About Shakerag Workshops
Shakerag Workshops is an adult studio art workshop program, with week-long classes offered in various different media. Participants register for one class each week, and each day classes meet from 9:00-12:00 and 1:00-4:00. Students and faculty members often work together in the studios during the late afternoons and evenings, as they choose, occasionally taking time off from their artistic endeavors for swimming or yoga.
Shakerag Workshops began in June 2004, with six classes in clay, digital arts, and book arts. From that small beginning, the program doubled in size with twelve classes offered in June 2005 in book arts, clay, digital arts, papermaking, felting, and watercolor. Since those first years, each week 50-65 participants gather to work together in small classes with their teachers, enjoying the studio immersion and the relaxation that are afforded by being away from the daily concerns of one's life. Participants of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of experience have come to Shakerag - varying in experience from beginners to professional studio artists, coming from near (Sewanee and Monteagle) and far (Hawaii and Switzerland and England). Each week a new community is created - and participants leaving at week's end have said that they feel renewed and invigorated by their Shakerag experience.
Shakerag Workshops at St. Andrew's-Sewanee School adjoins the hollow by the same name. Shakerag Hollow boasts one of the finest wildflower trails in the area. The Shakerag Trail, linked with the St. Andrew's-Sewanee Perimeter Trail, is immediately accessible to workshop participants.
Shakerag Hollow is named for an old Sewanee custom whereby residents could procure moonshine before the advent of liquor stores. A customer wanting moonshine would come to the bluff at Beckweth Point, near what is now the fourth hole of the Sewanee golf course, shake a rag at the moonshiner who lived down in the hollow, and leave money for a purchase in a tree stump. Then, as the song about Uncle Bill puts it, "you go 'round the bend, and when you come back, then, there's a jug full o' good ole mountain dew." When he returned, the customer would find a jar of moonshine left in the stump, and the money removed.
The Planning Staff
Ginger Freeman has the ultimate green thumb. Whether it's mastering her craft in The Bread Peddler Bakery, the garden, or the studio, everything Ginger touches feeds the stomachs, spirits, threads, and heartstrings of the Shakerag and Sewanee community. Her multi-talents are put to use at Shakerag as the meal planner and Kitchen Manager as well as the illustrator and designer for many of our workshop t-shirts and aprons (some of our most popular!). There's so much talent and strength in that petite frame that Ginger has been known to tame crazy pit bulls – three of them!
Rachel Malde is the Shakerag Technician and Graphic Designer. Rachel has a gifted eye for composition, color, and photography. She teaches the brave new world of art and technology to SAS students during the year, and during the workshops her savvy tech knowledge assists in the smooth production of our lecture series. Rachel is the mother of two amazing boys, Kiran and Luca, and her husband, Pradip Malde, is Sewanee's gem of a photography professor, and an avid participant of Shakerag as well. Rachel is filled with other-worldly wisdom and loves cities, ancient Greek architecture, and learning Italian. Her family's you tube video of "Mambo Italiano" should also be viral at this point.
Kinion Pond is the Shakerag Accountant. Kinion teaches Humanities at SAS during the year and her Winterim course, "Knitting with Kinion," has gone viral amongst the SAS students. Her precision is evident not just in her numbers work for Shakerag, but also in her love of cooking, sewing, and anything French. She sews up sweet frocks for her beautiful daughters, Amelia and Adeline, who were blessed with Kinion's hair color (a truer brown can't be bought) and are some of the best dressed girls in town.
Claire Reishman is the matriarch of the Shakerag Family and the SAS Family, not to mention her own. She is the Shake to our Rag. Potter, teacher, horseback rider, she is beloved by all humans and creatures especially her three thoroughbred horses, Tommy, Bandy, and Chet, and her sweet little pup Sam. Her husband, John Reishman, co-hosts the amazing teacher and staff dinner and is everyone's favorite Bartender in Sewanee. Also, you won't see a better set of legs west of the Blue Ridge Mountains!
Christi Teasley is a Shakerag Co-Founder and the Textile+Painting+Drawing Coordinator. Christi's brain is better than any computer or smart device. Ask her a question and you'll get a lot more than a sentence and a handshake. Christi also gives tours of the SAS (where she teaches art during the year) and Sewanee campuses during Shakerag. Over the past decade, Christi has worn many hats for the workshops including Gallery Director, Development, and Publicity Coordinator. She is a beloved aunt – it's a well-known fact that you would be lucky to be reincarnated as one of her nieces. Not so well-known – she loves, loves airports.
Merissa Tobler is a Shakerag Co-Founder and the Shakerag Store Manager. Merissa is a gifted potter, innovative cook, and wannabe quilter. One of the founding members of Shakerag Workshops, she has played an essential role to the workshop community from the beginning. The fabulous book selection in the Shakerag store is due to her voracious reading habit. Merissa is such a dedicated maker that she even took her sewing machine with her to Taiwan when her husband Jim went there for his sabbatical. Her encouragement, dedication, and enthusiasm for the workshops never waver, and she has kept the ship on course form the beginning.