Pushing the comfort zone

After considerable internal debate, I’ve registered for “A Show of Hands,” the 35th Show of HandsInternational Calligraphy Conference.  No, you have not missed something.  I have long admired calligraphy but never taken a single class.  But, this conference is being held at Warren Wilson College, a scant 12 minute drive from my home, and it may be my only chance ever to attend. The cost was not insignificant, even without campus housing, so it means I’ll be foregoing a singing week at another location which would have been pure joy but not stretched me in the same ways.

From among the course offerings I’ve selected one that places more emphasis on making books, and somewhat less on the techniques of Cheryl Mootelettering that might be included.  “All levels welcome!”  it boldly proclaimed.  And even more than an interest in calligraphy, which partners so well with marbling, I need encouragement to finally start making books with content, rather than exclusively producing blank journals for the creativity of others.  “Heartfelt, Handmade,” taught by Cherryl Moote seems to fill the bill. At least, this is the class I requested and hope to be taking!   See also: www.mootepoints.com

At least I have until June 25 to take out the random calligraphy pens and inks that I’ve purchased over the years, and see if I can at least condition my hand muscles so they don’t cramp up when the time comes!  Now, I wonder if I can sell some marbled paper to all these great calligraphers and book artists who will be in attendance.  Hmmmmn.



Workshop filling up!

I recently scheduled my first marbling workshop since moving to our new house a few months ago.  With the large garage/studio I can accommodate a small group comfortably.  A few places are left in the class on Saturday, June 7.  $75.00 includes all materials needed, use of a full set of tools, and of course friendly instruction and lots of fun!   Check the workshops page for more information.  IMG_20140412_110610 IMG_20140416_165707

Marbling with friends

About six of us marbling fools enjoyed a full day at Asheville Bookworks for open studio day with Steve Pittlekow.  As usual, I brought my camera and then forgot to ever take it out.  I was so pleasantly surprised that someone had detected it was my birthday and we all shared some delicious cake.  Here’s a peek at some of the papers, taken after I got them home.

Elise Witt – House Concert and more

SAT. FEB. 12

Singing Workshop, Pot Luck, & Concert w/ Elise Witt
@ the home of Ginny Moreland and David Groce

2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Impromptu Glorious Chorus: a singing for fun workshop
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.  Pot Luck Dinner – Bring a dish to share
7:00 p.m.  Concert of Global, Local & Homemade Songs

Workshop Cost  $25 paid by Feb. 1 / $40 after Feb. 1
Concert Cost  $10 at the door  * Free with Workshop Registration
Info: Ginny Moreland, 828-328-3477

Singing in Community – A Vocal Workshop w/Elise Witt

Learn songs come from Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Explore the rainbow of colors inherent in our voices. Join with other daring singers to create vocal landscapes, soulful harmonies, and impromptu sonic masterpieces. Bring the voice you have been given and explore the joy of singing in community. This workshop is open to everyone from new singers to professionals. Music reading is not a prerequisite.

“Global, Local & Homemade Songs

The producer of the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage calls Elise Witt “a performer to remember with international savvy & personal charm.” Elise was born in Switzerland, raised in North Carolina, and since 1977 has made her home in Atlanta. She speaks five languages fluently, sings in over a dozen more, and has been a cultural ambassador to South Africa, Italy, Nicaragua, Switzerland, and China. A concert with Elise takes listeners on a glorious and rollicking journey, visiting lands of gypsy jazz, smoky cabarets, and funky swing, as well as acapella vocalises and poignant ballads. A songwriter and composer, she recently premiered the Elise Witt Choral Series, and has just released Valise, her 11th recording for EMWorld Records. Elise has studied with vocal masters Bobby McFerrin, Rhiannon, and Ysaye Barnwell, and she sang for 20 years under the baton of Robert Shaw in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus. Elise has earned a reputation as a masterful educator, encouraging even the shyest singers to revel in their voices. As a Residency Artist, she works with students in elementary schools through universities, as well as with professional ensembles and community groups. Her workshops and concerts use music as a language to celebrate our cultural diversity while appreciating our connections as one human family. Her concerts are famous for turning audiences (even self-professed “non-singers”) into an impromptu glorious chorus.

A word from Elise:
“So many people in this western culture have had someone at some point tell them they are “unmusical,” “tone deaf,” or some other deflating and demoralizing criticism. That is the reason I teach my classes – because I just don’t believe that there is anyone who can’t sing. We are all born singing, and in cultures before this busy, hectic, modern one, singing was the main way we had of communicating and remembering our stories. We sang babies into the world, sang to celebrate marriages and festive occasions, sang our grief, and sang to accompany someone to the next life. Singing vibrates our bodies and brings healing and joy. We all need to sing – as individuals and as community!”

Momentary glass diversion

My blog productivity seems to have an inverse relationtionship to my other online activity.  I have been spending more time on Facebook lately, and especially a lot of time on Etsy.   But here I am.   My husband works in stained glass, so a few weeks ago we went out to the Glass Craft and Bead Expo in Las Vegas.  I had to do something to amuse myself so I took a couple of classes – introductions to flameworked beads and to cast and fused dichroic glass for jewelry.  Terrific fun, but I have to control myself and not get distracted from the main event.

first crop of beads

first crop of beads

Fused and cast pieces from the workshop

Fused and cast pieces from the workshop

Next workshop – November 8

Spend Saturday, November 8 with a few like-minded  souls and you too can be a marbler!  10 a.m. to 4 p.m., all materials and tools suppied, $50.00.  Please see the workshop page (tab above) for all the details!  Email hickorymarbler@yahoo.com to register.