Med-O-Lark is home to one of the largest and most all encompassing Fine and Visual Arts programs at any summer camp. Arts at camp revolve around the Art Barn, located in the center of camp, and the many professional studios specifically designed and built for each art program . All art activities are led by professional artisans and art students studying at some of the best art schools in the country. The creative process at Med-O-Lark is thus a truly collaborative and nurturing one–and one that leaves campers with lots of amazing work to bring home at the end of camp.
In the extremely popular and well equipped ceramics studio, what can be created is limited by only a camper’s imagination. Campers can hand build pieces, create sculptures and busts, make tiles, or learn to throw a pot on a wheel. The talented staff and adult artisans are always able to guide campers as they learn about clay, glazing, firing and the production of finished pieces.
Enabling students to learn the techniques necessary to create metal jewelry, this studio focuses on pieces such as necklaces, belt buckles, medallions, rings, earrings, and chains. The work is done in copper and silver and students are encouraged to incorporate other materials into their projects, such as stone settings and enameled pendants.
Enameling is one of the most ancient and durable of all art forms. It is the art of fusing glass to metal at high temperatures. With a special kiln housed in the studio, campers use copper or silver bases to apply colored designs and produce pieces that highlight the luminosity, depth, and variety of color rare in such pieces of fine metal. Classes include silver Cloisonne, etching, and many other techniques. Even though this program is professionally run, all campers are successful and will bring home some wonderful items that they will be proud of.
Cloisonné Enameling: An ancient Enameling technique where wires are bent to form a design and the resulting cells are wet-inlayed with enamel. In this studio, campers learn how to create Cloisonne on fine silver, with fine silver wires. Creations are kiln fired at 1500 degrees Farenheit between 7-10 times for high quality results.
Champlevé: An ancient Enameling technique where enamel is wet-inlayed into depressions with metal showing between enamel sections. In this studio, campers make depressions by etching from a hand drawing using embossing powder as a resist. Work is fired at 1450 degrees Farenheit 5 or 6 times for wonderful creations.
Copper Enameling: Enameling on a pure copper surface using techniques such as Sifting, Stenciling, Sgraffito, Scrolling, Crackle Enamel, Pull through, Draw and Sift, Decals and Raku. Campers add Lumps, Threads, Milleflori, Flower Wafers, Gold and Silver foils.
In this expansive studio, campers create beautiful jewelry and accessories. The studio is equipped with a wide array of materials, and the staff teach many new and innovative techniques for working with beads. Campers create necklaces of every shape, coin purses, chandelier earrings, beaded broaches, Fimo beads, dream catchers, woven bead bracelets and much more.
Housing one of Med-O-Lark’s most unique programs, the Wax House has been expanded in the last few years to include soap making, incense, essential oils and wax sculpting. Candle making, however, remains the staple of the Wax House. Despite the obvious beauty of the finished candles, the process of creating them is fairly easy for most campers. As a result, the Wax House is always teaming with activity. Candle types that campers create include ribbon candles, sand candles and sculpted candles. A resident wax artist helps campers manage the “dipping” process, which involves continuously coating a candle’s wick with layers of colorful wax.
Handmade soaps are fun to make and each one is a unique piece of art. Campers mix their color palette and design their own soap using techniques like layering and curling. Campers use the “Melt and Pour” method and add wonderful things like botanicals, essential oils and fragrances. Rose petals, lavender, poppy seeds and coffee not only look wonderful, but they help make skin healthy. Campers also make lip balm from beeswax. Soap making excites all the senses in its practice but most of all it feels great to make something beautiful that you can use. Great for all ages, campers learn to wrap and package soaps for gifts and for personal use.
In this modern, fully equipped studio, an experienced glass worker instructs campers in the art of glass sculpting. Campers use torches to melt colored glass rods. Once melted, campers shape and form the liquefied glass into small sculptures, utensils and decorative marbles. Med-O-Lark’s trained staff works closely with the campers to ensure complete safety.
The ancient art of basketry is alive and well in this popular studio as campers learn the weaving techniques necessary to create beautiful custom baskets. The baskets are made from all natural materials and can be woven with varying patterns while incorporating colorful fibers.
The Art Barn is centrally located amidst Med-O-Lark’s many visual arts studios. In the Art Barn, campers participate in drawing, painting, collage, cartooning and much more. Campers can work in a wide variety of media including watercolor, oils, pastels, charcoal and conte. Also offered in the Art Barn, and nearby in the surrounding studios, is 3-D sculpture, found art, duct-tape art and mask making. An open studio program is also available in which campers are free to choose their own projects, limited only by their creativity and imagination.
