important to us.  Learn to make a similar book using symbology, not words, to tell a story, putting mixed media works, assemblages and shrines into a book form. Take an exciting journey as you create your story using colours, materials and found objects to help build a book that is intended to last generations. 

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UFO Unfinished [art] Objects Open Studio

Pack it up… You know what I mean…. Those loose pages to the art journal you started. Those found objects and doodads waiting patiently in a shoe box. Those fibers aimlessly dangling and daring to be attached. Yes, that art project that has been sitting in your studio with a promise to complete tomorrow…

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UNREAL: The Cast Found-Object

Embark on a fascinating and informative journey of molding and casting precious objects with found-object “stuffsmith” Keith Lo Bue. This world-premiere workshop will take you through preparing your own metal found objects and carefully creating silicone molds, out of which will be produced resin facsimiles that can be easily mistaken for the real thing.

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Untold Tales; A Big and Tall Book

We will spend these three days building a tall and thick mixed media book, full of painted background pages, one or two finished encaustic coated paintings, and snippets of fabric and collage elements strewn through the many pages. You will leave with a book full of pages to fill in future weeks ahead with your own visual journaling and artwork.

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Urn Your Keep

Now I’m of a belief that to be a great artist you need to put yourself, body and soul, into your pieces. So perhaps I’m taking it a bit far with this idea, but hey why not create a nice little space for you to dwell in after you “shuffled off this mortal” coil? In this class we’ll be making mixed media urns or reliquaries to house very special items (heirlooms, old letters, or even YOU) for posterity. Sure it sounds a bit morbid but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with the idea.

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Vampire Hunting

Nixing Nosferatus is not like getting rid of raccoons in the attic. It takes skill and training but it also takes the right tools and devices. So in this workshop you will be using your artistic skills to modify an everyday box or case into something that will send shivers down the spines of those nocturnal lurkers. Of course, to make a proper vampire hunting kit one must understand the type of vampire at large and use the appropriate method to exterminate.

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Vampires, Angels and Freaky Things with Wings

You’re going to pick your favorite flying thing (or something you’d like to fly) and create a little scene where it can stretch its wings. Discarded toys and found objects combined into something wild and wonderful using the process of assemblage. Best yet, using a very simple pulley system, we will make your creatures take flight…well at least flap their wings.

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VooDoo DooDad Dolls

Time to do that Voodoo that you do so well. Using found objects and assemblage, along with a dose of collage, painting and anything else we think of, we will be creating contemporary versions of the fascinating Haitian art form of Voodoo Dolls.

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Warming Up To Cold Connections I

Whether you are an experience art jeweler or looking for your first class in jewelry making, youll learn a wealth of tips, tricks and techniques that you can apply to your own jewelry and assemblage projects. The class will focus on creating a beautiful and intricate hinged locket that you will construct from a humble rusty washer, etched metal components, wire and your own hand crafted chain and clasp.

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Warming Up To Cold Connections II

Whether you are an experience art jeweler or looking for your first class in jewelry making, you’ll learn a wealth of tips, tricks and techniques that you can apply to your own jewelry and assemblage projects. The class will focus on creating a beautiful and intricate hinged locket that you will construct from a humble rusty washer, etched metal components, wire and your own hand crafted chain and clasp.

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Wax On Wax Off

Join Mary Beth Shaw and Julie Snidle for a weekend of waxy wonder as we explore a variety of mixed media wax techniques.  No body hair involved. Day 1 starts with the return of the ever popular Batik Paper and Mary Beth will share all the new methods she has developed. Papers that are so …

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Weathering & Distressing Techniques

Got a brand-new piece of metal that you’d love to make look old and worn? How about some wood? Or glass? Using a few tools, some simple solutions and a sprinkling of know-how, we’ll get that distressed look that will turn your new material into an artifact quicker than you can say Antiques Roadshow!

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Weird Wonderful Windows

Create weird and wonderful windows by transforming simple wooden boxes into mixed media lightboxes/electrical assemblage. Your windows will be constructed with multiple layers of glass, photo transparencies, paint and bits of assemblage.

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Where The Story Begins I

This class will focus on mixed media painting; adding layers of paint, collage, inks, image transfers, ephemera, drawingand painting the face, and other techniques. Spend two days playing, exploring, and creating a story to show and tell.

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Where the Story Begins II

This class will focus on mixed media painting; adding layers of paint, collage, inks, image transfers, ephemera, drawing and painting the face, and other techniques. Spend two days playing, exploring, and creating a story to show and tell.

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Who's Your DADA: a Series of Alternative Art Doll Workshops

Most of us have played with dolls in our childhood. This program captures the essence of moxie and spirit in the dolls you play-acted and interacted with using a variety of materials and techniques including tin cans, wood, paper, box constructions, gourds and fabric.

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Wizard of Odds Parade Banners

Optional Add-On Workshop January 18, 2016 Perhaps you’re a Winged Monkey, a Munchkin or a Winkie. Maybe you represent the Lollypop Guild or the Lullaby League. Whatever your Oz affiliation you just might need a banner to announce your comings and goings as you parade down the Yellow Brick Road through the French Quarter. In …

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Wooden Altered Book Cover

New for 2012, this workshop is the optional Part One of the Hand Bound Altered Book program, and guides you through the process of creating a wooden cover for your Hand Bound Altered Book.  Part Two, Hand Bound Altered Book  explores the pleasures of creating and filling a hand bound book, and is held on …

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Wooden Book with Centipede Binding

The Greek binding is an ornate historical binding dating from the 7th century.   This stitch has many similarities to the Ethiopian Style binding, but has a strikingly different effect.  We will maximize this difference by sewing with 2 different colors of thread. The elegant sewing structure, combined with wooden covers, opens a wide range of possibilities for both the beginner and the advanced bookbinder.  Using simple hand tools, you will drill, shape, and smooth your book covers. 

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Wooden Coptic Books

Developed as early as the fourth century, this Ethiopian binding style has withstood the test of time. The combination of historic sewing style, wooden boards and type of board attachments are what distinguish this Ethiopian style Coptic binding. Gain a better understanding of the basics of woodworking, using simple hand tools to drill, shape and smooth your book covers.

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Working with Wire

In this special workshop, you will learn to harness the possibilities of wire. From structural forms to chains, clasps and rivets, this valuable set of skills will enhance whatever you create, be it assemblage, jewelry or fixing something around the house!

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Zen is When

For centuries, Asian cultures have lead the way with their love of paper, painted surfaces, found objects and wearable art. In this three-day workshop, we will take a "zen" approach and work both sides of the brain… learning how to plumb the depths of our creativity with free-wheeling exercises, plus have plenty of time to create works of art. We will explore endless ideas for creating a rich, lavish, layered surface and create a one-of-a-kind Asian-themed artist book with a painted and collaged hand fan as an embellishment.

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