2021 Hot Shops Instructors

Check out the AMAZING instructors we have lined up for the Hot Shops 2021 RETREAT!  There is so much talent, creativity and energy in this group of amazing women!   Make sure to read their bios to get a little opportunity to “meet” them before your classes.

Angela Szelag
My journey to jewelry design, was not a direct path. I worked in graphic design, marketing and in television advertising sales for many years. To be honest, jewelry making was never on my radar of dreams, however it was always a curiosity of mine. Little did I know that one TV sales call at a local jewelry store could change the course of my life. That’s when I saw a sign in his window for silversmith classes. I knew I had to sign up. In September of 2014, I took my first silversmith workshop. I fell in love with the entire process of creating jewelry. I enjoyed the way the saw felt in my hand while cutting silver, covering my hand with sparkling silver dust. Watched with intrigue as the silver would heat up and the solder would run, joining two pieces into one. I became fascinated. I was hooked. I couldn’t believe it! I finally found my passion! I wanted to be a jewelry designer.

Angela can be found creating in Studio 220 – Tranquil Sky Jewelry at the Hot Shops Art Center in Omaha.

April Bussa
I am a wife and a mother to four amazing kids. I first started painting in acrylics before finally deciding to dive into the beautiful world of watercolors.  I started my journey in early 2020 and I am excited to share what I’ve learned (and am still learning) to everybody who’s either a beginner or someone who is completely new or thinking about doing it but doesn’t know where to start.  Follow my watercolor journey on Facebook at A World in Watercolor.

Ashley Schrad
I have always had an eye for arts and crafts. I love to make things and engage in the creative mentality. I am a full time mother, full time wife, full time therapist and full time creative entrepreneur. 
I enjoy spending time outdoors and spending time with my family. 
I engage in therapeutic art techniques with individuals to help them be more creative in expressing their emotions.

Dia Hilton
Dia Hilton of Omaha, Nebraska is a software technician by day and an artist in her free time. She has been interested and active in many artistic modalities such as drawing, pottery, illumination, embroidery and lamp working(creating art with glass). She has been a member of the MLG and shown her glass and artwork in the Hotshops Gallery since 2002. Since the Spring of 2019 her interest has encompassed Acrylic Pour Painting. Dia is self-taught by watching YouTube videos with some of her favorite artists including: Mina Villegas, Fiona, and Julie Cutts. This hobby has led to sharing her experience with an interested audience on her Facebook page Art & Glass by Dia. Most Sunday evenings she will host a live show where clients from all over the United Sates have watched and bought pieces she has created. She has traveled to Kansas and Iowa to hold classes in the art of Acrylic Pouring. Her preferred paint brands are Artist Loft, Liquitex and Golden’s (her favorite but a bit on the costly side). The largest Pour Art she has created was a 24” x 48” piece for a family member. Her art pieces have sold to clients in Iowa, Colorado, Kansas and Missouri as well as Nebraska.

Ellene McClay
I have always been a maker, and learned to sew at age 6.  I’m an art teacher by day and a stitcher by night.  I love sewing garments and home décor, and more recently have become an art quilter.  I love surface design and collecting all types of fabric, and try to work with fabric in some way just about every day.  I love to sew fast, but have found that hand stitching is a meditative practice that not only adds a unique texture to my quilt projects, but also helps me find peace in the process.  I love helping others find joy in sewing, and the camaraderie that comes along with creating together.  I document my fiber journey through my Instagram at @bravenouvelle.  

Ina Ohnmeiss
The Creation of an Artist.

I started out doing art that made me happy, be it crocheting, quilting, paper crafts and now mandala painting and fluid pour art. My journey has been one of decades of change and with lots of determination and focus the past 4 years.

When I started this journey to being an Artist, I was working full time, doing art shows and as I’m fond of calling it playing with paint and dots. I woke up one morning and decided this is the path I want to follow, my dream. So goal setting became a priority in that I would have a path to follow to accomplish my dream of becoming an artist. With the encouragement of my husband and best friend Myers, my journey begins…..

Not once had I ever considered that I could make a living being an artist. I will say you have to be business savvy and have an entrepreneurial spirit. Art can be a hard product to sell, you need to create a want/need and make the person visualize a calming peaceful feeling. I strive to make affordable art so everyone can enjoy making a purchase of a piece that makes them light up with joy and it gives them peace knowing they have purchased an “original” piece of art.

I enjoy teaching and have expanded that service this year. Meeting new people of all ages gives me joy, to help them create their art, by giving them the knowledge and desire to explore the process. But the crux of art is making the art and that is my passion. Creating with each dot or flow of the paint a new piece is created and I never know what the out come will be.

