Past Workshops: The Pleasure of Making

Understanding Pokagon Through Clay (UPTC) offered a space to interpret Pokagon State Park through clay with six monthly thematic workshops, May through November. Workshops involving plants, animals, landscape and American Indian heritage were lead by three artists, Shirley Brauker (Bear Moon Pottery) (Odawa) and Tammeron Francis and Anna Popova (ClayWood studio).

Understanding Pokagon Through Clay

May – October 2019
Pokagon State Park
Indiana Arts Commission Grant

2020 – Pokagon Clay Workshop
(Awarded but canceled due to 

In 2017, Anna had the privilege to be among the first three instructors at the newly opened craft studios of Velingrad History Museum. The craft studios are part of the will of Mrs Tsveta Shumanova, an artist and craft woman from Anna’s home town who has lived in Massachusets. In the end of her life, she returned to Bulgaria in 1985 and donated her  works, tools, and looms to the local community. Anna’s classes sparked great interest of kids age 3 to 15. From July 3 to 9, 2017 as part of Velingrad Cultural Festival, the Municipality organized summer open craft schools on the street. More than 50 kids experienced creative expression through clay.

Younger children used stamps and cutout presses while older children were taught basic hand building technique. Anna gave specific instruction on how clay should be treated to survive drying, firing and how clay should be treated so as to maintain its shape. Projects included construction of small houses, animals and work of the child’s choice. In addition, Anna trained 4 teachers from the School for Children with Special Needs and helped them write a grant proposal for a pottery studio in the school.

Anna’s classes in Bulgaria
History Museum, Velingrad
Summer 2017

Drawing on the Seasons of Pokagon introduced park attendees to the patient process of seeing and thinking about place and wilderness through en plein air sketching. Three illustrated half hour lectures were delivered on drawing process. A final workshop was given in which drawings that best described features of Pokagon State Park were discussed as well as a short discussion of why drawing from life and en plein air is important. Workshop attendees used vine charcoal and large sheets of newsprint with which to draw. Workshops began with a handout on what to think about when drawing en plein air. After all drawing materials were handed out including drawing boards and clips Tammeron visited each drawing participant to discuss work. This project included in its grant money park entry fee scholarships.

Drawing on the Seasons of Pokagon

May – November 2016 and 2017
Pokagon State Park
Indiana Arts Commission Grant
(Both Years)

Refugee Project. Sofia Bulgaria. 2016 and 2017. Tammeron Francis and Anna Popova volunteered at the Voenna Rampa refugee camp in Sofia offering art workshops for children. Intending support the teaching of Bulgarian and English language the workshops used Bulgarian folk tales to support play as well as language learning. The first workshop involved an illustrated telling of the Bulgarian tale Grandpa’s Glove. Children completed the story with their drawings and clay figures. The following year art workshops for children were more directly related to basic language learning using drawing, clay-work and basic vocabulary. Participating refugees were from Syria and Sub-Saharan

Refugee Project

Winters 2016 an 2017
Sofia Bulgaria
Voenna Rampa Refugee Camp