Sunday, December 15, 2013

Jack-In-The-Pulpit Woodcut Print

After visiting Audrey Christie's studio in late October, I was inspired to give up linoleum blocks and work with wood.  I had the artwork ready for what was to be my largest linoleum print yet, so I put aside the lino block and transferred the image to cherry instead.  I've only had time to make a few prints from it, but here they are hanging to dry, along with the block after printing.  The image itself is about 10" wide by 13" high.  This first printing is in a water based ink, but later, I might print it with water-soluble oil inks so that I can hand color the leaves green and the flowers a burgundy purple color.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Felted Landscapes for Fall Art Tour 2013

Fall Art Tour is an amazing multi-community event in the Driftless Region of southern Wisconsin where artists' studios are open, with the artists often demonstrating their techniques and methods.  Since artists up and down the street and across the street are on the tour, visitors to my gallery on that weekend expect me to be working on something more interesting than maybe putting ear wires onto beaded earrings or finishing the ends on knitted scarves or repolishing the silver jewelry.  So most years, I demonstrate the process of making my felted landscapes.  In 2013, the subjects were a yellow aspen forest, from a photo my son in Tucson, AZ had taken a couple weeks earlier, a pear branch from a photograph I had used as inspiration for a multi-pane block print I had completed the previous week, and a Jack-In-The-Pulpit from photograph I had been using to complete artwork for another larger block print.  This is the status of the landscapes at the end of the Fall Art Tour event; they all still need to be detailed and squared up and framed.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Weekend Felting Classes at the Gallery

 Felting classes are available every Friday evening, from 5 to 6:30 pm or 7 to 8:30 pm and every Saturday morning from 7:00 to 8:30 am or 9 to 10:30 am. 
Felting a Vase:  We felt around a small glass cylinder vase so that it can be used for fresh flowers or to force branches. 

Felting a Scarf:  We wet felt a scarf with about an ounce of fleece and warm soapy water.  Thse scarfs are warm and durable and can even be given as a gift.

Felted Flowers:  We use bits of roving and hot soapy water to wet felt flowers and leaves and tendrils and attach them to pin backs.  They can be used as lapel pins, hat pins, to decorate knit mittens or gloves, as holiday ornaments, as gift ties, and anything else you can think of.  Each student usually get between 3 and 5 flowers finished.  

These classes are $30 each for one person or $20 each if there are two or more participating.  The gallery can accomodate about 6 people for a class, so feel free to form a group!  If you are the first person to sign up, you get to choose what we make.  If more people sign up, your cost drops to the group rate. 
Bring a bath towel if you can, and a used plastic bag to take home your damp project.
Join me at Prairie Oak Artisans on Friday evening or Saturday morning and explore the fun of felting!

I can also teach you how to make felted 'paintings' but this class takes 2 sessions and costs twice as much.  They can be on the same weekend or on different weekends.  I have a collection of photographs of flowers, leaves, trees, and ferns that students choose from as the subject of their 'painting'.  During the first session, we wet felt the background mat and any petals or leaves or other pieces that we can.  During the second session, we needle felt the picture together, adding yarns and fleece to build up the 'painting'. 

I will also teach a group class in the Chicago suburbs, Mineral Point, Reedsburg, the Dells, and anywhere nearby or in between.  Find a room at your park district, library, community center, office building, church, recreation center, fitness club, and we can hold a class for up to ten people.  In good weather, we can work outdoors, but we should have a back-up location in case of bad weather.
Form a group, find a location, and lets felt together!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Newly Painted Sign

In between rain storms, the old sign got a new coat of paint on the letters and leaves.  When the sign was new and light colored wood, the dark green letters and brown leaves were just dandy.  But over the years  (and has it really been eight?), the sign wood has darkeened considerably, so making the letters light green and the leaves a nice rust makes the sign readable again!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Fiber Art Faire at Shake Rag Alley

