Our instructors are drawn from a wealth of talented teachers, including nationally known artists from across the country and across the street. They are innovative craftsmen and artists who enjoy trying new techniques and love sharing what they do with their students.
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Dave was looking for a hobby after retirement and found Shake Rag Alley. He started with a welding class with Bob Tuftee who suggested he try blacksmithing. After taking several classes using a coal forge, Dave decided on a more modern approach to blacksmithing with a gas forge, MIG welder, and oxy-acetylene torch. Dave has worked on many pieces from traditional hooks and fire pokers, to tomahawks and flower sculptures. He sells his work at a local craft studio and is a member of UMBA (Upper Midwest Blacksmith Association).
Regina Riley taught herself to coil pine needle baskets 21 years ago. Since then she has always had a needle and thread in her hands. Coiling is just another form of sewing. She encourages students to use other natural materials, which is another reason for her enjoyment of this form of basketry. She has taught in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri. Her latest interest in basketry is the Cherokee Double Wall style and the Oklahoma Cherokee Double Wall style. One of her first pine needle baskets is in the permanent collection at the Rountree Gallery in Platteville, Wisconsin.
I now live in a small town of Hopkinton, Iowa. Spent most of my adult life taking all kinds of craft classes. The ones I enjoyed I practiced a lot so I could master them. Some of the crafts I really enjoyed most include carving, knitting, tatting, Hedebo, papercutting and Zentangle. I try to incorporate some of the crafts together. I have really enjoyed putting Zentangle on carvings. When people see them, they ask me to teach classes. I really enjoy passing along the craft to others.
Jamie Rogness is a highly creative and versatile artist who works in a broad range of mediums, predominently using natural materials. She is a master woodcarver, working with both hand and power tools to create intricate sculptures from tree branches and exquisite designs on ostrich eggs. Her concrete leaf castings are beautifully realistic. She has taught a variety of classes at the annual Woodlanders Gathering at Shake Rag Alley for over 10 years, including handsome, handmade lampshades with a touch of nature.
Jen Rubin is executive producer at Love Wisconsin, a statewide digital storytelling program of Wisconsin Humanities; co-producer of the Moth StorySlam in Madison; author of We Are Staying: Eighty Years in the Life of a Family, a Store, and a Neighborhood; co-producer of Inside Stories Podcast; and leader of storytelling workshops around the state (from nonprofit organizations to prisons to libraries to college campuses).
I started working with metal in 2000. I moved in and took over my husband’s small motor repair shop and began fabricating lawn ornaments. I began incorporating blacksmithing into my work after going to a thresher man’s show. My husband built me a forge and we started going to every blacksmith event we could find. Afterward, I would go back to my shop and practice what I learned from the demonstrator.
In 2005 I was introduced to copper. It was the same thing all over again. Learn and practice. I enjoy working with both metals. Blacksmithing may have been my first love, but copper is my passion. I most enjoy the design and teaching others how to create pieces in copper. I cannot admit that I am self taught for I have learned from demonstrators and the many friends who have encouraged and supported me. I am fortunate to be able to teach, demonstrate, and share what I have learned over the years – to pass it on, as they may say. My husband and I are members of IVBA, UMBA, IBA, ABANA and SOFA. I have enjoyed every minute of learning both of these fine crafts.
Nick Scheuer has been carving birds since he was a Boy Scout 40 years ago. He has developed a coloring system as popular as his rustic, whittled, carving style. His colorful songbird carvings may be seen at Longbranch Gallery in Mineral Point.
Mary Beth Shaw
Mary Beth Shaw worked in the insurance industry for 18 years before she quit her job in 2000 to re-ignite a childhood love of art. Her creative process is a dance between spontaneity and intent; she finds great joy in the physicality of paint and mixed media supplies. She considers her best work as a gift from a higher power. She welcomes mistakes because they so often provide a delightful detour into new territory. She is author of Flavor for Mixed Media and Stencil Girl. She works as an educator for Golden Artist Colors and Silver Brush Limited and founded StencilGirl® Products, LLC in 2010.
Eva Sherman began beading as a way to spend time with her daughters but soon became hopelessly addicted. In 2005 she traded in her architectural career for the opportunity to spend all her time among beads, and opened Grand River Bead Studio in Cleveland, Ohio. Eva now happily spends most days in the studio creating, writing, and teaching, but has been known to take her show on the road. She has discovered an affinity for working with wire and metals, and prefers to design in an organic and unstructured style. Eva has authored two books on jewelry design: Organic Wire & Metal Jewelry and Cool Copper Cuffs.
Cheryl Smeja is a Mineral Point leather artist, nationally known for her pioneering work in wet-formed leather sculpture. She has appeared on The Carol Duvall Show, taught at national leather conventions and has had articles published in The Leather Crafters and Saddlers journal. For over 25 years she sold her formed leather masks, wall hangings, jewelry, pots, and more at art fairs and from her Mineral Point gallery/shop. Now semi-retired, Cheryl enjoys pursuing other interests such as needle felting, wire jewelry, polymer clay, paper making, and Photoshop image manipulation. Cheryl serves on the Shake Rag Alley Curriculum Committee. A versatile artisan and dedicated teacher, Cheryl is ever ready for a new challenge.
Luann Smith began making jewelry to help with school expenses while studying figure painting and illustration at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. After moving to Madison, she worked as a freelance illustrator, portrait painter, and taught watercolor for the UW Extension.
Years of painting realistically has morphed into more sculptural work, which incorporates vintage and found objects into her jewelry, mosaic water pieces, and bird sculptures. Luann’s jewelry can be found at River Arts on Water Gallery in Prairie Du Sac, and Longbranch Gallery in Mineral Point.
