Our KinderArts workshop series continues this week with ‘May Flowers’, an EAC Video Craft-along with Nia. In this month’s video, instructor Nia Aretakis demonstrates simple techniques for creating blossom-inspired prints from everyday household items: Q-tips and paper tubes.

The video also features original music by John Cashore, a guitar, fiddle and mandolin-player from Robbinston, Maine, well known from his many performances with the band Keltic Schmeltic, informally known as EAC’s ‘house band’ due to their many genial performances at the Center. A carpenter by trade, Cashore built his family home in 1976 while living in a school bus; a recent interest is carving wood burls. “Music is also a passion of mine,” wrote John. “I am mostly self-taught, playing by ear and learning from friends along the way. I also enjoy fishing, reading and gardening with my family, and sharing extra organic veggies at our roadside stand.” 

John Cashore is shown playing a gig at The Rose Garden, Eastport; Keltic Schmeltic bandmate Steve Grannis is at left. Photo by Robin Farrin.

Born in 1951 in Conshohocken, PA, John left home and moved to Maine at the age of 18 to attend school in southern Maine, then later migrated north to learn carpentry at the vocational school (now Washington County Community College). “I started playing guitar,” noted John, “at the age of 18 and continued to widen my interests to include fiddle and mandolin. I’ve played in various local bands throughout my 52 years of music, playing with accomplished friends and creating original music of my own. For the last 25 years or so I have been playing with Keltic Schmeltic, which I enjoy immensely. One on my greatest joys is my family—my wife, two grown children, and three beautiful grandchildren.”

Free materials kits are available from EAC, by emailing Alison Brennan at alison@eastportartscenter.org; arrangements will be made for pick-up or delivery. Those who wish can assemble the necessary supplies at home, and are encouraged to email with any questions. All participants are encouraged to send photos of their projects to Alison via the address above. 

Find the full instructional video here, including seven tunes by John Cashore!

Appropriate for crafters of all ages, the Craft-Along videos (this is our 11th in the series!) are easy to follow and feature free materials kits for local participants; those who wish (or who are farther from Eastport) may use their own supplies from home. 

Funding for this series has been provided by Belvedere Traditional Handcrafts Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. Donations will be gratefully accepted as well—either in the coffee can provided at materials pickup or via the EAC’s website. 

Past videos and trailers from this series may be found in a Craft-along with Nia playlist on EAC’s YouTube channel, or by clicking on the Craft-along tag anywhere on the EAC site, <https://eastportartscenter.org/tag/craft-along/>.

For just a wee taste of this month’s activity, check out this 60-second ‘sneak peek’ featuring John Cashore’s rendition of “Warm and Windy” by John D. Loudermilk.