Welcome to Inspiraculum, virtual home to Melinda Schwakhofer

I am an American born artist of Muscogee (Creek) and Anglo-Austrian descent. I currently live on Dartmoor in the southwest of England with my True Love,  Steve Coxon.

I have been an artist all of my life and began working with textiles in 1997. Since then, my practice has expanded to include painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and photography.

Since 2006, much of my work has been focused on my Native heritage.  Like many Native people, I grew up tangled in an unspeakable web of inherited trauma which had been handed down through the generations. As a textile artist, I follow threads of half-forgotten memory:  tying up loose ends and unpicking and stitching back together the cloth of our history.

Through my personal journey and training as a Counseling Psychologist, I have come to find that deep healing that can be done through art making.  Art making has given me a way to process and speak about things which have been hard to find words for.

I hope that you enjoy your visit.  If you’d like to stay in touch you can subscribe to my posts or become a friend on my Facebook page.




33 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Hey

    That’s good that you are defining yourself as an artist and poet.

    You are.

    Have been since I met you, and long before that. Birth,probably.

    So when you get down or feel confused, just remember who you are and act accordingly.

  2. Wonderful to see that your creative journey is bearing inspired fruit. When I met you at the textile Symposium at the NEC last year, you were still contemplating various avenues. My own exploration continues on its way with all its meanderings….some diversions, some soulsearching, some rays of light.
    I hope that your Art Money trip is a success. Perhaps we could meet up for a coffee at the Quilt Show in the summer? Stay in touch….Kate

  3. Hello! Stumbled upon your brilliant blog/photography. To further connect Blake’s vision of art-

    “He held that the way to truth and higher consciousness was through the contemplation of art. He proposed that by immersing oneself in art, a person could experience it not just an aesthetic but more akin to the meditative exercise a mystic performs in preparation for achieving a higher state of spiritual enlightenment.

    Prayer is the study of Art.
    Praise is the practice of Art.

  4. Dear Melinda,

    I just finished watching the video of you being interviewed by Bonnie McAffery. Thank you for sharing your inspirational work and philosophy! I really like the “Art Money”! Blessings to you, Therese May

  5. Stumbled upon your blog a week ago and decided to come back. Not for the articles you write, but for how you write them, really amazing stuff you’re doing here, i like how you put information into the articles which makes it much more easier to read and much more interesting of course. Keep up the good work!

  6. Hi Melinda, I enjoy evey thing that you send to me and all the articles you write ; such even to the recipes that I have tried. I also share them with my friend next door and lives in Lancaster, Pa. Who is also an retired art teacher. She really enjoys your accomplisment also. Love Hilly

  7. Hi Melinda,
    Please contact me regarding the possibility of showing your studio in an art magazine.

    Cate Prato/Cloth Paper Scissors

  8. Melinda-Nice blog, really quite a nice find for me. I stumbled across it while searching for images of the word’flotilla’. Found your photo of water striders which,quite unexpectedly, fits my intention, with poetic appeal. I’ll explain- I blog here- http://70point8percent.blogspot.com/. Taking a look will help explain. One of the people I’ve been communicating with is starting an interest group around Flotilla’s, defined as waterbourne seafaring intentional communities. Your image and poem I would like to use on my blog announcing this group. It’s perfect. In addition,I’d like to direct my readers to your blog by crediting you and expressing my admiration and excitement about your site. Though I’ve only had time for a glimpse, it’s beautifully done. Not a stranger to the arts myself, my university wasnt, but actually the oldest art school in America, where I studied painting. Now make woodfired ceramic sculpture based on paleo and neo lithic paradigms. Would like permission to post.

  9. as I mentioned … you and your site have been very inspirational.
    for that .. I am grateful and wish you much happiness and reward Melinda.


