Morningstar Studio  

Fine Wabanaki Arts by Jeanne Morningstar Kent

Dream Catcher
Ah Nee Mah (Ancient Voices)

 Open Your Eyes Artist Studio Tour 2011
cptv/wnpr  CT Public Broadcasting Network

 The artists include painters, sculptors, photographers, metal artists, textile artists, weavers, muralists, jewelers, ceramicists, printmakers and woodworkers. The Open Your Eyes artists are Cheryl Bartley, Theresa Cannavo, Pamela Chambers, Peter Coffeen, Donna Davis, Susan Dorazio, Roman Dubecky, Madeline Falk, Sharon Farber, Bruce Frisch, James R. Gagnon, Barbara Gilman, Ellen Griesedieck, Kathleen Kelly, Morningstar Jeanne Kent, Vic Leger, Debra Lill, Karen Meares, Shirley Metcalf, Norfolk Artisans Guild, Ruthann Olsson, Kevin Osborne, Tina Puckett, Jon Riedeman, Karen Rossi, Turi Rostad, The Artist Ruse'L, Gay Schempp, Dee Shapiro, David Skora, Rick Swenson, Carol Taylor, Carlton Taylor, John Garret Thew, and Leslie Watkins.

?This event gives the visitor an up-close experience with the artists to see how and where the art is created. On top of that experience, people going on this tour will discover truly beautiful sections of our lush region that they might not otherwise find. Although visitors are unlikely to visit all 35 artists, we encourage people to include in their itineraries some of the more out-of-the-way studios. The Open Your Eyes Studio Tour recognizes that when the public learns first-hand from the artist about what is involved with the making of a work and the ?story? behind it, a deeper connection and involvement with the art work happens,? said Amy Wynn, Northwest Connecticut Arts Council?s executive director.
The Open Your Eyes tour map will be available at sites throughout the region and beyond, and is available to download at along with suggested itineraries and direction sheets.

Featured Artisans At Juried Show

Posted By: Arlene S

Published 07/16/2011 12:00 AM
Updated 07/16/2011 08:53 PM
Woodburning by John Houle

The Juried Artisan and Craft Show at this year?s Hebron Harvest Fair, September 8-11, 2011, will feature over 40 artisans from the New England Region and New York. All products at the show are handmade by the exhibitors. Some of the featured artisans include Chong and Judy Lim ? Island Designs, Scarborough, Maine; Don Hart, Ledyard, CT.; John Houle, Hamden, CT; Leonard and Regina Eldridge, Warrensburg, NY; Gary Elias, Woodbury, CT; Robert Zarcone, Moodus, CT; Jeanne Kent, Washington, CT and Constant Waterman, Stonington, CT.

Island Designs will be exhibiting and selling cards and pictures made from handmade papers and engravings. Owners Chong and Judy Lim reside and create their images on Great Cranberry Island off the coast of Maine. Their art is a real team effort. Chong is a graduate of Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a major in printmaking. He does the designing for most of the artwork. From the original idea he makes the working drawings and carves the design into a metal plate. Judi also studied printmaking and painting in college. She does the presswork (the actual embossing and coloring). She also makes some of the paper they use and marbles other papers as well. The Lim?s say that their ?primary focus is embossed and handmade paper. We create the original design, carve metal plates and emboss each piece in our studio. We also do all our own framing and make many of the homemade papers that we use. Our images are highly representational, sometimes bordering on surreal, with a style somewhere between Eastern and Western. The emphasis is on clean, fine, and delicate detail. We believe that we are preserving centuries-old traditions of metal-plate engraving and paper embossing. We use machinery, equipment and technologies from an earlier period in our history.? Chong will be demonstrating his plate carving work at the show. The quality and fine detail of their work is a must see at this year?s show.

Don Hart Woodcrafts is a small operation based in Ledyard, CT. Don makes all of the items that you will see on sale at the fair, including kaleidoscopes, pens, pencils, key chains and bracelet assistants. Don has been a woodworker and wood turner for many years. By day, Don is a Network Operations Director for a Connecticut company. Nights and weekends Don ?turns? all of his product and then sells them at selected galleries and Juried Shows. ?This is my hobby,? Don will tell you, ?what I do for fun and to relax.? Don never fails to mention his wife Patti. ?She is a big part of what makes this all move along.? You can find Patty helping Don at all of the artisan and craft shows.

John Houle also works with wood for his designs and believes ?art should be unique. It should make a statement about who we are and about our passions.? John says ?art should be touched and experienced and Burnt Offerings are created for just that purpose.? John creates one of a kind images in wood, using heat and wood to create unique artwork, similar to the way our ancestors used burnt wood (charcoal) to depict their everyday lives on cave walls before there were other media. John uses Birch wood with its tight grain, to allow for intricate and extensive detail and texture. His work is the result of bringing pyrography and acrylic wash together. This technique greatly enhances his creations by allowing you to touch the scales of a bass striking a plug, feel the plumage of a preening bird or touch the rocks beneath a wave washed lighthouse. Unlike many wood burning pieces, John?s work tends to be of a larger size, with most pieces being 12 x 24 to 18 x 24 with larger pieces available making them ideal for wall hangings."

