Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Week in the Mountains

I almost missed going to Wildacres this year.  I don't know what I was thinking, but I came to my senses about two weeks prior to classes starting, called the registrar to see if there were any openings in any of the classes and got in at the last minute.  Phew!  

This year at Wildacres, my teacher, Janet Harriman, started our class off with a little Tai Chi called "The Waterfall."  She wanted us to spend our week working hard, but remembering to breathe.  Good advice.  That's Janet in the middle, pouring out our first pieces from their overnight firing.

This was my first attempt at learning Bronze Clay, PMC3 and enameling on metal clay.  We started with the bronze, learning how to work with it, roll it out, keep it from drying out, making slip, attaching wire, etc.  We also worked with fast fire bronze, which has a different color and texture.   Here are Cyndi's amazing pieces (on the last night of Wildacres, we have Show and Tell, where we all put our pieces on display):

We all made a locket (similar to the one third from left), which opens and closes and has a little compartment inside.  I just love how you can set stones (strong enough) into the wet clay and fire them!  I also like the color of the bronze clay.  Sometimes it looks golden and sometimes it comes out of the kiln with a nice patina.  We also spent a day working with PMC3, a fine silver clay.  On the last day of classes, Janice gave us a demonstration on how to enamel on silver clay, which I can't wait to try out soon.

There is always plenty of fun happening at Wildacres.  We had some fantastic items for sale at the auction this year!  This is John Cogswell showing everyone a gathering of fold forming pieces from his students that was being auctioned off.  We also had jewelry items from all the teachers and a three-night stay in a fantastic vacation home in North Carolina.  I think the Florida Goldsmith Society did well (it's their biggest fundraiser of the year).

Three meals a day.  Seems the bell is constantly ringing for us to get up and come on down for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  The photo below shows all of us, except two tables hold The Sycamore Hill Writers Group.  We share Wildacres with them every year.  I approached one of the writers on the road late one night, saying, "Karen Fowler?"  She said, "Yes?"  I introduced myself and told her I had just started reading her new book, "We are All Completely Beside Ourselves," and how much I was enjoying it.  Karen is also the author of "The Jane Austin Book Club."

Here are some of the pieces made by the Foldforming class and the Trapped Objects class.  I wish I had more from the other classes, but the lighting was odd and I didn't have my good camera with me.  This one is Foldforming, taught by John Cogswell:

Trapped Objects - Joanna Goldberg is the teacher:

Some of the people in my class after Show and Tell are below.   We had a great time!  Monica was always cracking us up and Cyndi made sure we had some good music to keep us going.  We did an amusing skit about Janet, adding "The Waterfall," reminders to breathe, and a golf ball rolled under one of our feet to stimulate our creativity.  Roberta stole the show with the golf ball scene!  Monica wrote the entire skit, filled with sentences that had been actually said out loud during the week including, "Can you solder my crack?"  "You've got to spit on it."  Okay, maybe you had to be there.  : )

Before we packed up and left this wonderful place, I purchased this sweet piece from Janet.  I absolutely love it and have been wearing it every day since returning.

All in all, a GREAT week.  Janet was a wonderful teacher -- we learned a lot in one week.  We also had amazing laughs!   Until next year!