Past Workshops

A selection of past workshops appears below. If something piques your interest, let us know, and we’ll see about offering that workshop again!

A Passion for Poetry with Lorna Crozier (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

Poets taking part in this retreat will share the desire to hone their craft while creating new poems. The remote wilderness setting offered by Wintergreen is ideal for such work. There will be ample time for writing, reading, one-on-one critiques, and group meetings to discuss various aspects of poetry’s demands and delights.

Guitar Workshop with Rick Fines (2012)

Features a series of workshops on various styles of acoustic blues guitar playing. Workshops will help you develop your skills in rhythm, soloing, slide and fingerstyle blues. Bring an audio recorder if you like, to capture the parts you’ll want to work on later (no video recording please). Each student will receive Rick’s “Fingerstyle Blues” DVD with 75 minutes of instruction on Delta style guitars.

Poetry with Patrick Lane (2012)

This four-day writing retreat provided a nurturing setting for attending writers to create new work. Through a series of daily in-class and extra-class exercises, readings, discussions, and commentaries, fresh approaches to the poem will be explored with a view to not only improving our skills, but opening ourselves to new ways to imagine this wondrous thing we call a poem. Punctuated with walks in the woods and delicious meals served from the Wintergreen kitchen, this retreat will provide a fine setting to share meaningful moments through poetry.

Cordwood and Straw Bale (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013)

Have you dreamed about building an enchanting woodland retreat or a charming backyard garden shed? Creating something beautiful with hand tools and found materials? Using old fence rails or straw bales as construction materials?  And along the way, learning to tell the difference between a Robertson and a Phillips screwdriver? If so, then this course is for you. This hands-on workshop will give you the opportunity to learn about the ancient building technique of cordwood masonry and hone up on some basic carpentry skills in the process. You will also learn how to build and plaster with straw bale. No prior building or carpentry experience is required to take part in this workshop. Just come with a sense of adventure and we will teach you everything you need to know!

Exploring Short Fiction with Steven Heighton (2012)

During this weekend of conversation, guided writing exercises, and on-the-spot writing/workshopping, we will be focusing on various aspects of the short story. We will discuss the genesis of stories, how to facilitate their gestation from impulse to first draft, how to revise them, and when and how to publish.

Cold Process Soap-Making Basics (2011)

past workshopsYears ago, people made their own soap from scratch, and this one-day workshop will teach you to do just that, using vegetable oils, lye and water, as you learn about the alchemy of saponification. We will discuss the chemistry,  ingredients and basic safety precautions for the process.  In the morning session, we will make an unscented and uncoloured batch of soap. You will learn the importance of ingredients, measurements, and the properties of different oils, as well as the basic techniques  to master this common soapmaking method.

Pastels with Susan Low-Beer (2010)

Experience the magic of working with chalk pastel. This is a wonderful medium for use in the landscape as the vivid colour and easy application lend themselves to the scale of the outdoors. You will be encouraged to work with full size pastel papers, but as I work with you separately, there is a great deal of flexibility as to mediums and scale. No prior experience is necessary. My teaching is one to one with the aim of inspiring each student to work towards his or her individual goals.

Yoga and Watercolours (2010)

past workshopsIndulge yourself in two days of yoga, art, and nature while celebrating the Fall Equinox in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve, home to Wintergreen Studios. Experience the mind-body connection through yoga and watercolour as we engage in movement-based inquiry to release tension in the body and to still the mind. Through an integrated practice of yoga, designed to dismantle long held patterns of tension while at the same time strengthening, stabilizing and centering us, we will witness the assumptions we hold about ourselves both as artists and as people.

Renewable Energy Projects for Home and Farm (2010)

Learn about both off-grid and on-grid renewable energy projects in this two-part workshop at Wintergreen Studios and the neighbouring Forest Farm. In the morning, Rena Upitis (Wintergreen Studios) will lead a guided tour through Wintergreen’s off-grid systems where we will explore energy sources and energy consumption. Discussion topics will include solar-powered electricity, solar domestic hot water, straw bale insulation, thermal mass, and living roofs.

Needle Felting: Broaches and Baubles with Andrea Graham (2009)

You will be introduced to the magic of needle felting while we create fun wearable art broaches and beads. Using colourful wool fibre, perhaps some bits from nature collected on one of the trails at Wintergreen, and a little imagination, you can create a whole collection of accessories and learn needle felting techniques with endless possibilities.

Digital Landscape: Listening, Soundwalking, Field Recording, and Audio Technique with Matt Rogalsky (2009)

past workshopsComposer and media artist Matt Rogalsky leads this workshop with a focus on audio documentation of “natural” soundscapes throughout the 200+ acres of Wintergreen. Some background to concepts of “soundscape composition,” “acoustic ecology,” and field recording (microphone techniques, issues of recording quality, etc) will be covered. After an introduction to use of high-quality portable digital recorders (provided), participants will spend part of the day working in pairs, walking the trails and collecting sounds. After lunch, participants will work editing their collected sounds on computer, learning some basic but powerful techniques for enhancing and modifying their recordings, as well as strategies for multitrack mixing and surround-sound presentation This introductory workshop assumes participants have no previous experience in audio recording technology.

Haiku Poetry and Beyond with Philomene Kocher and Terry Ann Carter (2009)

Haiku poetry celebrates the beauty of the ordinary moment. Derived from the Japanese tradition, haiku is characterized not only by simplicity, but also by reverence for nature. Poets Philomene Kocher and Terry Ann Carter will invite participants to explore haiku through reading and writing exercises within the group and on your own. Bring a pen, a writing journal, and a sense of adventure, and be inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds Wintergreen. In the afternoon, participants will be invited to make small books to showcase their poems: flutter books, fan books, accordion books, matchbox books, collage with Japanese papers and more…