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It’s All Natural - April Demonstrations Celebrate Earth Day

Beeswax luminary by Lisa Hagan

In recognition of Earth Day, the Kentucky Artisan Center will feature works made from natural materials during the month of April. Demonstrations will feature art made from cottonwood bark, beeswax, basswood and cornshucks. Artist demonstrations are held on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Center.

On Saturday, April 7, William L. Rogers, of Harrodsburg, will demonstrate his intricate cottonwood bark carvings from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center.

Working almost entirely with cottonwood bark, William L. Rogers found his creative outlet after a 30-year career with IBM. The Montana and Alaskan cottonwood bark that Rogers uses has been harvested from dead trees whose bark has fallen to the ground. All of Rogers’ carvings are original, and because no two pieces of bark are alike, no two of his carvings are exactly alike.

On Saturday, April 14, Lisa Hagen, of Louisville, will demonstrate how she makes her round beeswax luminaries using dried flowers and wax from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center. Each luminary is shaped around a balloon with dried flowers imbedded in the wax. A lit votive candle makes it glow sending the fragrance of honey and beeswax into the air.

Three members of the Berea Welcome Center Carvers will demonstrate a variety of woodcarving styles and techniques on Saturday, April 21, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center. 

On Saturday, April 28, Darlene Hellard, of McKee, will demonstrate a wide variety of cornshuck flowers from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Center.

A native of Jackson County, Hellard creates mums, roses, iris, tulips and more out of cornshucks that she cuts and dyes. Hellard’s mother-in-law taught her to make a cornshuck wreath in 1981, and after her aunt learned to make cornshuck flowers on Kentucky Educational Television, she showed Hellard how to make her first flowers.

Hellard is a juried member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, the Southern Highland Craft Guild and the Kentucky Arts Council’s Kentucky Craft Marketing Program.   

Celebrating its 15th year of operation, the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is located just off Interstate 75 at Exit 77. The center’s exhibit, shopping and travel information areas are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.  

Photos, left to right: Cottonwood carvings by William L. Rogers; A figure being carved; cornshuck flowers by Darlene Hellard

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