Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My class in August at Valley Ridge Art Studio

Classes this year are having trouble getting students, for all the craft schools, etc, around the country. No surprise, considering the economy. For my Turtle Art Camps here at my home in Wooster, Ohio, I've only got students signed up for two of the camps I've offered for the whole year! One's in July and one's in October, and I have lots of openings for October and other months.

Most of my other classes, the ones I teach out, have enough students for them to happen, and one's even almost full (Peters Valley in NJ) (I about fainted, when I found THAT out, but I know they have other classes that aren't nearly full.)

There's this lovely gig Im really looking forward to, out in the country near Madison, WI, at Valley Ridge Art Studio, that still has class openings. It's for August 12 - 16, a Wednesday through Sunday class. Diary Paintings for Quilted Art Books, which is my Master Class there, is going to be unique, with a new twist on my diary work. (Don't get that Master Class term confused. It doesn't mean you have to be an expert in drawing, writing, painting, or sewing. My classes are ALWAYS for all levels, and I welcome beginners!)

Since Valley Ridge's focus is on book arts, I've designed a new class format, in which we make diary art paintings on cloth, but we make them into an art book. So it's a really holistic project, in which all the paintings are part of the same story or the diary for the week.

This is "Magic Lama #1," 23"h x 25"w, which I started last year at my April class at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN, (where I'll be teaching this October, by the way.) Magic Lama isn't meant to be a book page, but I can see pages similar to this in the book I'll make as my classwork demo at Valley Ridge. I plan to put my book's story all through the imagery, though students can take a more straight approach, with the writing and imagery more separated. We'll be using markers, a lot of airpen and fabric paint, and brushed-on colors with fabric paint, all on Kona cotton. We'll do my Crazy Grid machine sewing to quilt the "pages."

Oh, and if you'd rather just make paintings or paintings for quilting, not books, that's fine with me, too. It's all the same processes, so just do your thing!

This big farmhouse at Valley Ridge has bedrooms you can rent during the class session, as well as a big kitchen.

Find out everything you need to know about Valley Ridge Art Studio on its site. Go through all the options in the links on the left, because there are pages you need to see, that aren't obvious in the link titles. Snoop around!

It sounds like one of those places you just want to keep living at, instead of going home! It's about 75 miles southwest of Madison, Wisconsin and southeast of La Cross, near Muscoda. You can read about the housing and food there in the Concierge Services link on the site. Here's info about the classroom.

Here's the outside of the classroom.

And here's the inside. It looks really good to me! And yes, it's got A/C and a big fridge!

I taught at a similarly rural location in Fall, 2004, at the Frederick-Talbott Inn, which at that time had a program of fiber art classes, one at a time, much like this one at Valley Ridge. I went into that class at "The Fred," thinking it would be so weird for just one class to happen out in the country, with just US there all week, by ourselves. But it turned out we had a blast! We became such a bonded group, we went out to eat together all the time, loved our class time together, and became an email group that still stays in contact once in a while! SO I think this Valley Ridge experience will be the same thing: so intensely personal, we'll have a riot together!

If you're interested in taking my August class there, you can contact Kathy Malkasian at, or phone her at 608-943-6212. She owns and runs the Valley Ridge Art Studio. Again, cleck out my class: Diary Paintings for Quilted Art Books.

OK, I'm off to clean up my quilt storage room and console Jimmy and myself about the herd of groundhogs, who are wrecking our garden and showing no signs of being trapped in our live-trap! Jimmy's got a sling shot and some rocks ...

Be happy. Love, Lucky


  1. Susie, call me sometime when you aren't busy....I'd love to come hang out with you a bit.
    Laura Cummings
    Apple Creek

  2. Just taking the opp to blog back at ya, Lucky--had my photo shoot Monday--the only nice day this wk!, and the Green Catz bag--shot in my kitchen--looks rich! Know you'll approve. Also--had to comment on your First Lady quilt--awe-inspiring. The shaka hand certainly does work. And altho the sword and knife imagery is a bit scary, I think you've "skirted" the issue of violence...I must also confess my paring knife is MY fav kitchen tool, as well. Guess we all must cut through the sturm and drek of life and pare down to the important core of things. xox, Elly/ Eleanor Levie

  3. It is so pretty in Wisconsin! I wish I could be there.