Saddleback Successfully Launches Summer Artist’s Workshop Series

Next 2 Workshops are Scheduled for August 20 & 21 and August 22 & 23

RANGELEY, ME -World renowned polymer clay artists, Bonnie Bishoff, Melanie West and Melanie Muir presented two art workshops at Saddleback Mountain from July 9-14. This was the first week of the Saddleback Summer Artist’s Workshop Series, a new venture being hosted at Saddleback. The first workshop, The Marriage of Surface and Form was a four day course, taught by Bishoff and West followed by a one day Rocks Cuffs Class by Muir, where she shared the details of how she creates her spectacular Rocks Cuffs bracelets. Participants came from as far away as Scotland to learn and teach. The artists shared both their techniques and philosophies. It was a week of inspiration and creation for all involved. The Saddleback base lodge was transformed into an art studio as participants moved between each presentation and then back to their personal work stations.

Arlene Groch, who traveled from New Jersey, herself a very accomplished artist, summed up the week by saying, “This art retreat and workshop at Saddleback Mountain was exceptional, the best I have ever attended and I have attended perhaps hundreds. The teachers were outstanding and generously shared so much of their talents and artistic visions with us. The design of the class was not project driven but rather an adventure of sharing and collaboration, and an exploration of multiple techniques. We thoroughly enjoyed the vast amount of work space available to each of us, with its abundant natural light and spectacular mountain views. The accommodations were very comfortable and our Saddleback hosts took such good care of us and met all of our needs quickly and graciously. I am already looking forward to coming back next year.”

The medium worked in was polymer clay. This is a relatively new medium in the art world, having been around for only a few decades. The instructors were chosen because they are some of the best in the world. All participants were required to have previous experience working with polymer clay, “polyaddicts,” as they call themselves.

The next workshops at Saddleback will be in the medium of silver precious metal clay (PMC), an even newer medium than polymer that artists are using. The clay-like material is 99% silver and can be molded like clay but once it is fired in a kiln, it solidifies into a piece of silver jewelry or whatever else the artist may have created.

The instructor for both PMC classes is Michela Verani. Verani is an award-winning metal clay artist and educator. She has authored articles on metal clay for numerous metal clay publications. She is the 4th person in the world to have achieved Metal Clay Master’s Registry III, is a juried member of the League of NH Craftsmen and is Art Clay and Rio Rewards Certified in metal clay.

There will be two workshops: August 20 & 21, Earrings-Easy to Elegant and August 22 & 23, Bracelets – Bangles, Linked & Charmed Bracelets. Participants may sign up for either one or both. The workshop is open to artists already accomplished with PMC as well as people with no experience at all. Participants will be encouraged to find their own voice and style and have a whole lot of fun doing it.

The cost of each 2-day class is $275. Each workshop is limited in size to 10 participants. Students are required to bring their own silver clay, sources and additional information is available on the Saddleback website. Verani will have tools and texture plates available for those students who need them. In addition each workshop has small additional fees for the hardware brought by the instructor for each project: Earrings workshop: $20 for the silver findings, the silver wires and hardware; Bracelet Workshop: $5.

Saddleback has two lodging options for guests traveling to the area for these workshops. Condominium rental prices include a 2-night, 3rd night free and a 5-night, 6th and 7th night free. For anyone who wants to share a condo with another workshop participant, each with their own bedroom, 2-night stay is $255 and 5-night stay is only $300. For more information or to make your reservation call 1-877-864-5441 or visit