Monday, June 24, 2013

Shakerag Workshops 2013

I just finished teaching a weeklong printmaking workshop at Shakerag Workshops in Sewanee Tennessee.

Sewanee is the home of the University of the South and St. Andrews Sewanee high school, where the workshops take place. It is set on the edge of the Cumberland Plateau in rural Tennessee just north of Chattanooga.

Shakerag was started ten years ago by Claire Reishman who is a ceramic artist and English teacher at St. Andrews. I first met Claire many years ago while I was teaching at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Deer Isle .  She is a wonderful woman and  has made a huge contribution to the arts by creating  Shakerag.

The workshop I taught had twelve delightful and hardworking participants. We focused on collagraph  prints which simply means that one creates a textured collaged surface on wood panels which is then inked with oils paints applied with brushes and rollers and then run through  an etching press.

Each print is unique. The heavy paper is moistened which helps to create an embossed surface on the paper.
The class was so much fun and I feel inspired by the interactions and all that I learned from students and other instructors during the week.
There is such a feeling of camaraderie and deep bonding through the common interest in making things by hand at these workshops. All of the instructors give short presentations about their work and lives which I always find inspiring and eye opening.
I learn so much about craft and processes about which I was previously unfamiliar.
I began teaching these workshops when I was in my early thirties at Arrowmont School of Crafts in Gatlinburg Tennessee and have taught at Penland School of Crafts as well many times. Being involved with these schools has enhanced my life and work greatly in so many ways and I don’t think it all would have happened if I hadn’t moved to Tennessee in the mid-eighties.