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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Evy Thuli is an artist and educator with many interests. Recently retired from full-time teaching after 36 years, Evy is pursuing a variety of media including stained glass mosaics, hand lettering, and ceramics, to name a few. Originally from west-central Wisconsin, Evy works and resides in rural Dodgeville with her husband, Bob, surrounded by acres of restored prairie. A Border collie named Tallie and a cat named Whiskers keep Evy company in her studio while she works. Her love of teaching continues as she shares knowledge through workshops for children and adults.
Bob Tuftee has been blacksmithing almost 30 years now. “I started out making ironware for my camping gear doing Mountain Man rendezvous events.” Bob lives in LeClaire, Iowa, and has done all kinds of blacksmithing, including forge work for his business, Upper Mississippi Valley Mercantile Company. He has sold to re-enactors across the country and has also sold ironware to movie and production companies. He has been the village blacksmith at Pioneer Village in Scott County Park, Davenport, Iowa, for the past 25 years, plus teaching and leading workshops at the Old Blacksmith Shop at the Galena History Museum in Illinois. Bob is an active member of ABANA (Artist Blacksmith Association of North America), IVBA (Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association), and UMBA (Upper Midwest Blacksmith Association), and is currently a board member of UMBA. He has taken several advanced blacksmithing classes throughout the years. Most of his blacksmithing work is done in a coal forge. Bob retired in 2012. He worked almost 45 years in skilled trades as a millwright and certified welder, the last 28 at Alcoa in the Davenport area.
Sherry Viktora is a senior instructor in precious metal clay for PMC Connection. She brings a love of nature and gardening to her art and an enthusiasm for sharing to her teaching. She combines metal clay with glass and organic materials to create unique work. After receiving PMCC Certifications and Art Clay Instructor Certification, Sherry retired to become a full-time senior instructor. Sherry’s work has been published in national art and jewelry magazines and can be found at Longbranch Gallery in Mineral Point.
Kathy Warpinski is a retired teacher who loves art. Studying with Jeb Prazak over the years she has explored watercolor, acrylic, pastels, collage, mixed media, and alcohol inks. Often working with found papers, she has taught paper arts to school kids and has volunteered in after-school and library art programs. She is also involved in mail art and international postcard exchanges. “Art is for everyone!”
Nancy retired from the world of graphic design and business ownership. With a degree in art and as part of her new journey, she is teaching playful art classes, taking creative classes and exploring the world of ceramic art and traveling whenever she can.
Photography instructor Marie Whisenant has been passionate about image-making since she was a child. Initially drawn to drawing and painting, she discovered photography as an artistic medium 20 years ago and has been clicking away ever since. She has shown her work in numerous galleries over the years and does occasional commercial work, including portraiture and product photography. She also has also been teaching photography and Photoshop classes for adults and kids at the technical college level, privately and through community programs for several years. Marie loves combining her passions for education and photography, and sharing in her students’ “aha!” moments!
I am a McGown-certified rug hooking teacher and have been hooking since 1994. I have taught classes since 1997. I have traveled extensively around the country teaching workshops. I enjoy teaching all levels of students and will cover many subjects such as color planning, dyeing, techniques, etc. I prefer teaching open classes allowing the students to choose their project for the class.
Joelle has been throwing pottery for 10 years. She studied at UW-Platteville in 2008-11, acquiring a biology and art background. After graduation she developed a love for the wood-fired pottery process and enjoys decorating the surfaces of her functional pots with floral designs.
Katie White grew up on a farm in Stockton, IL. She graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2012 with a BFA degree in Ceramics. She has participated in ceramic residencies throughout the country including The Cub Creek Foundation in Appomattox, VA, Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, MT, as well as at Wichita State University in Wichita, KS. White moved to Mineral Point in June of 2017 where she worked as studio assistant at Bruce Howdle Studio. She continues to create her pottery and sculpture in the Sardeson Pottery Studio and wood-fires in the Mineral Point area.
John and Marcia Whitt
During her art teaching days at Wingra School in Madison, Lindy’s favorite class offering was “Mish Mosh” Fridays. That’s when the kids were greeted by an overabundance of art supplies, found objects, “whatzits”, sticks and other gifts from nature. Lindy marveled at the creative and unique assemblages that were born. That sort of creative spirit is what calls Lindy to the Woodlanders Gatherings! Her mantra…”what else could this be?”
Greg Winz brings a background in metallurgy as well as some Folklore Village showmanship to his blacksmithing workshops. Greg, trained as a machinist, today is a research technician at UW-Madison. He enjoys sharing his love of the metal arts with aspiring students.
Mark Witzling spent his professional brand marketing career around writers, designers and artists who visually shaped his ideas. It was during a trip to Italy that he was moved to helm his own creative trek. Stirred by the frescos of Rome and Florence, where art was intended to be part of the landscape, he picked up a brush when he returned home, diving headfirst into a variety of creative experiences to unleash his own artistic ambition. His foundation began in representational oil painting, but the combination of oil and malleable cold wax together with more introspective subjects steered him toward abstraction. Mark has studied in studios across the country and his work is in the Museum of Encaustic Art in Santa Fe and in collections across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. His work appears in the book Cold Wax Medium – Techniques, Concepts, Conversations (Crowell & McLAughlin) and in 2020 and 2021 he was included in Artfolio, A Curated Collection of the World’s Most Exciting Artists. Mark has received several awards and an artist grant from the Regional Arts Commission (St. Louis). He was also selected into the prestigious two-year St. Louis Art Fair Emerging Artist program in 2017-18, and in 2018 he was an artist-in-residence at Chateau Orquevaux in France. He continues to paint regularly in the same studio where he started over 20 years ago. When not in his studio painting, Mark is executive director of Craft Alliance in St. Louis, MO. He holds degrees from Macalester College and Boston University.
David and JoEllen Wollangk
“As life-long crafters and artists, we try everything. We have done workshops on both Viking Knitting and Fold Forming numerous times. We like helping others learn the basic techniques and provide a creative outlet.”
Catherine Young is a writer and performing artist whose work is infused with a keen sense of place.
Her writing has been published in the anthologies The Driftless Reader, Contours, and Permanent Vacation II: Eighteen Writers on Work and Life in Our National Parks. Her work appears internationally in Reliquiae and The Island Review, and in Minding Nature, Fourth River, Hippocampus, Midwest Review, Kestrel, and Edible Madison, among others. Catherine’s poetry has been published as broadsides for Fermentation Fest Farm Art / Dtour Passwords and Madison Metro Buslines, and her recent poetry is found in Tiny Seed Journal, About Place, and Cold Mountain. Her children’s fiction, nonfiction, and poetry appeared in Cricket.
A nominee for the Pushcart Prize in prose and poetry and Best American Essays, Catherine is the recipient of a Terry Foundation Edenfred Fellowship. Her memoir, Black Diamonds, Blue Flames, was longlisted for the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize. She worked as a national park ranger, farmer, educator, and mother before completing her MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia.
Rooted in farm life, Catherine lives with her family in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area.