Botanica Exotica

“Richardson wiped his brow and then pushed back the thick growth with his machete. There after months of searching, hanging pendulous from its vine before him bloomed the elusive translucia rustifolium! We won’t need to brave the tropics and mosquitos for exotic blooms.

Join us as we construct ours out of wire and cover it with an ancient material used by humans the world over to achieve a translucent taunt membrane, sausage casing! The casings come frozen and packed in salt for use in sausage making. We will use them much like paper mache but you won’t need glues as it sticks to itself. While wet, the material can be dyed with inks or fabric dyes. Once dry the casing is papery and can be written on with ink and paint, or stamped with rubber stamps. It can be sewn, stapled, you name it. So join us for the day in our quest for own rare bloom!

About the Instructor

Melissa Manley lives and works in southeastern North Carolina a few miles from Wrightsville beach. She received her BA in studio arts from University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Years later she went back to gradate school in Metals at East Carolina University. While there Melissa was fortunate to study with enameling master Linda Darty and the godfather of found object Robert Ebendorf. She earned her MFA in Metal Design at East Carolina University in 2006. Melissa now teaches metals and jewelry at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington in addition to teaching workshops around the country in collage, book altering, watercolor and jewelry making for the past 7 years. Her work has appeared in Somerset Studio magazine, Belle Armoire magazine, Crafting Personal Shrines by Carol Owen, The Fine Art of Enameling by Linda Darty, Making Connections by Susan Lenart Kazmer, 500 Enameled Objects by Lark books, and Collage Lab by Bee Shay. Melissa winds down from the dizzy pace of making a living with her art by kayaking and beachcombing with her partner, kayak instructor Robert Smith, and her teenage daughter Meredith.