I feel as if I’ve been in my own little bubble for days. First it was preparing for the Metal Magic workshop with Stephanie Lee, and now getting back to the “real” world and focusing on our busy schedules. What has really overshadowed my thoughts though are the recent tragic disaster in Japan, my distant home away from home. I am very proud to say that I am half Japanese and was born in Japan. The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan has really left me feeling down as I watch the news and reflect on those who have lost their family and homes. While we are all feeling so helpless, I know that many prayers are being said and sources of tangible help have been established. It did feel almost unfair though to have experienced the tremendous weekend that we did with the art retreat, meanwhile so many are suffering such horrible devastation.
In an area not too far from DC, many of us were experiencing a weekend full of magic. All of the things you dream of if you are able to go away on an art retreat. For several people that we met, this was their first time taking a workshop. For others, the weekend was a little reunion with friends. Or in many cases, and myself personally, the amazing chance to meet a few of my blog friends in person! Jeanette and I were really over the moon that Stephanie Lee came all the way from Oregon to teach at the ArtBLISS event. I know we speak for many when we say we are grateful and honored. Not to mention totally excited to learn the many new metalsmithing skills that we did.
Without further ado, I’d love to show some images from the Metal Magic retreat. These photos truly depict what a memorable and fantastic retreat is all about!
A retreat to remember begins with one of the best teachers around – someone who is knowledgeable, approachable, and has the best sense of humor. I loved the way Stephanie started the class by telling us that she was here to help us reach our goals whether they involved simply learning new techniques, or leaving the class with a finished piece of jewelry. She put us at ease while we used a torch and chatted simultaneously!
- At the heart of a FUN retreat you’ll find great students. New friends, old friends, blog friends, friends that you feel like you’ve known forever (and wished lived in town so you could meet for lunch next week). These students/friends share supplies and look over your shoulder and offer help when you’re stuck. They admire your blob of solder and say it looks great. Have you sat next to someone like this before?
Cat traveled from FL to NY to VA to attend the workshop with her sister…. read her great blog post on the weekend here. Cat, you have an amazing way with words, my friend…..it was truly one of the highlights of my weekend. I can’t believe we actually met!!
I finally met another long-time blog friend, Erin!! Erin came all the way from Wisconsin and was one of my tablemates in the Junk Drawer Metalsmithing class. I enjoyed spending time with many friends who I initially met through their blogs such as Lori (yes, 2 weekends in a row!), Sandi and Melissa….and meeting new friends such as Cynthia and Leslie.
- You know the retreat is going to be a success when you find yourself making amazing projects! I snapped some pictures of works in progress from both the Handbook of Elements Class and Junk Drawer Metalsmithing. I finished my necklace as soon as I got home.
What’s a retreat without great food? After some serious difficulty, we found a place that could take a large group and where we wouldn’t have to wait for an hour to be seated. Amphora happens to be one of our favorite local restaurants and has tons of variety in the menu.
- The BEST retreats ever involve many wonderful people. Thank you to all that came out and shared a magical day or two with us. Thank you to our super talented instructor, Stephanie. And last but not least, thank you to my friend and co-host, Jeanette!
We’re looking forward to the next ArtBLISS event….coming in September! We’re busy working behind the scenes now and will keep you posted with all the details soon!