2019 Workshops

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three-day Workshop | mandalas as a spiritual practice

Friday, September 27 – Sunday, September 29

Friday 7:00 –  9:00 pm: Meditation and Workshop Introduction

Saturday 9:30 am –  4:00 pm: Mandala of Compassion Template Construction and Meaning | Meditation

Sunday 12:00 –  4:00 pm: Mandala of Compassion Template | Meditation | The Dismantling Ceremony

$225 Non-Members, $200 Members. Ages 16 and up. Space is limited. Registration required by Monday, September 23. Call 267-502-2990 to register.

Participants should bring a ruler (at least 12”), a pencil, and a compass. All other materials are included. Please bring your own lunch to enjoy at Glencairn. Small break refreshments will be provided.

The Tibetan art form of the mandala is an ancient and sacred practice intended to uplift and benefit not only every person who sees it, but also to bless the environment. Every aspect of the mandala has meaning, with no detail being arbitrary or superfluous. The colors and designs of each mandala have profound meaning originating in the ancient teachings of the Buddha and have remained unchanged over the centuries. Mandalas are used to enhance spiritual practice through imagery and meditation to overcome suffering, individually and collectively for all living things. In essence, mandalas represent enlightened qualities, and are an important form of teaching in Vajrayana Buddhism to support living beings on the path to enlightenment.

The Venerable Losang Samten is dedicating this workshop to educating others on the spiritual practice of creating the Mandala of Chenrezig (Mandala of Compassion), just as it is done in Monasteries throughout the world. This Mandala of Chenrezig originated from the tantric teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni through the Buddhist nun Pema, whose name means lotus. Although depicted on a flat surface, the Mandala is actually three-dimensional, being a "divine mansion" at the center of which resides Chenrezig, Buddha of Compassion. Participants will be led through the spiritual practice of this mandala design creation, learning the meaning of the colors and symbols, the detailed measurements, techniques of pouring the sand with the “chakpur” tool, and the meaning of the dismantling ceremony. Participants will draw a template of the Mandala of Compassion to keep.


Workshop | “Make Your Own” Glassblowing

Saturday, October 19 - Wednesday, October 30

Not available Sunday, October 27, due to the Medieval Festival.

Make your own paperweight - $65
Make your own suncatcher - $35
Make your own medallion - $20

Ages 8 and up. All materials included. No experience necessary. Space is limited. Registration required. Call for available times and details, and to book your individual 30-minute session or small-group block of sessions. Call 267-502-2990 to register.

This is your chance to get hands-on experience with the art of glassblowing. Spend a one-on-one session with Master Craftsman Jason Klein making your own glass souvenir.


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Workshop | make a christmas country church

Saturday, December 7
1:00 — 4:00 pm

$40 per person. Ages 18 and up. No experience necessary. Space is limited. Registration required by December 4. Call 267-502-2990 to register.

Rekindle old memories or start new traditions with the creation of this decoration based on the traditional Pennsylvania German-style Christmas Putz (a landscaped Nativity scene). This year Glencairn’s World Nativities exhibition features the historic Jennie Trein Christmas Putz from the Moravian Historical Society in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

About the instructors: Karen Loccisano and R. Michael Palan have 20 years of experience designing mass market Christmas ornaments and decor for the Kurt S. Adler Company based in New York City. The husband-and-wife team have also created elaborate, original Nativities, which they have exhibited at Glencairn Museum for several years during the Christmas season.


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Workshop | Pysanky Ukrainian Easter Eggs (Three Sessions)

Saturday March 30: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Sunday, March 31: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

$30/person. Ages 16 and up. Registration required by 5:00 pm Wednesday, March 27. Call 267-502-2990 or email info@glencairnmuseum.org to register.

Pysanky are the beautiful, elaborate, Easter eggs found in Polish, Ukrainian, and Russian traditions. Learning this centuries-old technique for decorating Easter eggs is easier than you might think. Using a stylus called a kistka, we will write with melted beeswax onto the shell of a raw egg, then dip it into vibrant dyes. We will complete two different eggs in the workshop, and you will keep your kistka and wax to use at home. Join us to make your own little heirloom - it’s a lot of fun, and the results will impress your family and friends!

