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Great Fun at Maureen Carlson’s Center for Creative Arts

Maureen Carlson and Alice Stroppel 9-2012

This picture shows you just how happy I was to be asked to teach for three days at Maureen Carlson’s Center for Creative Arts. I was in Jordan MN at Maureen’s Center over a week and a half ago and I wish I were still there or at least lived close enough that I could visit, spend the night and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow seekers of artist expression or just plain good company.

Last night I was at Highlands Art League in Sebring, FL giving a polymer clay demo and Chuck and Vada Thomas were there. Like me, they saw Maureen on the Carol Duvall show in the late 1990′s and heard her mention that she had a center in Jordan where you could take a class and spend the night in the dorm rooms upstairs. They called Maureen and were shortly on their way to Minnesota. Maureen remembers them and says that Chuck’s sweet potato carving and wooden gnome carving still grace her shelves. It’s a small world, even here in this little county in Florida Maureen has touched many people.

These are a few of the polymer clayers that were at Maureen’s. Kit is pictured below, but sorry to say we never did get a picture of Ann Poulson and Kit Wojcik on the day they were there, Maureen took this of Kit on another day. Sorry Ann.

Linda Garbe, Maureen Carlson, Beth Wegener, Karen Nelson, Renee Carlson, Anne Brown

Kit Wojcik

We did face canes and pen and ink and cane mapping, and as usual, there were some wonderful pieces that were created. We all enjoyed each other and everyone finished pieces that they really liked. In fact Kit went back to Maureen’s another day and she, Maureen, Renee kept working and creating more projects. they said they had a ball with the Stroppel Cane.

Anne ‘s face cane was it was really good. She made this bracelet with a slice. Wish you could see it on her, taking pictures of a face on the curvature of a bracelet doesn’t do it justice.

Karen created this fabulous, funky, colorful cane mapped cat. I’d say she likes purple. She kept saying, “I’ll never be able to do this, I don’t like intricate work”.  But oh how wrong she was, I think she had a good time too.

Renee hasn’t finished this butterfly, but I hope to have pictures when she does. Just so fabulous I can’t wait to see the finished piece.

Linda had fun with her faces and made a beautiful bracelet and cane mapped design. Wonder what she’s going to do with them?

Beth was in a avian mood and made several stunning birds. Wish I’d gotten a better photo of her work. Try and zoom in on this bird, it’s beautiful. Beth if you read this, send pictures, pretty please.

A shot of the classroom. It’s the best place to be, seriously just like home, full of touches of Maureen’s art and others all around the room.

Anne Brown created this beauty that holds special meaning to her. It really made me happy to see the smile on her face when she finished it.

Maureen combined her cane mapped piece with a pen and ink face and accents to create this enchanting pendant.  I love this piece.

Now really, who would have ever believed that Maureen would be sitting in classes taught by me? Not this girl! She was pretty well behaved and as expected, a model student, accept when she and Renee were cutting up and laughing too hard.

Renee made these when Kit came back another day to play.

And Kit made these excellent bracelets on that day. Two are from Stroppel Canes and the last features her pen and ink face.

More after class fun and co-ordinated “homework” by Renee. Love them both.

Just to show you how much fun we had and what a crazy bunch of woman were in attendance, Linda made these outrageously fabulous earrings that she and Karen are modeling. (she didn’t make them in my class, she just brought them to share.) They’re titled, Ears to You Mr. Spock. How Funny! You should take a look at some of Linda’s videos, her work and stories are wonderful and you’ll learn something, I promise you.

There are picture on Maureen’s website, showing the outside of the center and the dorms. Here’s the charming room I stayed in. Complete with WiFi and all.

When you first walk through the front door you’re charmed and know you are at Maureen’s. Wee Folk, Maureen and her husband Dan’s creations, are everywhere, smiling at you from all directions. Look to your right and you see the stairs leading up to the dorm rooms upstairs.

Look to your left and be lead through Maureen’s workspace into the classroom.

Peaking into Maureen’s office you are greeted by this jolly life size Santa and Maureen freely admits that it’s a museum of sorts, housing many pieces of her’s and other artists. Love the positive words dancing across the walls.

Here’s Renee’s sweet dog, Poochie, keeping great company among some of Maureen’s favorites surrounding her work space.

Maureen sells finished items but also all the supplies you might need for any of her class. See…. once you get there, you never have to leave. Unless of course you’re tempted by charming antique shops and delightful cafes, then you might want to stretch your legs with a walk up the street. Or maybe sit by the sweet babbling creek out the back door.

So there you have it, a very full, fun filled 5 days at Maureen’s, a dream come true. Now to start planning my trip back, maybe as a student taking a class with Maureen or one of her guest artists.

Here’s Maureen, Anne and me on the last morning, I hated to leave. Anne was driving right by the airport on her way home and graciously offered me a ride. Thanks so much Anne.