Featuring a darkroom complete with six enlargers and manual film cameras, Med-O-Lark’s photography program offers instruction in traditional black and white photography and film developing. In the dark room, campers are taught all aspects of film developing including composition, lighting and processing. In addition, the studio is home to a burgeoning digital photography program. Equipment used by campers in this workshop includes digital cameras, computers and printers. The talented staff trains campers to take, develop, modify and present all types of pictures and videos. In the video production studio, campers write, direct, film, star in and edit their own movies.
Med-O-Lark’s fabric studio offers a wide range of equipment and supplies. Campers are taught construction and alteration techniques. Once a fabric is chosen, campers can design both its pattern and color using tie-dyeing, batik, embroidery, patch sewing, block printing, silk screening and painting on silk. Then, using the fabric, campers create their own clothes, conduct alterations to existing garments, make pillows, purses, accessories, dolls and even marionette puppets.
Using rough-hewn blocks of soapstone in this lakeside studio, campers shape and carve beautiful creations that will last forever. Campers create small sculptures, pendants, vases, candlestick holders, clock inlays, sundials and plenty more!
A unique variation of Woodcarving, campers use pencil-like precision instruments to literally burn sketch lines, incisions and final strokes into different species of wood to create everlasting works of art. The tools for this activity are electric implements that provide just enough heat to be able to burn detailed pictures and drawings into a variation of wooden items.
A time-tested camp favorite, campers use exact-o knives to carve and decorate wood of all species, shapes and sizes. Oils, pastels and water based paint for coloring and shading are available to enhance the creations. Many campers even design frames to complete their work. Our Native American Art studio has quality instruction provided for proper teaching methods as well as ample supervision.
A time-honored handcraft synonymous with camp, campers learn to cut, shape, stitch, adorn, stain and enjoy their creations in leather. Moccasins, pouches, boots, handbags, belts, are just some of the many finished products that are manufactured in this studio. Supple elk-hide is most commonly used as the raw material for these projects. It is durable, handsome and easy to work with. It absorbs oil based paint thoroughly, for easy and precise decoration and it is soft enough to be stitched for practical uses.
Oh the wonderful things made out of tape! Who knew the Handy-Man’s secret fix-all is such a fabulous medium to create with? Bursting with an array of colors, campers manufacture items as diverse as quilts, dresses, flip-flops, wallets, masks, hats, show props and a million other items! Extremely fun and popular, Duct Tape Art has been offered at Med-O-Lark since it’’s founding in 1967.
Campers choose from an extensive variety of colored and textured glass to make stunning works that reflect light, like only glass can. By using patterns or creating their own designs, campers have the opportunity to create multiple pieces, incorporating their own ideas into their work. Camper projects include picture frames, candle holders, landscape wall hangings and sun catchers.
Med-O-Lark has three fully-equipped culinary arts kitchens, allowing campers to create unique baked goods, main courses, desserts and international cuisine. When fired up, the wood-burning, brick oven adjacent to the Med-O-Lark waterfront is a most popular gathering spot for campers. In the brick-oven, campers and staff make pizzas, cinnamon rolls, flatbreads and many more culinary delights.
Art in Motion! Med-O-Lark’s Digital Arts Film/Video studio is equipped with a full line of state of the art hardware and software enabling campers to enjoy electives such as Digital Animation, Claymation, Game Design, Moviemaking and much more!
Animation and Claymation: Specialized software allows children to learn to crate in these exciting art forms. Animation and Claymation have fast become integral components of today’s film and television industries.
Video Game Design: Virtual World Manufacturing! Design and build your own society using the latest software platforms!
Digital Film and Video: Become a Filmmaker at camp! Campers work in small groups under the guidance of instructors to produce movies and videos varied lengths. Children acquire skills in Shooting, Editing, adding Transitions, Special Effects and Music Layovers to their projects.
Med-O-Lark’s Fabric and Textile Art programs allow campers to create using silk, cotton, wool, felt and more. Campers are taught construction and alteration techniques with which to manufacture pillows, puppets, garments and accessories and other projects. A wide range of sewing, knitting, and other equipment is available for use in the two Fabric/ Textile Studios where the possibilities are limitless!