Book Artist – Debbie Dutton

Debbie Dutton Artist-in-Residence August 14 – 20


Debbie Dutton travels all the way from Texas to spend summer in Maine! We’re so happy she’ll be Artist in Residence next week, she always has the most interesting projects!!

Deb has had myriad experiences in various artistic and creative areas. As a semi-retired graphic designer, her time spent in her studio these days is mostly hers to create what she loves. Paper, pens, pencils, watercolors are her favorites. She loves doing calligraphy and is on the board of the Houston Calligraphy Guild so she’s constantly learning and being challenged.

She creates really magical stuff! She’ll be teaching calligraphy and sharing some of her favorite projects at “The Shores

DuttonTeaBag_cardsDuttonWalletBook_47886 copydec_dutton_wallet_book

Santa Steve is back!

Steve Schruers: Artist in Residence August 7 – 13

You don’t have to wait until winter to visit with Santa at Searsport Shores!

He visits every August and again during Fiber College of Maine in September.

SantaSteveSchruersSteve has practiced a “tradition of giving” since he was a child and continues to make wishes come true for individuals and charities. He describes his life as a hodgepodge of experiences, farmer, cowboy, canoe guide and nuclear engineer are just a few on his long list of accomplishments.

Here’s what Santa Steve has to tell you:

The most current project for my Cartooning Art is my Santa Coin expansion. For many years, I have been gifting North Pole Santa Coins to children and adults alike when ever I meet them in person.


For some children that are afraid of Santa, the coins are a great ice breaker. The North Pole Santa Coins are real coins minted specifically for me and the North Pole. I am the artist which creates the concept of the coins and then my elves have an opportunity to review the art and make suggestions for improving the coin. Once the review process is completed, the art goes to the engraver who makes a die for each coin. We produce about 5,000 coins at a time with half being gold and half being silver. The back of the coins is always the same, “The Tradition of Giving, One Wish,” but the front of each coin has a specific theme with words that exemplify the theme.


The first coin was the “Santa” coin with a simple message of “Happy Holidays.” The second coin was created for the North Pole Princess who is my Chief Elf of Operations. The third coin was the Mrs. Claus coin with a message of “Holiday Cheer.” The forth coin was for all of my elf helpers and is the North Pole Elf coin with a message of “Friendship.” The fifth coin was created because I have received so many requests for a coin for a person’s pet. The Reindeer coin has Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on it with a message of “Companionship.” The last coin of the original series was the Military Family coin to show solidarity with all of our military families that sacrifice so much to protect their country’s citizens.


I wanted to make a coin to commemorate all of the first responders that have given so much to their communities, but our budget for minting coins was completely used up. So I created a Kickstarter project to fund the next three coins. These coins are the First Responder Coin, the Holiday Music Coin and the North Pole Village Coin. I have the art for the next three coins, but once again the minting budget is depleted so we will have to wait while we save our money. The next three coins are the Christmas Tree Coin, the Cookie Coin and the Snowman Coin.


During his week as artist in residence Santa Steve will be teaching macrame, cartooning and chainmail. The most popular type of macrame today is “Survival Bracelets.” Students have so much fun with them and they are quick to make, they end up making bracelets, anklets, dog collars, and leashes. Steve will have a knot sampler project and resource books available. If a student would like to try more complex knots, time for that will also be available.

You might also like to try your hand at creating chainmail jewelry.

Meet Melinda Hoffman, Artist in Residence July 31-Aug 6

Melinda Hoffman loves mobiles…she also paints! We are so fortunate to have her visit “The Shores” to spend some time together creating magical mobiles.
Here’s what Melinda has to say!
…We are going to explore small books…I prefer Golden Books and we will be making them into mobiles. So to the upcoming campers, who will be at Searsport the first week of August…bring a favorite Golden Book. I will also ship in a stack of books that I pick up cheap. Now I am coming from South Carolina…just to be with you and the beautiful coast of Maine.
If you want a current subject mobile…Golden has Star Wars Golden Books…that do make into great mobiles…but you’ll pay top dollar ($4) for one…resale nonprofits can be a good source. (Read further for more books you might want to bring)
Now, if you’re really coming prepared…bring some trinkets…little light things to add to the mobile…I love the tops of Pez candies…even Walgreens has a display of the candies…and I found the best Star War figure heads. If you are thinking that this sounds a little like homework…let me say, as artists…we do our homework, we plan for our installations…
We will also fold books…simple…yea right. My 100 year old mother, folded the tissue pages of the New Testament…reading as she went. Took her weeks but what a lovely mobile we made out of it.  So, get to a resale shop that has books and think…lots of pages…the thinner the paper the better, in my opinion.
We will do some basic folding of books from one piece of paper. I will attach some pictures of a book competition we did here in Greenville, SC. We modeled it after a European project and you will add this to your arsenal of book making. This is a wonderful journaling, scouting, personal space concept that you will enjoy.