Click here for more examples of decorated eggs.

About the instructor: Wendy Hallstrom is an instructor at Hunterdon Art Museum, the Center for Contemporary Art and the Hunterdon County Senior Center in western New Jersey, where she teaches both adults and children in various media. In addition to painting, Wendy has mastered the craft of Pysanky, Ukrainian egg decorating, and teaches the technique. Wendy's primary media is watercolor, but in recent years she has begun exploring religious iconography, writing icons in egg tempera in the Russian tradition and modern icons in acrylic. Her work has been displayed in juried shows in New Jersey and South Carolina and is in several private collections.


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Workshop | German Paper Star (Froebel) Ornaments

Saturday, March 2

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

$20/person. Ages 16 and up. No experience necessary; all materials included.
Registration has been extended to Friday, March 1. Call 267-502-2990 or email info@glencairnmuseum.org to register.

Elaine and Matt Vardjan teach the art of creating German paper stars (Froebel stars). The folded German star is an old paper craft that was popularized by Friedrich Froebel in the early 1800s in Germany. It is likely that Froebel did not invent the star, as it is believed to be a craft that was generally known for some time. Combinations of individual stars can be used to make other items known as “Star Craft,” including crosses, baskets, and mobiles. You can find some of the basic shapes of the Froebel star in certain barn star patterns painted on Pennsylvania buildings.

About the instructors:

Elaine and her husband Matthew Vardjan took over a family printshop in 1974, which has been in the family since 1904, printing traditional folk-art designs in the Pennsylvania German Motif. These designs are truly “one-of-a-kind" works of art. The German folded stars are an extension of that. After Matt’s passing in 2011, Elaine and Matt’s son Matthew took a more active role in the shop’s operations. "Matt the younger” was taught by Elaine to make the stars when he was 8 years old and has been making them ever since. The “Star Craft” line of items was developed by Matthew beginning in 2008. This has grown into an art form of its own. Elaine and Matt Vardjan (mother and son) have been teaching classes together for several years. You can learn more and view their products here: www.rbcrafts.org/member/paper/vardjan.


Workshop | Sacred Adornments

Saturday, February 16

9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

$35/person. Ages 16 and up. No experience necessary; all materials included.
Registration required by Monday, February 11. Call 267-502-2990 or email info@glencairnmuseum.org to register.

The session on February 16 is SOLD OUT. A second session has been added on Saturday, February 23, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Call 267-502-2990 to register today.

Custom tour featuring rarely seen ancient Egyptian jewelry from our vault, followed by a make-your-own beading workshop focusing on the symbolism of beads throughout history, with an emphasis on symbols that come from nature. There will be a bead marketplace for purchase of special beads, in addition to the beads provided as part of the workshop.

Artist statement from the instructor, Gail Simons:
I have been fascinated with beads from around the world starting with my first viewings of National Geographic magazines in second grade. Through the years I have studied beads as to the materials from which they are created, their symbolism, and their history. Beads have been used for body décor since the first cave person put a cord through a stone with a hole in it. In making my jewelry I look for the story the beads have to tell and try to bring that alive through creative design. One goal is that my inspiration as the artist is translated into jewelry that might then inspire the wearer.


2018 Workshops


Workshop | The Art of Making Nativities

Saturday, December 8

1:00 to 4:00 PM

$35 per person (includes all materials). Ages 18 and up. Registration required between August 30 and December 1; call 267.502.2990 or email info@glencairnmuseum.org.

Artists Karen Loccisano and R. Michael Palan will give a presentation and share how they make their Nativities. Participants will also make their own miniature Nativity. No artistic experience necessary.


Three-Day Workshop | Dream of the Magi

Sundays, December 2, 9, and 16, 2018
12:30 to 4:30 PM

$190/person (includes all materials). Ages 18 and up. Registration is required by November 25; contact the instructor at eikon68@aol.com for more information and to register.

