NanC Meinhardt
Artist and Educator

Classes only in
NanC's Home
Maze Project:
Master Class

Please click on the photos below to see full-size views of the art sticks.

Diviner's Rod, by NanC Meinhardt. Do you see the back of a woman dancing? (click on photos to enlarge)

Close-up of Diviner's Rod.

Turn Diviner's Rod on its side. Do you see a sea creature?

Bird with Antlers, by NanC Meinhardt

Bird with Antlers, by NanC Meinhardt

Close-up of Bird with Antlers

Turn the piece upside-down, and it becomes Bird with Attitude

Close-up of Bird with Attitude

Photos by Martin Konopacki

Website design by SnoozLooz


Art Sticks: I'm Not an Artist. I Can't Draw. I Can Only Draw Stick Figures

What do you see when you look at a stick? Find a wood stick that "speaks to you," and bring it along with your favorite seed bead colors, acrylic paint, markers, and any other art materials you enjoy. You will use free-form right-angle weave (and your imagination) to create a sticks of personal meaning. You will create your art stick by expressing what you see.

Scheduling: three- to seven-day workshop.
See materials & supply list.

Skill level: Advanced
Participants must be able to do off-loom, right-angle weave. Familiarity with whittling, carving, and/or use of Dremel tool is a plus.

NanC's home studio in Highland Park, IL (map)


We each perceive objects in our own way. Art Sticks is a workshop about seeing and then crafting what you see into a personal stick.

Find a wood stick that “speaks to you,” and bring it to the workshop. For a four-day workshop, this stick may be any size or shape up to 10” long. It should be sturdy enough to embellish. Give yourself time to become familiar with it, as that knowledge may spark ideas for additional supplies to bring from home.

Find a stick with unusual features, such as the shape or how it bends, twists, splits, branches off, etc. You may perceive a human or animal figure. Better yet, look for a stick that looks interesting facets—when you turn it you see something different. You may even be drawn to a root.

The general supply list includes beading supplies, acrylic paints, brushes, markers, and other art materials you might enjoy using. This supply list is really more a list of suggestions than a list of items you must have at the workshop. I do ask you to bring drawing and painting supplies, although you do not need to know how to draw to create your Art Stick.

As an experiential workshop, each participant will approach making their Art Stick in individual ways, according to your interpretation of what you see. The basic method will be a combination of whittling, carving, or use of a Dremel tool; and applying paint, markers (other art materials), and beading, using free-form right-angle weave to create sticks with personal meaning. You might become involved in the overall shape of your stick or find interest in only part of it. You might wish to take the bark off the stick to lay bare its hidden secrets of grain and knots, you might be attracted to the texture—how the stick feels in your hand. Finding meaning in each stick is similar to lying on your back and looking up at the clouds. There is much to see. What you see in your stick is the place to begin.

The prerequisite for this workshop, knowledge of the off-loom bead weaving technique, right-angle weave, is mandatory! Basic right-angle weave forms the foundation for the additional beading techniques taught in the class. I will teach an adaptation of right-angle weave in order to use this technique in a free-form manner. This adaptation includes increasing, decreasing, the use of a “filler bead,” and the use of a “filler bead inside increase.” You will also learn to mix number, shapes, and sizes of beads. I will teach further adaptations in order to stretch the technique beyond your expectations. I will also teach about bead placement within the patterning of free-form right-angle weave to achieve as much accuracy in your design as you desire. Using free-form right-angle weave with size 15 seed beads will provide the highest degree of detail. You will also learn methods to keep your beadwork tight against the surface of your stick.

While beading is the main technique for creating your stick, you may also use paint and markers to define your vision and embellish your stick. You can apply paint and markers as an under-coat for the beadwork or as a primary surface. The use of found objects, wire, and fiber will be addressed as well as many other variations. I will also address shaping and carving the stick with a pocket knife and a Dremel tool.

The creative process is a central theme of this workshop. You may want to keep a journal reflecting your own process as you progress with your project. Each day will begin with a short discussion of your creative process.

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or would like to further discuss any aspect of the workshop. I look forward to seeing you in class.

© 2010 NanC Meinhardt Studio LLC


Highland Park is about 20 miles north of Chicago on Lake Michigan. NanC's home is just east of Sheridan Road, north of Lake-Cook Rd.