Pocosin Arts Cabin Fever Reliever Coming to Columbia

Published 6:40 pm Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Pocosin Arts will kick off its 2015 workshop schedule with its 15th annual Cabin Fever Reliever retreat in its downtown Columbia Studios.

From February 19-22 some 40 participants will converge on Pocosin Arts located in Columbia to learn from some of the best artists in the field.  They will spend three and a half days working in one of four studios learning new craft techniques or brushing up on existing skills.  Margaret Couch-Cogswell of Asheville, NC will be teaching, ‘Paper Mache Comes Alive’ and she explains, “Paper Mache isn’t just for the kindergarten classroom.  It’s a dynamic and adaptable media that can transform personal stories into playful sculpture” and it is easy to see when looking at her animated and lively work.  Karen Newgard, also from Asheville, will be teaching how to throw and carve using porcelain clay.  She will demonstrate several reductive carving methods along with sprigging, a decorative embossing technique and mishima, which allows for the creation of contrasting colors in clay. It also allows for extremely fine, intricate design work with hard, sharp edges that can be difficult to reliably replicate in any other way.  In the clay sculpture department James Tisdale, will be making the journey from Austin, Texas to teach his workshop, ‘Figure It Out’ in which students will use techniques to construct human and animal forms as the central theme of their work. James explains, “References to the cultural, social, political and religious experiences of growing up in Mississippi are often the starting point for my work”.  His outlook is humorous, poignant, and sometimes confrontational, as he observes the world around him. Tom Muir, from Bowling Green, Ohio will be in the jewelry studio teaching, ‘Mechanical Concepts: Enhancing Work with Creative Mechanisms’. Tom will help participants achieve skills necessary for making hinges, catches and mechanisms and how to creatively integrate them into a piece of jewelry or hollowware.  Tom has a fun and engaging teaching style and his work is featured in many collections including The White House Collection of American Crafts.


Many attendees return every year and love the experience of coming together to learn, create and dine in a relaxed atmosphere. Most will readily agree that the friendships and camaraderie that often result during these workshops make the experience even more enriching and a welcome departure from the routines of daily life.


This year’s line up of teachers and assistants will give slide presentations about their inspiration and artwork every evening from 7:30 till 8:15pm. These will take place upstairs at Pocosin’s 201 Main Street location and are free and open to the public.  Marlene True, Pocosin Arts’ Executive Director said, “We are very fortunate to have these artists with us here in Columbia and these presentations give a fascinating glimpse into the creative process, influences and studios of these talented makers and I want to invite and encourage everyone to attend.” A sales gallery in the same location featuring the work of the instructors, workshop participants and Pocosin’s resident artists will also on view and available for purchase Friday and Saturday from 10:00am until the end of the presentations at 8:15pm.


Registration for the workshops is ongoing with just a few spots left in all the classes. In the next two weeks Pocosin Arts is extending $100 off the price of tuition on a first come first serve basis until classes fill for local residents of Tyrrell, Chowan, Washington, Dare & Hyde Counties.


Schedule of presenters:

Thursday, 19th – Karen Newgard and Tom Muir

Friday, 20th – Margaret Couch-Cogswell and James Tisdale

Saturday, 21st – Studio assistants: Alexandra Ingle, Samantha Clarke, Matt Repsher, Kamal Nassif and Marian Miller