April 2015

 The Azule


April 2015

Happenings and Events

Camille H. Shafer's Vision

  Camille is embarking on a continuation of her lifelong mosaic project at Azule using tiles and objects collected over forty years. Her architectural vision begins with the new outdoor workshop. This will aid Camille in transforming more than 2000 square feet interweaving the nautilus theme using sacred geometry throughout the gardens, waterfalls, and trails, encircling the estate. As excitement gleamed from Camille’s Azule eyes she said “I am amazed at my own excitement to do this long and demanding work since I am 72 and had two hip replacements”.

   Camille derives her inspiration for mosaics from her early love of quilting and she uses this passion and style to guide her. Camille said the “quilting I used is what I had free or discounted, and I jazz it up with colorful material in velvet, satin and silk; I reassemble the small pieces. I realize that I have been building Azule in the same way. I gathered 12 windows free from a color glass factory dump in the 70’s and kept 20 years, and then made it into 12 colorful windows. I wonder why this dogged determination drives me to do mosaics?” This determination is what gives both Camille and Azule their unique beauty.

   Spending time with Camille at Azule is to be treasured; she is truly one of the great story tellers. One evening she shared with her friends a sad memory of her ancestors. Camille said that her grandparents had died from the Spanish flu before she was born. She explained, “They all lived in Normandy, France a beautiful country with green fields, apple trees, wheat fields, and cows. This land was totally devastated by the bombs in World War II. It took many years for the farmers to be able to use the land again. Farms and towns were reduced to rumble and small pieces.” Like the rebuilding in France from debris after World War II, Camille says, “Here I am reassembling the small pieces. Maybe this is my aesthetic, to rebuild, reassemble what has been exploded.” Camille transforms her collection of discarded objects, turning them into her architectural dream, Azule, the place, the container, the vessel.
is accepting donations for Camille’s ongoing Mosaic projects. Any Clay, Pottery, Plates, Porcelain, Tiles, or Glass, broken or whole, will be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for your support!

Azule has  an 

 Administrative Assistant 


     Natalie Marsh is from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and now lives nestled in the Appalachian Mountains outside of Hot Springs. Natalie enjoys hiking in the woods, harvesting edible and medical plants and mushrooms, as well as concocting bubbling jars of sauerkraut and other traditional foods. She can often be found in the garden weeding her rutabagas with other herbs and vegetables. Natalie, along with her partner Andrew have been working with Azule to bring to life the Traditional Appalachian Skills series. As the new Administrative Assistant, Natalie looks forward to working closely with Azule and putting her organizational techniques and computer skills to work!


  from the 2015 PORTRAIT PROJECT 

Photos in this issue are by Arlette Vaccarino, Gwylene Gallimard, Natalie Piegari, Michelle Davis Mechem, Sherry Wilson and participants in the Portrait Project.


Duarte Morais

gives some insight from his visit to Azule; he is with People First Tourism, of NCSU and they are returning as a group for the second time. In addition, Duarte has attended several skill shares and attended community meetings. Duarte brings his student to Azule to various social aspects of life. He describes Azule “a neutral space where born and raised Appalachian locals intermingle with transplants - each bringing their richness to mutually respecting and reciprocal lives. This is critical to my message to the students… I can easily expose them to contrary fractions in the community, but it is in Azule where they can see that communitarian development can be pursued." People-First Tourism


Playwright Natalie Piegari

Natalie Piegari attests to her superb experience while staying at Azule saying "I had a wonderful time at Azule. What a glorious journey this retreat was. I wrote a play, the soul of which is desperately important to me. It is the definition of my personal ’why this story, why now’. I compiled and typed up notes for two others -- and I have a new piece just beginning to bud in my brain, inspired by a beautiful conversation with strangers. I am so humbled & grateful & excited to be here. I am ready to go home and make good on my word: to write, each day. What a gift."


Fiction writer Michelle Mechem

Michelle Mechem shares the benefits of her experience at Azule. "Being at Azule was magical for me. To be able to step out of my busy life as a business owner, wife and mother and spend a week caring for my Author Within was amazing. I came to complete and revise a novel. I was able to write a new opening and revise 3/4 of the 320 pages, a feat that would have taken me a year or more, in one focused week. The experience of doing my first public reading of fiction has made the novel real to me. I have opened the door to share my writing with the world. A door opened at Azule that shall never be closed."


 Upcoming Residencies in

April and May



April and May
are going to be busy months at Azule! In addition to Camille’s mosaic, Shahid Hussain and his daughter Sofia Shahid will be sculpting at Azule to share the joy of working together. Writer Robert Lukow will be working on his novel. Composers will participate in a retreat organized by harpist Erin Brooker and the Archaea Tree Ensemble, Filmmaker Sukhada Gokhale will also visit Azule in May, And writer and social service provider Lana Phillips is scheduled for a creative getaway enjoying the Appalachian Mountains via the Azule experience. Jason Slade and friends will have a retreat at Azule; they represent Hip Hop Culture and the Zulu Nation,


"AZULE Imagine...," - the video - is now in HD!
Here is the link: AZULE IMAGINE ... 
"Down a winding two lane road in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina is an artists' retreat that is considered a work of art in itself..."  Azule Imagine... follows the development of this new concept in artist's residencies that serves not only the artist but the surrounding community. 
Produced by BBarash productions and, with music by Roger 'Hurricane' Wilson and Elise Witt.

Thank you so much to our monthly subscribers and everyone

who answered our end of 2014 call.

THANK YOU Sherry Wilson, Lynda Scott, Michelle Suttle, Jean-Marie Mauclet, Bunny Halton-Subkis, Gwylene Gallimard, Omari Fox and Randy Bell, Henriette Brouwers & John Malpede, Joe Ebel, Todd Fowler, Louise Graff, Mark &
Joyce Hulbert, Donna Hurt, Lorrie jayne,  Rena Lash, 
Kim Marin Rollin, Tom Morris &
Eye Productions, 
Lisa Mount, Olivier Rollin, Sue Schroeder, Carolyn Stewart, Arlette Vaccarino.  
AZULE Board Members had a strong and enjoyable retreat in February. They wish to extend a special thanks to Kathie DeNobriga for her donation of a needed and meaningful professional training at that retreat.
THANK YOU also to all Board Members who gave countless hours of in-kind work.
And THANK YOU to all who organize, promote or come to our programs.

And to ALL DONORS: thank you so much for helping AZULE board members and volunteers to move AZULE on its necessary journey. Come, visit and participate. Invite your friends!
AZULE is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 
Your donations are tax-deductible from your income.

AZULE's Mission is "To provide an environment where artists and community meet, learn and work together through the arts in their many forms."
For a visit call Camille 828-622-3533 
For information on AZULE's programs, to make any proposal, to apply for a residency or retreat, to book AZULE or to register for any of our offerings, visit AZULE website and e-mail us at 

You are all invited!
Azule may bring you the opportunity to meet great artists, attend a SkillsShare or learn about a traditional Appalachian Skill, experience a rejuvenating space for residencies, retreats, staff or wellness meetings. Come and visit, give us a call.

Apply online
For more information
send us an e-mail <>

Visit our website at


Tiles of any sort
Folding Chairs
Folding Tables

Easels and a blender
A turntable 
A cassette tape deck

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