On June 1 and 2 at Shake Rag Alley, fiber producers and fiber sellers and fiber artists gathered to offer their wares and demonstrate their crafts and arts.  I was in the blacksmith shop, a building that my sons actually helped restore as a part of a log cabin workshop a few years back.  While I demonstrated wet felting and made scarves and covered vases, Alice demonstrated needle felting.  We also offered event attendees an opportunity to try their own hand at wet felting by making a felted flower to put on a pin or make into a hair barette.  I love it most when kids take my little workshops and see how good they are at making something oh so lovely! 
It was a fabulous weekend, because I got to work nearly outdoor on fiber projects while showing the art to other, but mostly because both of my sons were there with their wonderful girlfriends and kept me company and helped me set up and pack it all back to the gallery at the end of the weekend.  Can't wait until next year!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Opening Day in May 2013

Opening Day on Friday, May 3, 2013 was an opportunity to put out for display some new jewelry.  Samantha Traylor makes earrings of found natural objects like sea glass and uses wire wrapping techniques to turn them into lovely earrings.  I just adore that she has the spunk to create deliberately asymmetrical earrings.
Also for the first time, my sterling silver jewelry is available.  After being inspired by Wolf Runner, I finally got up the nerve to order tools and supplies and make leaf-themed jewelry with semi-precious cabochons.  I must admit I destoyed some silver before I got it right, but it's been a blast.  I hope you like it.  You can see more on Etsy at my shop PrairieOakArt.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Felted Landscapes

These felted landscapes are interpretations of my own nature photographs, constructed by wet-felting the background of the photograph, then needle felting in mid-ground and foreground details.  Most are ready for framing.
This woodland landscape features layers of trees and a forest floor pattern of leafy groundcovers.

Hollyhocks stand against the stone wall of a Mineral Point building.

Poppies dance in the sunlight.

Detail from Poppies

Yellow coneflowers wave in a summer breeze in the prairie garden.

Crabapples reflect from the still early morning surface of a lake.

An aspen woodland of contrasting white and green.

Bloodroot is a spring wildflower of the woodlands that is beautiful and fascinating.  Green-blue leaves hold water droplets in a shower, delicate flowers attract pollinators, and the sap of the stems and roots is a brilliant orange, giving the plant its name.

Detail of the flower.

The diversity of a prairie flowers from a photo taken at a restoration  in late summer.

 A nest in the branches of an orchard tree.

Fall colors in a mixed species woodland.

A birdnest nestled into the stems and leaves of a vine.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bird Nests

Real birdnests are really too fragile, and often too messy, to bring indoors.  Best to leave them out there to decompose and return to the soil to nourish the plants that harbor the animals than to try to bring them inside.  But these nests capture the aesthetics of real nests and bring in a message of warmth and nurturing.  They shelter a trio of stone 'eggs'.
The black wire nest is on a long branch for display on a wall, but is also available as a table-top version.

Felted nests incorporate a variety of colors and textures of wool fibers and have wooden eggs.

These copper wire nests hold stones selected for their 'egg' shapes and make a lovely windowsill display.  They can also be used outdoors as garden art.
All by Karma Grotelueschen.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Mineral Point is one of those lovely towns that enjoys most of its business in the summer months, so some of the businesses are open limited hours or close down entirely to allow the traffic to be channeled to those that stay open all year. 
Prairie Oak Artisans is one of the seasonal galleries.  
We are open from about the first weekend in May to the last weekend in October, as well as the holiday Candlelight Shopping weekend in December.  The rest of the winter months, we are closed. 
However,  I have people willing to make selections and ship to you, if there is something you have seen in the store during a visit, or something you see here or on our facebook page in a photo. 
Just drop me a line via email at plannedscapes at (take out the spaces) and I will let you know if it is still available and what it would cost to ship.  Or if the art is my me, you can find it perhaps in my shop at, under the shop name PrairieOakArt or by searching on my name, Karma Grotelueschen.
Or if you are in the area, you can make an appointment to have one of my helpers let you in to make your selections.  We are glad to do so to help you with your gift shopping or to get that special pair of earrings or home accessory!  Email me as above, or give me a call on my cell phone 630-728-9998.  I don't answer numbers I don't recognize, so leave a brief message and I will call you back as soon as I can.
And stop in to see us during our spring through autumn season so you can see what is new or pick up that particular lovely you have had your eye on!
Thanks for you patronage of Prairie Oak Artisans, past, present, and in future seasons!