Artist-in-Residence: Maryly Matthewman.

 Maryly Matthewman.   Meredith, New Hampshire

“Summer Dresses and Evening Shawls”


Maryly is looking forward to her fourth Searsport Shores Artist -in -Residence.

Learn how bead embellished, sun enhanced, colorful batik summer dresses can liven up your wardrobe with a technique that honors mistakes. And for chilly evenings, start a shawl.

Marylyn is doing a major “destash” of yarn.  Just bring Knitting needles, she can teach you how to knit or help begin a small project.

What kind of face will be created this year? Let’s bake some more bread in the pizza oven! Great take along weaving.

 A great week for all, fabric, beads, bread and yarn!


Japanese Crafts with Mihoko July 10 – 16

Mihoko Wakabayashi, 

native of Japan, has been working on SAORI Weaving  for nearly 20 years. 

SAORI is an improvisational style of weaving started in  

Japan, Mikohos SAORI studio in Worcester, MA is the first official studio in  
US, she has been teaching all ages and variety of abilities since 2000.  
Mihoko will share a Japanese art everyday including SAORI weaving, 
Japanese Paper Dyeing and Origami. These art are suitable for all ages, 
children to elderly. They are simple but beautiful and interesting. Participants 
will make something that they can take home with them. 
SAORI Weaving is a moving meditation. There are no mistakes. Anyone can  
weave on ready-made warp. With SAORI weaving you can make a small tapestry or a bracelet to take home in half an hour.
Dyed paper will be great for wrapping gifts and make cards.
Campers may also  learn the basic origami or possibly graduate to something more complicated depending on their skills.
During the residency,  Mihoko plans to weave her own project and dye fabric with Indigo.

Throwing Pots with Russell Kahn

Camp & Create Artist-in-Residence Russell Kahn          will be visiting Searsport Shores July 3 – 9

“Think globally, act locally” is a motto that Russell Kahn lives by with his art. He has been an art educator in public schools for the past 20 years and shows his own art in local venues, however inspiration for ideas and media comes from all over the globe. His father is from Capetown, South Africa, his mother is from Tel Aviv, Israel, and his stepmother is from Innsbruk, Austria. Prior to settling in Maine, he lived in New York, South Africa, Boston, Tucson, and on the Navajo Reservation. All of these places and cultures have contributed to who Russell Kahn is and how he sees the world.

We are fortunate we don’t have to travel far to find Russell, He lives in Belfast and is involved in many art happenings in the area!

Campers will work on handbuilding clay with coils and slabs from 10 – 12 in the morning.

If they’re there for one night they can use air dry clay and if they’re staying for a couple of days or more, campers will use real clay and Russell will fire it in his kiln and possibly have time to glaze it.

Russell will also be demonstrating how to use the wheel and if campers would like to set up private lessons, He could set up a time with them at an hourly rate.

Book Artists Gail & Abbey

Meet Gail and Abbey Santner
Searsport Shores Artists in Residence for the week of June 26 through July 2
Hello Searsport Shores Campers and Fans!  My name is Gail and my 
daughter Abigail and I will be offering Book Arts activities relying on the 
beautiful local scenery for inspiration and a few materials.  I have been 
making folded and stitched books since 2009 and love the flow of 
creativity that comes with working with others.  For me, the content of a book
is critically important although I admit to having a collection of empty-paged books.  

One time I made a book using 
old New York postcards to recreate my parents’ 

visit to the Big Apple as they would have written about it to friends and family.
Another book I am proud of is my tiny “Six Word Stories” book that family members
have contributed to capturing events and feelings in a few significant words.

Gardening in my yard and as a volunteer can take over my life in the 
summer.  I have perennial gardens that I am perennially fussing over and a 
vegetable garden that I try to make unattractive to deer.  Success is usually 
“next year.”  I love the sense of promise that comes from planting seeds in 
the springtime; the reality of pests eating my plants brings me down to 
earth in the summer.  But when bees, butterflies, moths, and even a 
dragonfly or two find my yard, I have a sense of accomplishment….just 
like when I finish making a book . 

 Join us as in making various kinds of folded and stitched books as well as creating beautiful papers to use in our books.

We will turn to the natural surroundings for the book’s content to create a very personalized memento of your time in beautiful Maine!