Leonard and Regina Eldridge, Endless Rainbow Gems, from Warrensburg, NY have been jewelry makers for over 30 years. There specialty is sterling silver jewelry with gemstones.

Gary Elias, Elias Designs, Woodbury, CT, is a silversmith/goldsmith. He has been making jewelry for over 35 years. His designs are unique and timeless. His specialty is custom designed jewelry.

For 35 years, Studio - Z - Leather in Moodus, CT has been designing and creating a fine line of high quality hand crafted leather accessories as a labor of love. Artisan Robert Zarcone uses the finest quality domestic leather and a variety of exotic skins from around the world to create vibrant and functional leather goods, including travel bags, belts, wallets, hand bags, evening bags, card cases, hipsters and tote briefs. From soft and supple calf skin, embossed crocodile to exotic lizards, snakes, ostrich, shark and alligator, the perfection of Richard Zarcone?s craft is obvious.

In addition to the exhibit and sale of these and many more fine handcrafted items there will be demonstrations by the artisans all day during the fair. Wheel turned pottery, chair caning, glass making, paper making, cake decoration, weaving, spinning and knitting are among the daily demonstrations. The schedule will be posted each day inside the fairgrounds.

Nationally known Gourd Artist, Jeanne ?Morningstar? Kent and Author, Illustrator Constant Waterman will be displaying and selling their work and signing their books. Jeanne Kent was named Spozowialakws (Morningstar) by an Abenaki Elder many years ago. It means: "One who leads others out of the darkness into the light...a teacher." Jeanne is descended from Abenaki, Nipissing, Montagnais, and Algonquin People from the Quebec area of Canada. Her father was French and Indian, her mother German. Her art work contains Native American symbols and designs of the Northeast Woodland People with focus on the Wabanaki group. Her medium is gourd art. Currently, she is working on a series of gourd designs which she hopes will provide a visual language for the woodland People. Jeanne has received both state and national awards and participated in one person shows and group shows throughout CT, NY, NH and MA. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and a Master in Art Education from the University of Hartford. She taught art in public schools for twenty years. As teacher and artist, Jeanne has presented programs on Native crafts and history, to educators and offered courses at the University of Hartford Extension Service. Jeanne Kent will speak on gourd art and sign her book, Gourds: Seeds Of inspiration, on Saturday at 2:00PM inside the Juried Arts and Craft Tent.

Constant Waterman will be displaying his illustrations, pictures and cards, in the Show Gallery and will be signing his books: The journals of Constant Waterman, Landmarks you must visit in Eastern Connecticut and Vincus The Invisible on Sunday, September 11.

Matthew Goldman, num de plume, Constant Waterman, lives in Stonington, CT and has worked as a toolmaker, a woodworker, and a land surveyor. He attended Union College in Schenectady and has taken courses in drama at URI. He has written serious drama, black comedy and farce. Three of his one-act plays have been staged and his full-length comedy, "Shades of Darkness, Shades of Light," was included in the 2002 Tennessee Stage?s Playwrights" Festival in Knoxville. His full-length drama, Starting Over, received honorable mention in the 2002 Writers Digest competition. His full-length black comedy about elder abuse, "The Cat Lady," received two Equity staged readings at HRC Showcase Theater in Hudson, NY. He was one time editor of the poetry quarterly, "A Letter Among Friends," which flourished for several years in Groton, Connecticut and has published a number of poems. Since July, 2005 his memoirs entitled, "From the Journals of Constant Waterman" have appeared as a semi-monthly column in "Messing About in Boats?. His work has also appeared in "Good Old Boat" and "Windcheck." His latest book is "The Journals of Constant Waterman?.

Come to the Fair to meet all of the artisans exhibiting their work and see the quality products made by these fine artisans. For a list of artisans at this show go to

Enjoy the entertainment, food and events at one of the largest fairs in Connecticut ? the Hebron Harvest Fair, September 8-11, 2011. Go to for more information on the fair.

February News Letter

Among artist featured for pyrography work:

Right and below "Three Warriors" and "Dancing on the Wind" by Jeanne Morningstar Kent
 of Connecticut


By Bonnie Gibson

This month, I am happy to review three smaller books that are either self published, or published by a small press.  You probably haven't seen these books unless you happen to know the artist or see them at a show.

The third book is an 8.5x11" paperback edition of 60 pages.  "Gourds: Seeds of Inspiration", was written by Jeanne Morningstar Kent, and this book approaches gourding in a unique way.  The subtitle of the book is "How to work with gourds when you have physical challenges such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome or other hand injuries".  Since these are common ailments among the gourding population, it is refreshing to see some basic alternatives offered for various tasks that some of us take for granted.