Mandala what is that, it is a circular design symbolizing the notion that life is never ending. Mandalas have symbolized my journey through life and it tells my story of where I have traveled through the colors I have chosen for the mandala or fluid pour.

This is who I am.

Kelli Sweet
Exploring is the general theme for all of artist Kelli Sweet’s creativity as she explores color, texture, patterns or history with vintage inspired treasures.   As Degrees by Kelli, her favorite mediums are jewelry, collage & painting as well as all things quilt & fabric related.

Kelli loves to connect and inspire creativity.  She founded Hibernate & Create as the 31 Days of Creativity Challenge which has blossomed into a beautiful Facebook community from across the US and Canada and expanded into retreats to bring people together for dedicated creative time with friendship & food!

Lori Elliott-Bartle
While most at home under wide open skies with unobstructed vistas,  Lori Elliott-Bartle allows her curiosity to lead her to other terrains and cultures with an interest she honed as a professional journalist. She focuses broadly on aspects of landscape, and especially the prairie. She takes a daily look at the patch of big bluestem growing in her small, urban front yard. This graceful, resilient plant reminds her of the subtle changes in color, texture and line that prairie landscapes provide.

Lori’s work is often abstract, and the materials she uses are diverse. She mixes softened beeswax with oils and pigments and applies many layers. Mixing these materials allows her to create paintings that hold depth, complexity and texture, some of the same qualities about the prairie she appreciates. Her painting process is physically active. She uses rollers, wide blades and brushes to apply paint, then blots, scrapes and carves with knives and points to reveal underlying colors. These lines and colors convey motion and emotion.

Lori Skupa
Lori Parrott Skupa has been melting and manipulating Italian glass into beads since 2002; and art form known as lampworking.   She has had the pleasure of taking instruction from renowned glass artist from around the world.  Lori takes her finished beads and incorporates them, with other mediums, into gorgeous wearable art under the business name -Parrott Flameworks!

Every piece created is unique, you’ll find no two alike.  Her artwork has been feature in several juried shows and galleries.

Maria Yearian
Never thinking I would ever have artistic talent, I took my first art class in 2014 at the Joslyn Art Museum and discovered a hidden ability. Five years later, my passion and escape from life is painting in acrylics, watercolor, cold wax & oil, encaustic wax, resin, and alcohol ink mediums as well as glass mosaic pieces.

Born, raised, and still in Nebraska, I have enjoyed networking with local artists and taking art classes in the Omaha area when I’m not busy substitute teaching or taking care of my two young children.

Rhonda Bruggeman
My name is Rhonda Bruggeman. I am the artist behind the scenes of Rhonda’s Bits of Glass in Papillion, Nebraska. I work from my home studio full time as a glass artist. I have art in several area co-op galleries. I work with glass in many forms, including powdered glass, frits, sheet glass, molton glass called vitrigraph, as well as non fusible glass creating mosaics and garden stones. I began working with glass in 1999. I began as a self taught stained glass and mosaic artist. I stopped for awhile and began working with fused glass full time in 2015. I am constantly learning new techniques to offer a wide variety of styles. I do accept commission work from time to time. I participate in several local art and craft shows to support local causes, as well as juried shows.

Robin Schmidt
Happy Chalking everyone! As a former home decor/gift shop owner for 18 years and a 16 year 4-H leader in Centerville, Iowa, I love to DIY. After relocating to Elkhorn, Nebraska in 2017, I found my creative passion. Chalk Couture is perfect arts and crafts for me and I love teaching the technique. I am excited to be working with you as you learn the art of “chalking” on reusable silkscreen transfers.

Skyler Thomas Koehn
Skyler has been working with polymer clay for 15+ years. Although she dabbles in many mediums including glass blowing and painting, polymer class has always been her one true love. In 2015 she started teaching classes so that she could share the love with others!

Stephanie Wolcott
I have always loved to CREATE and spend time making a beautiful and happy home for my family.  After college, I have spent 20 plus years as a stay at home mom to two boys. During this time, I stayed active by sharing my time, passions and talents through volunteering in the public school, master gardening program, 4-H, church and other organizations.  I have also blogged throughout the years.

My love of painting, restoring, crafting, cooking, baking, gardening, soaping, junk hunting, DIYing….is always growing….

I currently have a shop and studio  SimplyHomeSweetHome where I teach a variety of workshops and am allowed to share all my passions and sell my creations.