Nature Craft Workshop in the Dunes: Making Sculptures from Found Materials with Artist Bonnie Zimmer

Bonnie-Zimmer-VesselWith warm temperatures here to stay, snow shoveling has been replaced by gardening chores for most of us. To artist Bonnie Zimmer, that means one thing: art supplies!

On June 7, she’ll lead a workshop titled Natural Selection: Intuitive Sculptures, at Dunes Learning Center, from 9–5.

Zimmer has been described as an environmental artist. Her work utilizes materials "harvested" from the farms, fields, woods and roadsides of Indiana—as well as her own garden.

“Since spring has finally arrived, I have been raking my yard, pruning and collecting materials for this workshop. I’m looking forward to guiding participants through a day of creativity and renewal.”

A resident of Rensselaer, Zimmer has won a number of Indiana Art Commission grants for her work, as well as several teaching awards—including Outstanding Educator of the Year.

Her June Dunes Learning Center workshop (which she says is appropriate for all skill levels) will be split into two sessions. In session one, titled “Totemic Sculptures,” participants will combine found objects in a vertical format to create a sculpture suitable for home or garden. Following a lunch break, session two, “Woven Vessels,” will begin with the creation of a framework using provided rattan. Participants will then add their own materials and objects to create unique sculptural vessels.

Those attending the workshop are encouraged to gather interesting and meaningful objects to include in their works. According to Zimmer, “Any natural or found materials that contibute meaning or visual interest can be used. Old garden gloves, shoes, and rusty stuff gathered from behind the shed,” are all great art materials—as are “pine cones or walnut hulls the squirrels have emptied.”

Natural Selection: Intuitive Sculptures, will be held inside Dunes Learning Center’s Cowles Lodge on Saturday, June 7 from 9–5. Tuition is $40 and includes lunch and materials. No art experience necessary. Space is limited. Register online at