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April Brings Many Opportunities to Fearlessly Create at MoonTree Studios

March 27, 2013

    03/28/13/ Springtime brings the creative impulse alive in all of us, just as it awakens the Earth and animals to new life. What better place to be inspired to create than MoonTree Studios? With Spring now upon us, MoonTree Studios has scheduled an array of experiences during April to feed your creative, compassionate, and Earth-loving soul.

In the Paint Studio, there are a variety of experiences and retreats planned. Soul Tending Through Art Making, with Marianne Chalstrom facilitating, will be held Friday, April 5 through Saturday, April 6, 2013.During this retreat  Marianne encourages you on an enrichment of your personal journey of spirituality and creativity via an art journal. This approach to “art journaling” is a creative window on internal wisdom, a way of holistic prayer using quiet, art media, reflective gazing on the images, and writing.  You will be guided through the art-journaling process toward an inner wisdom, healing, or illumination. Come with the curiosity of a child, a desire to learn, or just to have fun.


Another retreat, Creating Our Life Stories, takes place Thursday April 11 through Friday April 12, with Rev. Dr. Karen Altergott. It deals with the creative aspects of writing as an aide to Spiritual Journey. The experience should be partly self-discovery and partly spiritual biography, and is especially pertinent to adults who have undergone significant life changes and who want to tell their stories in a way that reflects their faith, spirituality, and hope for the future. You may wish to bring a sketch book or large page-size journal. For both of these retreats, overnight accommodations are at Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center on the same property.


Saturday, April 13th, in the Painting Studio, Jayne Jacobson will intrigue you with the creative properties of layers of colorful, powdered glass, kiln-fired onto copper to yield beautiful, if unexpected results. You will catch on quickly to this ancient art form—fusing brightly colored glass to copper–with Jayne’s expert guidance. Artistic Fusion:  Enameling has wide application, from creating vibrant enamel “paintings” and medallions, to jewelry-making and other art objects. At the end of the class, you will take home an original piece of your own making. Bring a sack lunch!


In the Wood Shop, fancies will take flight when you build your own kite—so much better than the store-bought kind! Gordon Ligocki will facilitate this great intergenerational experience on two consecutive Saturday mornings, 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., April 6 and 13th. The spine, the spar, the frame, the cover…learn the basics of kite-building as you construct a basic box kite or aerobatic kite. Or Gordon can help you construct a kite as complicated as you are ambitious! On the first Saturday, build the wooden kite frame, and begin to cover the kite. One the second Saturday, complete building and decorating the kite, then take it for a test flight! All participants are invited back to MoonTree on April 27th to fly their kites during our Earth Day celebration.


A one-day introduction to Chip Carving with artist Carol Fleming will be offered on Saturday, April 20th, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Carol will show you basic wood cutting techniques and you will practice them on your own boards. Then you will layout a design of your own invention and depending on the complexity, finish it. Carol will also explain chip carving resources. MoonTree Studios will provide chip carving knives for your use. 

How about working with textiles? On Wednesday, April 24, MoonTree Elder and facilitator Vera Tiani-Shuppert invites you to try your hand at a craft that starts with a natural material–wool from the generous sheep at Earthworks–and a simple barbed needle. This experience will focus on creating your own one-of-a-kind soft sculpture and you will learn the process by first making a 3-dimensional whimsical bunny (great for a “some bunny cares” gift.)  Sculptures are limited only by your imagination and can be used as ornaments, pet and child toys, and intricate fiber art pieces. Felting is a fun intergenerational activity. And Vera says she loves doing needle felting in the car while her husband drives . . . it’s such a portable art form! Participants will receive enough wool to complete two or more creations, depending on size.


Looking forward to a relaxing evening? Well, let us remind you that on the second Tuesday evening of every month, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. all interested spinners in the area are invited to Sit & Spin in MoonTree Gallery. Bring your wheel or drop spindle and come join us for a relaxing and inspirational evening with like-minded textile artists.

For those of us who made mud-pies in the puddles every spring, the MoonTree Clay Studio offers grown-up endeavors with clay. Vickie Cook facilitates Hand-Building Pottery on Monday afternoons (1:00 to 4:00 p.m.) or evenings (6:00 to 9:00 p.m.) March 11, 18, and April 1, 8, 15, 22, 2013; 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. EDT. This is an opportunity for all experience levels, and definitely encouraged for beginners. You will learn imaginative hand-building methods as you make a coil bowl, a woven bowl, a pinch pot cup and saucer, and a slab box. Then you’ll be free to combine your skills and create something of your own invention. This experience will allow you to explore the unique properties of clay, the aesthetics of form, decorating techniques, and glaze application.

Also in the Clay studio, Vickie will be leading an experience to make pots for Raku firing, in anticipation of our May 4th Walk-Through Raku fundraiser. This is for experienced participants.

If you haven’t been to MoonTree for awhile, you should see our latest lawn ornament. It’s a giant catapult! We’ve been inviting you to partake of a fun activity to get the whole family doing something together…building a catapult. There’s still time to get involved in this experience. It will be fun and practical, too, sure to provide a real world, hands-on example of many aspects of engineering, science, design of experiments, problem solving and cause-effect relationships. Your family or team will make a catapult of wood and must be able to throw a golf ball for distance and accuracy, and you can schedule wood shop time with a facilitator at your own convenience. Catapults must be complete and inspected by April 19, 2013. All catapult teams are invited to participate in an Earth Day catapult contest and celebration on Saturday, April 27, 2013.

Speaking of the Earth Day Catapult Contest, Launch of Life, and Artist’s Day Out–all of these activities are taking place at MoonTree Studios on Saturday, April 27, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Catapult Contest and Launch of Life are presented by pre-registered teams who have built their own throwing machine, but we need spectators to cheer them on! Admission to the event is free and there will be food and music. Bring your lawn chairs! Amatuer artists, students of art and art educators who pre-register are invited to free presentations sponsored by Strathmore Papers and Gamblin Artists’ Colors in MoonTree Gallery from1:00 to 4:30 p.m. on the same day. 

No experience is necessary for most MoonTree Studios experiences, but studio space is limited. You must register in advance. Call MoonTree Studios at 574-935-1712 for more information and to register for any experience.




    About Moon Tree Studios

MoonTree Studios, located at The Center at Donaldson, is a LEED® certified complex of buildings with studios for Clay, Textiles, Painting, and Wood/Metal. There is also a Gallery, where established artists display their work for the inspiration of others. MoonTree Studios is a place where skilled facilitators in a variety of creative disciplines impart creative techniques and experiences to interested participants. At MoonTree, the process is more important than the product, the exploration is more important than the outcome. Every experience at MoonTree is an invitation to try new things and search for your own answers. Visit for a schedule of experiences or to register. Daytime, evening, and Saturday experiences are available. Call 574-935-1712 or email for more information.