The second annual ArtBLISS retreat was held in Dulles VA on September 23-25th. Our hosts Jeannette Blix and Cindy Wimmer created another magical weekend of creativity and camaraderie. In some ways its hard to write about… I find as an artist that I need times away from all of the life/human/house/pet responsibilities when everything is attended too and I can simple create. And be inspired, experiment, share ideas, and recharge. I work alone in the studio most days, with dogs at my feet. Although I do talk to them, they are not so well versed in critique and composition…
So this retreat weekend is very valuable to me. I made some good friends last year, and it has been a pleasure to see them on Facebook and the like. I anticipated more of that relationship building and networking. Add to that that my best friend Jen was coming! Hurrah! We met in college, in drawing class… but I will save that for a follow up ArtBliss post…
Jen and I took “Rings and Things” a class with Robert Dancik to work with his material Faux Bone. I had worked with it on my own, and liked it, but wanted to go straight to the source as it were. Here is my workspace early into class – and a ring in progress.
The material is a plastic, and it is incredibly durable and versatile. Saw it, file it, sand it. It sculpts on a belt sander like soft clay! Its non toxic, and takes color…The ring below was sculpted out of 1/2″ thick material and designed to showcase that antique button.
But I decided it needed to have another focal, and so this button is interchangeable! So sweet. Never would have imagined. But I had never used the myriad forms of microbolts before either…. Each button has a microbolt epoxied to the back where the shank was – and that is what connects to the ring shank itself. Ingenious!
Glad I finally got to work with Robert – it was a great class.
Saturday night – a trunk show of my ceramic beads and charms. Thats Jen there sketching in the room. It was such a party! Thanks to everyone who came and made it a success! I hope to see your creations here on the Interwebs in the future! I got to meet so many beaders/designers/artists whose blogs I read, whose work I follow. A pleasure!
On the second day… there were watches. “Watch this” with Richard Salley to be exact. I have know Richard for a few years, having met and worked with him at the Shepherdess in San Deigo. I have a huge stash of watches, and was seeking inspiration. Here is the day’s breakdown:
Setting up: coffee, clean table, sketchbook. (Isnt the pen bandolier the best? Cleverhands on Etsy)
In progress/sketching: I wanted to use the antique cigarette card of Athena – so I wanted to take the time to plan and thing things through. How to create tabs? Where to rivet? What embellishments? To do her justice and not mess up the only one I have…
Working: tools strewn around, notes, seltzer…
This was the end of the day. The Strongbow cider lid/watch needs Faux bone for the backing. The Athena watch awaits resin. I will post pix when they are done!
The crew – thanks for a great class, and being a part of a great weekend. I wish I had taken more pictures! The Meet and Greet, the charm swap… The whole experience is so rich – I will come back another day. Stay tuned. But for now – back to the studio, and a heartfelt thanks to the teachers, the organizers, my fellow attendees…It really is aptly named “art bliss”
4 thoughts on “Art Bliss.Pure and simply – art bliss! DC 2011.”
Jenny, what a wonderful recap of the weekend! It was really neat to read from an attendee’s perspective – thank you. I know the weekend was a huge success, when I read a post like this.
I won’t forget the pride and excitement on your face as well as Jen’s when the two of you emerged from Robert’s class wearing your newly created rings! They were both so cool! And seeing the experience through your eyes in the Watch This class was so neat to see – from the coffee and sketchbook to the finished (beautiful!) piece. I love that picture of the group with Richard. And your trunk show – you sure know how to set one up – and showcase your ceramic beads and pendants so beautifully. You’d never know that shot was taken in a hotel room! I’m so glad you returned for Round 2…we had the best time, didn’t we? 🙂
Thanks Cindy! The trunk show was an added bonus to a fantastic weekend! It felt like a party – with beads and wine. What more can you ask for?
I need to make sure to put 2012 on my books for next year and make sure the kids & Dave are good to go – then get on down there myself! Can’t wait to catch up and have coffee soon & see some of the pieces in person 🙂
It has been forever! And you know I will always drink coffee…Wait til you see the ‘glaze tear’ in the watch piece…