What this workshop is about -

Hi, and welcome to Sacred Serendipity: Nature Shrines and Assemblages!

I just got back from a walk in the woods near my house (the one in the intro video) and, predictably, I came back with Stuff – a lovely smooth rock and a bit of twisted vine that looks kind of like a heart. These may end up on my window sill or in an assemblage, but it’s always so interesting to me why certain found objects just seem to catch our eye and say, “Take me!”

I’ll bet you are a collector of serendipitous found objects, too – if you live near the beach, it may be sea glass and shells. If you’re in the desert, maybe you collect cactus skeletons. Perhaps pine cones call to you, or seed pods, or little bones, dead beetles or even dried frogs. There is a peculiar sacredness in natural objects that humans have always recognized.

The poet William Blake wrote,

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.


He didn’t have anything to say about dried frogs, but we all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The definition of shrine in the dictionary is “a case, box, or receptacle; especially : one in which sacred relics are deposited.” It doesn’t define what a sacred relic should be – aha! We can define that for ourselves!

So in this class, we are going to make Nature Shrines to celebrate the small objects that represent a larger unknowable experience, or perhaps a time and place that you do remember, and that was of great significance to you. This is a very personal project. There is no kit for this. You will create your own “kit” with your own eyes and hands as you assemble your components.

My job is to show you some fun techniques for gathering your precious objects into an assemblage that is effectively composed and sturdily built. I’ll show you about connecting things and enhancing them with hand-fashioned adornments. We’ll talk about wax and paint and wire, and why two things look good together.

Your job is to put the heart and soul into your Nature Shrine.

Here are a few questions that will help you do that:

What kinds of things do you collect?

Have you worked in 3-D or assemblage before?

What brought you to this class?

And here’s a tricky question – do you think that natural objects have a meaning greater than themselves?

Lots to discuss! Lots to learn! As usual, you can go through the lessons at your own pace, but know that I am here whenever you need me.

Thanks for being here ♥


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