Sunday, June 24, 2012

2012 Wildacres Trip

Another week up in Little Switzerland has come and gone.  I returned on Saturday, tired (as usual), but happy for having had another great week at Wildacres.  This year I took an enameling class with Pat Nelson.  I wasn't sure what to expect from this class called 2D and 3D enameling, and we ended up learning a vast array of different enameling techniques.

We started off using stencils to make designs, and later moved to using Riso Screens and Thermal Fax machines (something I had never heard of).  

 Things got MESSY!  We experimented with foils, drawing with graphite, using watercolor enamels and ceramic pencils.  We played with decals and even learned how to make our own with black and white laser copiers.  We also learned how to make our own stencils using silkscreening techniques.  Phew!  It's a good thing I take good notes because I can't remember half of what Pat taught us and I've only been home 2 days.

Karen and Alan (this was Karen's first year, and she'll definitely be back).

Then came Auction Night!  First we have a silent auction followed by the live auction where the "special" items donated by all the teachers are auctioned off.  Charlene won a gorgeous necklace made by our one of our most favorite teachers of all time, Julia Woodman.  : )

Here is Susan on the left, who taught me all my basic metalsmithing skills at Spruill, Charlene, Me and Cyndi, with Tom Beard, another teacher at Spruill sitting in front.  Good times!

 Susan and Cyndi, who decided we all needed to be fed one night while sitting out on the patio and brought out different types of cheese, crackers and dips.  Amazingly yummy.

Here are a few of the experiments we did in class, and here is Katherine and Pat up above.

Practicing "the pose" before dinner one evening (shoulder out, head forward and slightly down). 

Mary Ann Scherr (second on left) taught a class that used etching materials and also worked with the student's own body to form the metal to their personal shape.  They turned out some amazing pieces.  Here are some examples.

Some more examples from our enameling class:

Harold O'Connor was also at Wildacres this year and here are a few items his students produced.

We also had a Lapidary class taught by Helen Driggs, an Engraving class by Les Bryant and Andrea Kennington and a stone setting class by Hiriko Yamada. Everyone produced extraordinary pieces and I wish I could include them ALL here.

I will end by saying I missed a few special people this year who have been up at at Wildacres with me now for 5 years - Julia, Kathy and Maggie especially!  I hope they find a way to make it back up next summer.  Of course, we all missed Jean Stark who decided 2011 would be her last, and John Cogswell's absence was also felt.  And where were Leslie, Gail and Robert (we missed his home-made honey!)  I hope they all know that there were a lot of people who asked about them.