Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Jewelry Artist Retreat 2013 Wrap Up

Wow, what a week! Eleven women in the garage of a vacation rental in Lake Gaston, North Carolina spent the entire week creating jewelry. The setting was absolutely beautiful, but most of us left our "bench" only to eat and sleep, so the gorgeous views of the Lake went for the most part unappreciated.

This was my first year and I was not totally sure what to expect, but the gals made me welcome from day one. As you can imagine with a group of women released from daily chores and responsibilities, a lot of levity ensued. I think the morning I came down and found the rubber chicken on my bench may have been the moment I officially became part of the group. :-)


But in addition to lots of laughs, story telling, sharing of personal struggles and triumphs; there was a bunch of absolutely stunningly beautiful jewelry created. The talents, creativity, and metal smithing skills in this group were mind blowing. And everyone generously shared what they knew, or demoed a technique, so we all came away with new ideas to experiment with back home.


I was introduced to Michael Boyd's work by Lisa, who was intent on creating "Boyd-ish" pieces. And between a late arrival and a steady stream of production, kept us all entertained.

 
Across from me was Janice, who creates some of the most interesting and creative rings I've ever seen. She also sets dust, I mean 1.5 mm faceted stones, and is probably one of the most technically skilled metal smiths I've had the pleasure of observing.


Staci and I became instant friends when we discovered we were on similar paths pursuing our dream of creating, writing, and teaching metal jewelry. I truly enjoyed our heart to heart chat!


Christy was the consummate entertainer, with her dry wit and steady stream of interesting life stories. I think we would have got on famously, back in the day....and she is one heck of a jewelry designer!


Industrious Linda blew me away with her creative stone settings and beautifully precise workmanship!


Ann and I have been friends for awhile, and I truly enjoy her sweet nature, as well as her copper creations, which is usually my metal of choice.


I'm told that this is not even close to the output normally produced by Nancy; she is one prolific designer! And thanks for the etching demo, my materials should be arriving shortly.


Rina is a woman of many talents, but it was her filigree work that particularly intrigued me. And check out that crocheted cuff....I wish I had the patience to make one of those....sigh....


Sue sat behind me and was so helpful whenever I got stuck with a technical issue or needed an opinion. And I absolutely love those prong set pendants!!!


Sweet, quiet Tara did some very intricate locket and hinge work that I found amazing! And she was my roomie for the week, I only wish my college room mates had been as easy to get along with... :-)


And here's what I did; most of this weeks work involved micro fold forming, which is a technique I've been wanting to experiment with. But I even branched out and did a bit of soldering work, still not sure it's my "thing", but I can now solder unsupervised...


Coming home is usually a bit anti-climatic, but I had a chance to stop at the Sea Glass Festival in Virginia Beach and meet up with some friends, which made even my last day super fun. That 700 mile drive home almost did me in though....should have stopped, but I missed my sweetie, :-)