The book has basic information including:  the history of gourds, gourd growing and gourd varieties, protective gear, cleaning gourds, and design layout.  Later chapters include coloring, finishes, carving, and burning.  The book concludes with a 7 page biography/history of the author, a list of resources and a bibliography.   The book is written in the first person, so you feel like you are chatting with the author at a class.  It is well illustrated with color photos and is laid out in an attractive, easy to read format.   The biggest drawback of the book is that it covers a lot of material, but nothing in any real depth.  The book is available from the authors website, and costs $20 plus shipping.


Gourd group photo used to advertise Winter Craft Market for IAIS, Calendar of
Events, October-December, 2010, pg. 6.
Photo of "Gluscape Fights the Water Serpent" appeared in Around Concord
Community Culture.Lifestyle, Calendar,
Fall 2010, Vol. 3, No.4, pg.78.
Lecture and Workshop:
Ancient Technologies: Gourd Container Art
Jeanne “Morningstar” Kent, Interpreter at the Institute for American Indian Studies and gourd artist
Saturday, November 6, 10 am to 12 noon
Museum of Natural History (map will be mailed to participants)
Advance registration required: $55 ($45 for Museum members); includes materials fee
Adults and children ages 10 and above. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Jeanne Kent, also known as Morningstar, is descended from Abenaki, Nipissing, Montangnais, and Algonquin peoples, as well as Europeans. She is a nationally-acclaimed gourd artist who earned her Master of Art Education from the University of Hartford. In this workshop you will learn about the archaeology and history of the indigenous use of gourd containers in Eastern North America, as well as the modern cultivation of gourd plants and how to safely prepare them for use as containers.  Then, Morningstar will provide the materials and instructions for completing your own gourd container to take home - decorated with Eastern Woodland designs or designs of your own. Enjoy this unique opportunity to learn an unusual art form, and its fascinating history, right here at UConn!   
Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, Vol. 13, Issue 3, September-
November 2010, Native Visions, Calendar of Events. pg. 6, lecture and workshop.
Featured,  June 18, 2010, in "Stuff", a weekly newspaper by The News-Times, Danbury, CT 06810.

                   Three Warriors by Morningstar

In This Issue:  We are honored to feature Jeanne Kent, more commonly known as Morningstar. This name was given to Jeanne by an Abenaki Elder and it means "One who leads others out of the darkness into the light...a teacher." The Elder named her well as she is a teacher, artist and historian.

The focus of Morningstar's art is the interpretation of the designs and stories of the Wabanaski People; a northeastern woodland aboriginal people who today, find their unique culture slowly disappearing. Through her art Morningstar is bringing their daily life, in historical terms, alive. Please welcome Morningstar. Her work is spiritual and very beautiful.

    Some areas in North America have been so hot that colourful  sunsets are the result.

It is June and the gourd seedlings will have settled into their new homes and will be taking off. For first-time gardeners these are exciting times and it is guaranteed that as the summer progresses, the excitement will just heighten. This month we will briefly discuss bugs, flowers and pollination as well as other growing information.
We have some good letters from you which we will share as well as some gourdly trivia. 
       Art For Future Generations

                       Bridge To Assimilation

There is always a beginning when an artist discovers gourds, and with some, a few years will pass before they actually begin to work on them. This is the case with Morningstar.

During her career as a teacher her principal sent her to New York to attend an art seminar. One workshop offered was on puppetry, the other on gourds. She started a gourd project but when she got home she placed it on a shelf and did not look at it again for a few years.

And then a life altering injury to her hands changed her life drastically and while cleaning out old art supplies that she could not use anymore (due to the lack of strength caused from the injury) she came across the old gourd that she had started and a book.

Reading through the book she realized that although she could not use small tools, power tools would not be a problem. Rejoicing she had now found a perfect medium for her creative spirit; a medium that would also fit in with her other interests in life.

                         Fiddle Heads Rattle

When growing up Morningstar was not involved with native art or culture yet she found she was always drawn to it. It was, what you might say, in her genes from her father's side. He was native and French, her mother was of German decent. Her parent's separated when Morningstar was young and she was raised  not to tell anyone about her father's heritage. At that time in history her mother was afraid that Morningstar would be looked down at.
Once childhood passed, Morningstar moved into what was a much more comfortable fit. Now, twenty-five years later, she has embraced her roots through her art. Her Mother by the way, accepted this and would introduce Morningstar as her "woodsy" daughter. She would comment on how different Morningstar was from both herself and her sister...a comment that would make Morningstar chuckle.