In this three-day workshop (December 2, 9, and 16) artist Susan Kelly VonMedicus will guide participants through the process of creating a small book using the arts of calligraphy and gold leaf application. No artistic experience necessary.

Susan Kelly vonMedicus was born in Philadelphia to the fabled Kelly clan, a devout Irish-Catholic family. Her parents, John B. (Jack) Kelly, Jr. and Mary Freeman, were both Olympic athletes. Her aunt, movie star Grace Kelly, married Prince Ranier III of Monaco to become Grace, Princess of Monaco. Susan has recently completed an icon as a gift for the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Monaco, a commission from her cousin Prince Albert II to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the archdiocese of Monaco.

Ms. Kelly vonMedicus was educated at the following institutions: Mater Misericordiae Academy; The Baldwin School; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; and The Prosopon School of Iconology. From January through April of 2013 she is an artist-in-residence at the Burren College of Art on the west coast of Ireland, just a few miles down the coast from Westport, County, Mayo, where the Kelly family emigrated from in the late 19th century. The mother of three sons, Susan lives and works in the Philadelphia area, creating artwork and keeping a garden, chickens and bees.


Yoga Workshop | Myth, Mindful Movement, Music, Mantra, and Meditation

Saturday, October 27, 2018
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

$45 per person

Age 16 and up. Tickets available beginning August 30. Registration has been extended through 5:00 pm on Friday, October 26. Register by calling 267.502.2990 or emailing info@glencairnmuseum.org.

Please bring comfortable clothes to move and sit in, and a yoga mat. Chairs and light refreshments will be provided.

This immersion into the tapestry of the East Indian practices of yoga will include storytelling, mindful movement-yoga poses appropriate for any level, devotional chanting (call and response singing), mantra, and meditation.

About the instructor: Michelle Synnestvedt is the owner/director of Dhuni Yoga and an E-RYT 500 (experienced registered yoga teacher) with over 20,000 hours of experience and training. She started her formal teacher training in the 1990s in an alignment-based Hatha yoga system and opened her first yoga studio soon after. She went on to train hundreds of teachers in the Philadelphia area over the last two decades.

Michelle loves both the ongoing joy of nurturing long-time students in weekly classes, and also enjoys teaching the deeper studies of Philosophy, Intro to Sanskrit, Anatomy, Therapeutic Alignment, Sacred Myth, and Principles and Devotional Chanting (Kirtan) to teachers in training in a myriad of studios.


Workshop | Pysanky Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Saturday, March 24, 2018
Two sessions:
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
1:00 - 4:00 pm

$20 Adults, $15 Students/Museum Members.
Ages 16 and up. Registration required by 5:00 pm Wednesday, March 21, by calling 267.502.2990.

Please wear old clothes or a smock as the dye will stain.

Pysanky are the beautiful, elaborate, Easter eggs found in Polish, Ukrainian and Russian traditions. Learning this ancient technique for decorating Easter eggs is actually easy. Using a stylus called a kistka, we will write with melted beeswax onto the shell of a raw egg, then dip it into vibrant dyes. We will complete two different eggs in the workshop, and you will keep your kistka and wax to use at home. Join us to make your own little heirloom - it’s a lot of fun, and the results will impress your family and friends!

Click here for more examples of decorated eggs.

About the instructor: Wendy Hallstrom is an instructor at Hunterdon Art Museum, the Center for Contemporary Art and the Hunterdon County Senior Center in western New Jersey, where she teaches both adults and children in various media. In addition to painting, Wendy has mastered the craft of Pysanky, Ukrainian egg decorating, and teaches the technique. Wendy's primary media is watercolor, but in recent years she has begun exploring religious iconography, writing icons in egg tempera in the Russian tradition and modern icons in acrylic. Her work has been displayed in juried shows in New Jersey and South Carolina and is in several private collections.


Workshop | Sacred Adornments: Jewelry as Belief

Saturday, February 10, 2018
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

$30 Adults | $25 Students/Museum Members.
Ages 16 and up. No experience necessary; all materials included.
Registration required. Registration open Monday, January 1 through Thursday, February 8, 2018. Call 267-502-2990 or email info@glencairnmuseum.org to register.

