The Casual Alchemist

A Book, PlayBook and Learning Opportunities with Daniel Mack


Face-to Face Meet-Ups   July and August 2018

About

I'm Here For You

As a maker and teacher, I can offer you a varied menu of activities to help you kindle the sparks of creativity and imagination.  It starts with the core materials in my book, The Casual Alchemist and continues here and in my Pinterest Boards, to let you customize the experiences you need. 

The Casual Alchemist a handbook on the act of Making

Making is a non-verbal way of exploring and learning about  Regenerativity --the recurring need to change Our Story, to refresh, reestablish, re-create ourselves and our places in our family and community. 

In this way, the power of making is larger than art, commodity and even "creativity."   It is an ancient human act in which we all share.


Starting from Where You Are 


Benefits

  • More skill at Changing The Story
  • Greater confidence with your personal aesthetic 
  • Better comfort with patience and solitude
  • Broader technical skills with common materials
  • Practicing the "good enough"
  • Better skills to participate in cooperative activities
  • Experiences with ambiguity, chance, digression, accident and distraction as positive forces
  • Develop new creative practices and Tool Kits 
  • You produce a new collection of images and objects 
  • You encounter new ways of thinking, poems, and other expressions of meaning
  • You will discover Others who share your curiosities and concerns 

The Casual Alchemist: Events, Objects, FAQ

The Casual Alchemist

     EMAIL

rustic@warwick.net


Another Description of 

The Casual Alchemist


A Project from 

Daniel Mack


Creative Aging 

as a practice of Casual Alchemy

Coming Events

July 14, 2018 

Wonder-Wander-Warwick

Open Studio, Warwick, NY

With four other artists  at my studio,

we explore the theme of Spirit in Matter.


August  26-30, 2018  

The Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

Befriending the Creative Unconscious

based on the book, The Casual Alchemist






What The Book is about

The Casual Alchemist   

Making as a spiritual and political activity in times of transition,  inviting people to discover, renew, adjust  their own inherent creative capacities through stories, pictures, inspirations and practices.  


It encourages distraction and interruption. It features the transient and the casual as primary influences, not impediments, to the process. 


Contact with unconscious intelligence (creativity) must not be immediately commodified into art or consumption. It is basically a spiritual experience.   


Making is an important, accessible, non-verbal, casual, personal portal for  people in transition, people seeking  regenerative activities for themselves, their family and the community.  This book is larger than personal creativity.


There are three major sections, allowing for different learning styles:

1. Daniel Mack's essays over 25 Years This is the trail of events and discoveries Mack himself  has made about the consequences of being with Things: teaching how to make them, collecting, buying, making, selling and gifting them. 


2. A PlayBook for getting right into DOING IT .


3. The Grimoire  .. a grimoire is the recipe or note book of a particular Alchemist-Magician-Witch. 

This is an image-driven tour of Mack's personal and public responses, reactions and evolution into a Casual Alchemist over 30 years.  It is his blueprint  to perhaps look through as you are making your own.

It is a record of the influences and inspirations that helped form Mack's work. It lists other artists, poets, makers he admires and offers a collection of stories and poems he has found helpful. It lays out interesting projects in workshops, schools, rural villages and urban and suburban communities. It's his alchemy-in-service. 


He offers a section of Resources... where to find the stuff of Casual Alchemy, from porcupine quills and pottery shards to handmade watercolor papers and more.   

FAQs

Daniel Mack??

Daniel Mack is an artist, writer and teacher. His first book (of seven), Making Rustic Furniture (1991) sold over 100,000 copies,  because of its common language, inviting style and timing. This current project, which began in 1997,  presents several ways of accessing the creative unconscious.  The reader is invited to actively compose the experience appropriate to mood and concern and the pressing distractions of the day.


Your Influences?
Archetypal psychologist James Hillman and his protege, Thomas Moore


Naomi Remen  on the differences between helping, fixing or serving.


Lewis Hyde’s two books, The Gift and The Trickster Makes the World,  


The Casual Alchemist is rooted in a Piaget approach to teaching/learning; it is about guided discovery, not lessons and exercises. 


Why is this So Special?

There are indeed lots of books on crafts, making, spirituality and "transformation" filling shelves.

The Casual Alchemist is in a smaller subset of such books which starts from the experience of making... and presents it in the tradition of Alchemy and Surrealism.

But probably the most distinctive feature is the tone or style.  It is NOT set up in a hierarchical fashion.  It is not a Way to learn and master.  It tries not to let "teaching" get in the way of learning. 

The Casual Alchemist tries to revive the notion of "Ordinary Magic"... that sensibility and need  all humans have to effect and  influence the world around them..  The root of the word witch is the German weik, which means to curve or bend.  That's the drive of humans to keep ordering, bending, curving the disorder and chaos they experience.  Making is a central form of that.

The Casual Alchemist is not a self-help psychology book, nor a collection of poetic meditations.

The Casual Alchemist is a Hand-Book for Adjusting and Re-Creating  lives in transition and distress.

The Casual Alchemist: Tools, Materials, Objects and Gifts

For the Laboratory

Bench Hooks for the Great Work, and the Lesser Work, too  These are portable work areas.  It makes any flat surface into a special area.    Hardwoods. Various sizes.  All made by Dan  $25


A Collection of Found Objects suitable for the Casual Alchemy. A Casual Alchemist starter kit or Gift    Dan has been collecting for almost fifty years.  He is now making these objects available in collections   $20

For The Quiet Place

Magical Decoys and Divine Allurements 

Since 2000, Daniel Mack has been carving, assembling, arranging many various natural materials into "Imaginal Tools", "Pocket Sculptures", "Spirit Figures"


Anima Bark Carvings        $150 each


Imaginal Tool Kits              $150 each


Stones/Eoliths                    $40 each

Rustic Reminders

Child's Rustic Chair    22" tall

very sturdy and barky       $450