Morningstar's inspiration comes from the pages of history. It became obvious to her that the Abenaki people were disappearing, and along with them, the visual language and stories. For three years she gathered information and purchased old texts or manuscripts from early archaeologists like Frank Speck and Leman. She collected both the designs and the stories.

Now she is working to make them come to life. She hopes that her hands (now arthritic) will continue to allow her to complete at least a dozen or more of these pieces.


Although Morningstar restricts herself to gourds now this was not always the case. She has won prizes for her pastels (National Pastel Association) and has a photo used on a cover of the CT Arts Commission summer bulletin.
She has made regalia in leather and cloth including boutellier bags, blouses, skirts, Abenaki pointed caps, leggings, knife sheaths, turtle pocketbooks and pouches, and mocassins. Beadwork, moosehair embroidery, thread embroidery and bead applique were used as embellishments.
Currently her art is shown at various galleries including the Millbrook Gallery and Sculpture Garden in Concord, New Hampshire from June thru to September. Morningstar is also a featured artist at the Institute for Native American Studies in Washington, CT during the month of June.

                                  Corn Bowl
Morningstar is presently looking for gallery representation or other galleries that will consider including her in group shows. She also has her eye open for some high end craft/art shows. She considers what she does as fine art and we are certain that she would be very successful.
These days life is full for Morningstar and her husband. She has two children and four grandchildren along with two Hymalian cats and one rescued Bejan/poodle cross dog. She has let the pets and animals naturally decline as her husband will be turning seventy this year and Morningstar will be turning sixty-six. Having animals outdoors is a lot of work especially in the New England winters 1400 feet up!
In the meantime energy abounds when it comes to her gourd art. In addition to the hands-on work energy is being spent on finding homes for her art in museums or permanent collections. It is important  that the stories and designs of the Wabanaki people will live on for future generations. This is generosity at its finest; a characteristic that Morningstar is well known for.
To learn more about Morningstar and her art click here:
For details about the Millbrook Gallery and Sculpture Garden click here:
Thank you Morningstar. We have enjoyed meeting you. Thank you for sharing your art and aspirations with us.

Northern Dipper
PO Box 1145
5376 County Road 56
RR 2, Cookstown, Ontario
L0L 1L0, Canada
[email protected]

 Volume 6, Number 64 (June 2010)
Email: [email protected]
In this issue:
Morningstar: Historian, Artist and Public Educator
The Bulletin Board - It's All About News!
The Art of Growing Gourds: Take It Easy While You Can

Dear Carolyn, Reader's Corner and Gourd Sightings
  The Bulletin Board
 Northern Dipper Workshops

 Northern Dipper has the reputation of providing excellent classes on a large variety of topics. July's workshop on drum-making is one of the most popular so sign up soon as it fills very quickly.

For more information click here.
Moose by Dyna Todd
The Washington State Gourd Society's Gourd Festival
When: July 15 - 16, 2010
Where: Moses Lake, WA
The WA Gourd Society has a great festival planned with 55 classes scheduled Thursday through Sunday. There will be lots of gourd growers and commercial vendor's selling everything on a gourd artist's list. Wonderful entertainment, great food and a beer and wine garden will complete the weekend.
 For more details click here:
 For information about Moses Lake, WA click here:


"When I realized that gourds were here since 10,000 B.C. and was used by most native cultures it was a perfect fit with my ongoing work with North American Native crafts and history."

Dancing on the Wind

"Gourds are not indigenous to North America... they somehow just showed up. Used as floats for fishing boats they may have broken off from ships from hot climates or maybe they just arrived on the
ocean currents. Once found and cultivated here, they served uses such as bowls, dippers, storage boxes, rattles, fishing
floats and many other items."
Gluscape Fights the Water Serpent - Side 1

Gluscape Fights the Water Serpent - Side 2

Words of Advice For New Artists
"Learn as much as you can about as many things as you can. And never give up."

"One of the problems I had most of my life was not having a focus. I experimented all over the place and liked doing flowers and portraits but never really felt fulfilled by it."

"I tried many different media with pen and ink and pastels being my favorites. I always admired sculpture but found I didn't think in 3-D."

"With the gourds, I am sort of 3-D. It is culturally grounded and it is preserving history. I simply love doing what I am doing."

"But I didn't arrive at this in my 20's. I have arrived here in my 60's!"

Hummingbird Rattle

"I have been making art since I could hold a pencil. I remember being punished for drawing with my ink pen instead of practicing my penmenship. I still have terrible penmanship!"

"I have taken private lessons and have two degrees from the University of Hartford. One is a Bachelor of Fine Arts and the other a Masters in Arts Education."

Woodland Bowl

"I learn a lot from books, but now with the age of the computer, when I have questions about a technique, I go to the computer and can usually find a written description and even sometimes a video. I love the computer!"

Woodland Bowl

Gourd on cover is announcement of Featured Artist Show at the Institute for Native American Studies, Washington, CT, for the month of June.

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