Custom tour featuring rarely seen ancient Egyptian jewelry from our vault, followed by a make-your-own beading workshop focusing on the symbolism of beads.

Artist statement from the instructor, Gail Simons:
I have been fascinated with beads from around the world starting with my first viewings of National Geographic magazines in second grade. Through the years I have studied beads as to the materials from which they are created, their symbolism, and their history. Beads have been used for body décor since the first cave person put a cord through a stone with a hole in it. In making my jewelry I look for the story the beads have to tell and try to bring that alive through creative design. One goal is that my inspiration as the artist is translated into jewelry that might then inspire the wearer.


2017 Workshops


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Workshop | Scandinavian Christmas Tree Ornaments

Saturday, December 9, 2017
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

$20 Adults | $12 Seniors/Students.
For ages 12 and up.
Space is limited. Registration opens September 1. Registration is required by 5:00 PM Monday, December 4. Call 267.502.2990 to reserve your spot.

Make traditional Scandinavian Christmas ornaments you can take home to decorate your tree. Participants will learn about Swedish straw ornaments, and weave hearts and harvest knots. Younger participants can make paper woven-heart baskets, a 19th-century Danish tradition that has now spread to other countries. A guided “Christmas in the Castle” tour is included as part of the workshop, as well as exclusive access to the Museum’s World Nativities and Do You See What I See? Imagery in Nativity Scenes exhibitions and Nativity Quest.


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Meditation Workshop | Ancient Meditation Technique for A Healthy Mind and Body

Saturday, September 30, 2017
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

$40 per person

Tickets available beginning September 1, 2017. Registration recommended by 5:00 pm on Thursday, September 28. Register by calling 267.502.2990 or emailing info@glencairnmuseum.org.

Tickets will be sold at the door on September 30, subject to availability.

In these modern times, with constant changes in technologies, living with stress, and aging, it is important and crucial to have mental peacefulness. One way to gain mental peace is through incorporating the ancient Buddhist teachings, the Nine Stages of Mind Training, into our daily lives. Many Buddhists and non-Buddhists have used this technique to overcome stress and suffering.

In this workshop, including a presentation and guided meditation, Losang Samten will share meditation techniques he learned from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Nine Stages of Mind Training Meditation will be of benefit for those seeking meditation for mental peacefulness.


Pysanky Workshop: Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Saturday, April 8, 2017

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM for Children. Recommended for ages 5 to 12. Children ages 5 to 9 must be accompanied by an adult.

1:00 - 4:00 PM for Teens and Adults. Recommended for ages 13+.

$12 Children | All materials are provided

$20 Adults, $15 Students/Museum Members | All materials are provided

Space is limited. Reservations required by Wednesday April 5. Please call 267.502.2990.

PLEASE NOTE: As of Wednesday, February 8, these workshops are SOLD OUT.

Pysanky, or Ukrainian Easter Eggs, are a centuries-old Eastern European decorating tradition that is passed down through the generations. Children love making these beautiful eggs. Using a stylus called a kistka, we will write with melted beeswax onto the shell of a raw egg, then dip it into vibrant dyes. The finished eggs are beautiful little Easter decorations. Please wear old clothes or a smock as the dye will stain. Children will bring home two decorated eggs and their own decorating tools.

Click here for more examples of decorated eggs.

About the instructor: Wendy Hallstrom is an instructor at Hunterdon Art Museum, the Center for Contemporary Art and the Hunterdon County Senior Center in western New Jersey, where she teaches both adults and children in various media. In addition to painting, Wendy has mastered the craft of Pysanky, Ukrainian egg decorating, and teaches the technique. Wendy's primary media is watercolor, but in recent years she has begun exploring religious iconography, writing icons in egg tempera in the Russian tradition and modern icons in acrylic. Her work has been displayed in juried shows in New Jersey and South Carolina and is in several private collections.


2016 Workshops


Canceled: G is for Grace

Glencairn Museum and Susan Kelly von Medicus regret the need to cancel this workshop. Stay tuned for information about future workshops with Ms. Kelly von Medicus!

