The Shake Rag Alley Experience

It is only two hours away from Iowa City to Mineral Point, Wisconsin. There
awaits the experience of a lifetime. (I may be a bit sheltered) I was looking
for an art class on line for a particular time period and googled the
information. I found classes listed all over the world but settled on a class
that I had interest in having to do with Eco or Botanical Printing.
Dynamic Duo! Nature Printing on Colored Backgrounds taught by Sharlene Bohr  at Lind Pavilion.

Page 2-A friend Roberta Victor was also interested in the class, so I invited her to
bunk with me for three nights. When we arrived in town, we were struck by the
charm of Mineral Point. The main streets lined with shops, galleries, antique
stores and small restaurants. Our lodging was a bit hard to find as it wasn’t on
Google Maps.
We located it with some help from the locals. It was down around back of one of
the main streets in an alley. The name of our one-bedroom apartment was The
Tuckpoint. It is housing offered by the Shake Rag Alley school. The other offerings
were also charming but this one was special.

The Tuckpoint
Page 3- The stone is very typical of the style in the area. Most of the
buildings were built in the 1800’s by the Cornish, who settled here for the
mining in the area. The homes and businesses were built in the fashion of
the places they left in Cornwall UK. This particular building is now owned
by the school and has studios upstairs.

We entered to find the space filled with art and fun architectural features,
Even the bathroom had something to marvel at every few inches!

Page 4- The outside was just as enchanting with an old brick driveway, a
beautiful garden and sculptures nestled in amongst the plants and trees.
We found a Kiln outside the building next door and found that there was a
studio belonging to a very talented ceramic sculpture artist, Bruce Howdle.

Bruce will be coming to do a show next year at Iowa Artisans Gallery, so
stay tuned! Bruce is responsible for the very large ceramic vase inside
Tuckpoint as well as working on the renovation of the apartment.
The weekend we were in town, the annual event Paint the Point was going
on. You can see the
painters all around the town out painting their subjects. Later in the
weekend, these paintings are judged and put up for sale. The whole town
has a great energy of a town that has a concentration of artists!
Page 5- The Shake Rag Alley experience for me was a two-day class in
natural dyeing and eco printing. The class was taught by Sharlene Bohr. She is an Iowan but has been
teaching at Shake Rag for several years. In the process of our class we
were able to enjoy the campus while gathering our foliage for our class.
Shake Rag gave us full reign and we were all able to pick from the ample
gardens to our heart’s content ample gardens to our heart’s content.
Roberta and I(Annie Temple) on the Shake Rag Alley campus and fun tree
sculpture in the garden. Here are our examples of the finished work.

Roberta with her first eco print!
Page 6-

This was dyed with Weld the first day and then eco printed the second day.
It was all in all a magical experience! I hope to go back for more classes
and check out all the parts of Mineral Point we did not get the chance to see. 

This scarf was dyed with Logwood then eco printed.
Annie Temple owner of Iowa Artisans Gallery