Dan Soman has been a Woodlander since the Wisconsin event began in 2000. He’s taken many different classes, apprenticed with some of the “masters,” and has taught at Woodlanders, at Shake Rag Alley’s Garden Getaway, and at Olbrich Gardens. He’s very handy with tools and materials, but especially likes traditional willow work such as teepee trellises, and he likes working with gourds, also.
Carole Spelić grew up with educator parents and no television, so since childhood she’s been making things in 2D and 3D. She graduated from Bates College (ME) with a BA in Fine Art and earned her MA and MFA from the University at Albany (NY).
After graduate school, Carole lived in Manhattan, New York City, for 17 years where she was assistant coordinator for the State University system’s Studio Semester in New York program.
She has retired from her senior lecturer position in the art area at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She also retired from being program director with Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts, and is now a full-time artist, musician, workshop leader, and gallerist – Carole and her partner, painter Richard Moninski, own and operate Green Lantern Studios, a gallery of fine art and handicrafts in Mineral Point.
Her recent exhibitions include work at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (West Bend), a show at the Pump House (La Crosse, WI), award-winning work at the Center for Visual Arts (Wausau, WI), installations at the Evanston Art Center (Evanston, IL), and a one-person exhibition at the Nohr Gallery (Platteville, WI).
I am a woodblock printmaker currently living in the Midwest and specializing in water-based media printed in the moku hanga style with an emphasis in black-and-white. My main subjects are birds, wildflowers, and landscapes. I have a BFA in drawing from Northern Illinois University and currently show work at the Northern Arts Collective in Ellison Bay, Wisconsin, and Longbranch Gallery in Mineral Point.
I am a fiber artist for the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Artisan and Business Center. I assist clients with finishing their long-arm quilting projects or sewing projects. I also teach crocheting, natural and synthetic dyeing, weaving, and I have just learned spinning. I have also been a costumer in the Brown County area for the last 26 years.
Teresa is an accredited McGown instructor and past director of North Central McGown Teachers Workshop in Dubuque, IA. The week-long NCMTW is held annually in late April/May in Dubuque and helps individuals learn rug hooking techniques to achieve their McGown accreditation. She is a member of both the Association of Traditional Hooking Artists and the National Guild of Pearl McGown Rug HooKrafters. Owner of Black Earth Woolens, she has been designing rugs for over 20 years and is experienced with doing florals, geometrics, pictorials, monochromatic, faces, impressionism, paisleys, primitives, water, light reflection, tessellations, kaleidoscope, mandalas, dip dyes, swatches, and rug braiding.
Rug hooking has been a journey of learning various techniques, expressing my desire to create patterns, color planning, dyeing wool and the joy of meeting fiber artists. Teresa works with recycled wool/new wool and enjoys fine cut to primitive pieces. Teresa is a seasoned traveler and with her 20-year experience of teaching, she is excited to share the rug hooking techniques and experiences.
Teresa lives in Fox Lake, Wisconsin, in her 1905 Victorian home called Victorian Rose Inn. The Inn is a guest house for weekend retreats for quilting, rug hooking, knitting, crafting, etc.
Mande Stiefel grew up in Mineral Point, where her love of nature and the arts was fueled by teachers and local artists. As a science educator, she started incorporating art into the curriculum as it inspires observation, exploration, encouraged creative thinking, and problem solving. Mande relishes providing others the opportunity to play and delight in the awe and art of the natural world.
Artist Jacqueline Sullivan expresses her creativity through mixed media, acrylic, and calligraphic paintings. Her works are unique expressions of adventure and discovery, each piece experimenting with texture, layers, color, unusual materials, calligraphic marks, and words. In addition to technical precision, personal artistic development is intrinsic to her practice.
Jacqueline is a teaching artist with more than 30 years of experience. She has developed and presented many classes at art centers, colleges, guilds, and online. She is a certified Golden Artist Educator, making her a specialist on acrylic products and techniques. She is known for her multidiscipline workshops given at top art retreats as well as art and calligraphy guilds in the U.S. and Canada. She has also served as faculty for several international calligraphy conferences.
Jacqueline’s work has appeared in many publications, including Astarte’s Mega-Zine, Cloth Paper Scissors, Pages, and Somerset Studio, as well as calligraphic journals. Her work has been published in the book AcrylicWorks 4: Captivating Color the Best of Acrylics and Acrylic Works 6. Her bestselling DVD, Acrylics: Textures, Layers, and Metallics, is published by Creative Catalyst Productions.
Her widely collected work has been shown in galleries and top-juried art fairs nationwide. In addition to garnishing the walls of collectors and inspiring thousands of students through her teaching, Jacqueline has enriched her painting practice by using her degree in graphic design, working for many years as a publication, marketing, and advertising designer. She paints and lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Lynne Suprock is a creative mixed media designer, writer, and instructor, making a difference through art. She believes through art the opportunity for emotional or physical healing truly exists.
As a mixed media artist, Lynne uses a variety of products in her work, such as enamel, metal, clay, paint, and fabric. Her work has been published extensively in several journals published by Stampington & Company, as well as in Cloth, Paper, Scissors and Lark Book, Showcase 500 Art Necklaces. She served as a 2015-16 design team member for Amazing Casting Products, and is currently the fabric art educator for Gel Press. Lynne has been recently featured on seven episodes of the PBS show “Make It Artsy” (seasons 3, 5, 6 and 7), which aired in 2017-19. Some of those episodes can also be found on the Make It Artsy website at http://www.makeitartsy.com.
Jacquelyn Thomas recently returned to the Driftless Area of Wisconsin after living more than thirty years in a Madison housing project where she served as director of an on-site community learning center. Her work has appeared in literary magazines, won or placed in contests, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.