  10. Hi, Nice site! Maybe Fore Street and the West Quarter are at last achieving the sort of critical mass that will draw in ever more independents and second hand stores and we can have a Camden of the West! I got a very lovely Western Shirt in Electric Gypsy, just across the road from Otto and up the Hill – they have some nice stuff too. Ciao.

  11. Great blog, I love your pictures. I used one from the “Wineter WOnderland” post on my blog today (sundaysweetheart.wordpress.com), but I put your name in the credit.
    Thanks and again, awesome, pictures!!

  12. Melinda
    I found your site by googling “girl being held by the earth” and the snake picture came up .I copied it just to use as part of a healing process for myself .I live in Pennsylvania and go to Glastonbury regularly .I would love to visit that part of england it sounds luscious .I will look it up on the map .
    I am into all things having to do with the rebrirth of the feminine body and conscious to the planet for balance and healing …Love the fiber art Many heart blessings RhiONA

  13. Melinda,

    Came across your blog whilst chasing Jay’s Grave (thanks for the link) and am inspired by your photo/silk printing – wouldn’t this truly lend itself to the Dartmoor granite landscape?


    Tim Sandles

  14. Dear Melinda
    I live in Colorado. My husband teaches every few years in England and I accompany him. I love and miss England very much. Please continue to write as it takes me to places I would so love to see. Your pennings are such a treat for me that on occassion I will sit at my computer, coffee in hand and spend an afternoon exploring, enjoying the woods, solitude and the finery of the English countryside (oh!and the cooking too!)with you. Every time I go to England I feel like I’m connected to my soul again.
    Thank you so much.

  15. dear Melinda,

    so much work with your smart intelligent way with great love.
    i am writing you from south korea and sometimes i enjoyed creating to drawing watercolour with violin inspiration and if have a piece of textile to making kind of same way corough work as well as a beginner.

    thankyou so much. visiting your blog and greatly happy to meet you & your art work.

    best regards,

  16. I just want to say I have been coming to your site for several months now, and it is always a source of pleasure, serenity, and inspiration. I come to explore, I come when I need solace, I come to enjoy your creativity, and I come just to see the beautiful Devon countryside. Thank you.

  17. Pingback: Secret Studio Trail round Moretonhampstead « Moretonhampstead Festival

  18. well I have been gathering feathers for a few months on a small Florida lake where the birds like to gather. I am always gathering in nature. I find the tiniest feathers……..i just love making art now what to do with all these feathers. Really it is my daily meditation wading in the waters when not swimming. I make all kinds of art and now doll making art doll. I am originally from La Canada Ca. Also attended PCC. Its funny that I just googled tiny feathers since my curiosity was driving me to see if others do this, and there I found your beautiful sight. Both my boyfriend and I are musicians. We were in England and Whales two years ago and while he was working , I explored every charity store in town and walked the old footpaths getting there. j
    cheers, aloha and namaste kathy ivers

  19. Hi Melinda

    I stumbled across your blog when searching, believe it or not, for “French Knight clock” and up popped your Bodium Castle image. As a boy, I learned to camp while tramping around East Sussex, and Bodium is a personal favourite. I now live in Australia where the great outdoors really is! As a kid, I never really believed in the Milky Way – apart from a chocolate bar – because it was always obscured. You should see it far from city lights and polution, as I’m sure you did in S California. Thank you so much for letting me relive a bit of my youth

    Cheers, Richard

  20. I’m so glad I found your site – I absolutely LOVE your quilt of dreams with the forest, river, and Knight and his Lady. Truly amazing! Your post about not being accepted to the show in Germany was really helpful. I’ve recently decided to make a real go at my work in fiber arts, so I know not everyone will love what I do. Thanks for putting your experience out there.

  21. Hi Melinda, just looking at your pages ,love your work as you know,looking forward to working with you again sometime,your soul shelter brought to my awareness that there is somewhere we can make for our soul xx
    love Bee

  22. Really pleased to have found your intriguing and nurturing work. Looking forward to more visits. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (plugged in and ready to play)

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