Saturdays, December 3, 10 and 17, 2016
12:00 - 4:00 PM

$195 per person | All materials are provided

Registration is required. A $100 deposit is required to hold your place. Contact the instructor at eikon68@aol.com for more information and to register.

Artist and iconographer Susan Kelly vonMedicus will teach participants the Gothic alphabet and will guide the illumination of a page using Gothic Script. Decorations will be made in the manner of the scriptorium of the Middle Ages, using mineral pigments and 23-karat gold leaf. A tour of the Museum’s sacred art collection and Christmas exhibitions will be included. No artistic experience necessary.

About the Instructor: Susan Kelly vonMedicus was born in Philadelphia to the fabled Kelly clan, a devout Irish-Catholic family. Her parents, John B. (Jack) Kelly, Jr. and Mary Freeman, were both Olympic athletes. Her aunt, movie star Grace Kelly, married Prince Ranier III of Monaco to become Grace, Princess of Monaco. Susan has recently completed an icon as a gift for the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Monaco, a commission from her cousin Prince Albert II to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the archdiocese of Monaco.

Ms. Kelly vonMedicus was educated at the following institutions: Mater Misericordiae Academy; The Baldwin School; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; and The Prosopon School of Iconology. From January through April of 2013 she is an artist-in-residence at the Burren College of Art on the west coast of Ireland, just a few miles down the coast from Westport, County, Mayo, where the Kelly family emigrated from in the late 19th century. The mother of three sons, Susan lives and works in the Philadelphia area, creating artwork and keeping a garden, chickens and bees.


Instructor Michelle Synnestvedt

Myth, Movement, and Mantra: An Exploration of the East Indian Celebration of the Divine Feminine

Saturday, October 1, 2016
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

$45 per person.
Reservations strongly recommended by calling 267.502.2990. No refunds after Wednesday, September 28. Tickets also available at the door beginning at 8:45 am on Saturday, October 1.

Doors open at 8:45 am. Workshop begins promptly at 9:00 am.

October 1, 2016 marks the first day of Navaratri, The Nine Nights of the Goddess, the largest International East Indian Celebration of the Divine Feminine in the world. Millions of people from all over the world join together to listen to great myths of the powerful and beautiful forms of the divine feminine in the form of Durga—an exquisitely beautiful goddess who rides a lion and holds the power that restores order, love, compassion and light to a world shrouded in darkness.

Join Michelle Synnestvedt for an exploration of this celebration that will include story-telling, gentle yoga movements appropriate for everyone, traditional East Indian Kirtan (interactive call and response chanting/singing) and meditation. Wear comfortable clothes easy to move in and a yoga mat if you have one. There will be chairs for everyone.

About the Instructor: Michelle Synnestvedt, E-RYT 500, has had a love for East Indian culture, philosophy and spiritual practices since her father returned from a sabbatical in India when she was 10. She started studying Zen in high school and yoga asana in her 20s. Her formal yoga teacher training began in the 1990s in an alignment based Hatha yoga system, and opened her first yoga studio soon after. She went on to train hundreds of teachers in the Philadelphia area over the last two decades.

She loves the ongoing joy of nurturing long-time students in weekly classes and also enjoys teaching the deeper studies of Philosophy, Intro to Sanskrit, Anatomy, Therapeutic Alignment, Sacred Myth, and Devotional Chanting (Kirtan) and Meditation to students and teachers.

Meditation was the first serious daily practice she found that began her own healing and remission from a debilitating disease over 30 years ago. It has since become the life boat in her daily life and perhaps the most foundational and precious part of empowered health she shares with clients and students as part of the process back to well-being.

Her practices deepened profoundly when she met her main guru (teacher) in the Tantric non- dual lineage. Much of Michelle’s training from her guru and other teachers in India is in Sacred Speech, the art of the oral tradition, in which she shares stories, traditional myths and wisdom.

She has also had the honor of studying with perhaps some of the greatest teachers on mindfulness and meditation today, Pema Chödrön and Sally Kempton.

For more information about Michelle Synnestvedt visit www.dhuniyoga.com or www.michellesynnestvedt.com