ArtBLISS 2011…. it came and went in a flash. After months of planning, Jeanette and I were so excited when the big weekend arrived – and that is where I left off here on my blog. This picture was snapped while I packed the car to head to the venue – on the brink of such a memorable weekend.
If you’ve ever attended a retreat, you know the amazing feeling of excitement….. reuniting with friends, meeting online friends in person for the first time, and the anticipation of learning new techniques from rock stars of the art jewelry world. And boy was there ever a fantastic line-up of instructors this year at ArtBLISS. We were so thankful that they traveled all the way to VA from NM, TX, NY, CT and VT!
In this shot, you’ll some of the ladies that attended the Inaugural Event last year – (along with me ‘n Jeanette) Carol, Betty, Laura, and Sally. It is really great to have a history and share stories with attendees that have returned this year for Round 2!
You know I love taking pictures, and surprisingly I only took around 150. I think I was too busy enjoying the presence of greatness. I’ve grouped some pictures in to collages in an effort to pack as many in to this post as I could. You’ll see scenes of laughing and learning, right along with our fabulous instructors: Robert Dancik, Deryn Mentock, Jane Salley, Richard Salley, Kerry Bogert, Diane Cook, and Christine Damm.
Robert Dancik taught amazing projects working with Faux Bone…
We were thrilled that Deryn Mentock returned this year and taught a great variety of techniques – from encaustics to forging metal. One of her projects utilized a “secret” ingredient that was the talk of the weekend! 🙂
Our tradition: a Friday night Meet and Greet reception for the instructors. There’s nothing like shopping, chatting, nibbling on appetizers and enjoying good company!
This year we added something fun for our crafty retreat attendees – an Altered ID Badge challenge! Congrats to the winner, Dawn Gallop, who joined us for the second year in a row. Dawn has an article coming out in Somerset Memories….look for it on the newstands any day now!
Oh what fun to work with metal under Jane Salley’s instruction….
Students enjoyed learning from Richard Salley, with his sought-after classes. Richard’s new Lasting Impressions class left an impression on us all – everyone was excited to share their personal etched stamps created in class.
It was so good to see Kerry again….she roomed with me ‘n Jeanette and we all stayed up late and chatted like it was one big slumber party. Kerry was up early with excitement though, ready to teach her brand-spanking new jewelry photography course, Snaptastic. We were honored that she debuted her course here at ArtBLISS! Watch for her eCourse coming very soon.
The charm swap is another fun tradition at ArtBLISS (see last year’s charms here). Trades and swaps seem to be a real retreat thing, and we we were happy to see the interest in swapping again. Anne Savage was an amazing hostess and organized the swap – right down to lunch together on Saturday. Jen was so generous and did a demo for all of us – brought all of the supplies, pretty papers, cutters, and all. We learned how to make our own paper boxes. It was a nice scene – a big bunch gathered around the table sharing techniques and learning a quick project over pizza.
Here’s a sampling of the charms that were swapped. Sue Kennedy did a nice post listing each charm and its creator – you can see it here.
Now speaking of swapping with friends, I brought along a few aprons for a few of my closest friends. I really don’t sew, so I asked my friend Julie Anne (look for her blog coming soon!) a really big favor! Then I added a little something to each and now they’re ready to be altered. I thought it would be fun if each of us worked on our own altered art aprons.
Hailing all the way from Texas, Diane Cook was a real joy to welcome to ArtBLISS this year. It was extra special for me as I finally had the chance to meet my dear friend in person, after meeting online 2 1/2 years ago. And I had to take one of her classes.
What a feeling of fulfillment (especially after dealing with my testy soldering iron – yes, I was the “problem” child in this class!) to create my own soldered pendant. Creating the collage first was so fun…and was a different experience than working with resin as there was no special precautions with the paper. Just make your collage (stamp, draw, paint, glue…) and place it between glass. That was the easy party…then came the solder. 😉 I finished a few charms that I’m quite pleased with!
Another dear friend came to teach – Christine Damm, Belle Armoire Jewelry’s current featured artist. Christine brought with her an enormous amount of enthusiasm and wisdom in working with polymer clay. I loved to see her excitement when the timer on the oven went off and she opened the oven door…. She truly radiates her love of her medium.
The weekend came and went too fast. But the memories are there in my mind and I’ll cherish them. I hope to see YOU at next year’s event; please consider joining us….. plans are already underway!
Visit the ArtBLISS Flickr pool to see more pictures from the 2011 event!