Hacienda Mosaico! (metal, magic, mexico)

Hacienda Mosaico

It was on my bucket list. <laughs> But now its on my list again. Its the kind of experience you want to have again, and again. 

Last Spring? Summer? my BFF Cooky Schock (of Shepherdess fame) and I decided we were going to attend a weeklong class taught by Jane and Richard Salley. In Puerto Vallarta Mexico. In January. Its already a win-win. It didnt even seem real, until like… Christmas when we really had to discuss packing, tools, etc. 

Here’s a little photo essay for your viewing pleasure: 

travel adventure begins

1 & 2. New Years Day flight. Talk about an auspicious start to the new year. 

3. San Diego sunset. I flew to SD so Cooky and I could go together… 

4. Delays in San Diego. Never a dull moment. 

Hacienda Mosaico

The Hacienda is gorgeous. Owned and opperated by Sandra “Sam” Leonard, it is a colorful inspired, inspiring oasis of creativity. It’s feast for the senses- from the lush greenery, the friendly pups, the glittering mosaics, the colors and textures dazzle. I am  working on an art journal sketchbook from the trip that is filled with color and pattern and designs all inspired by the Hacienda itself. 

Bar and pool

Classes include breakfast and lunch, served poolside. Yes, it sounds great already and then you see the place! And the chef Jorge? Delicious, fresh food, variety, and tropical treats to this Mid Atlantic winter palette! Imaging this: Waking to the sound of tropical birds calling, maybe a hammer tapping if an early riser was at work in the studio. Stroll through leaves, filled with dew, under the arches to the pool where coffee was ready early. Yes, coffee. The path to my heart. Then a shower, or a quick swim? journaling or work time before breakfast at 9 and class starting at 10. It became a joyous routine. I’d run into Tom at coffee, Pat was knitting by the pool… Sigh. 

Classroom

Class was the complete immersion experience I was looking for… I have had the pleasure of knowing Richard for over 10 years and taking classes with him along the way. Jane, a well recognized jewelry artist in her own right, assisted and contributed greatly to the class environment. The projects seemed so complex and daunting – but broken down were very manageable. It was great to attempt, to DO, to succeed, to commiserate, to share, to encourage, and to create with a group of like minded people from all over the US. 

And it was fabulous to work side by side with Cooky, as we hadnt gotten to do that for a few years! 

students and work

1 &2.Tom and Diana at work

3.Cheri’s adaptation of Richard’s Ketoh bracelet incorporating her beadwork

4. class work. 

Maybe I have a pang of regret for not seeing more of Puerto Vallarta. Maybe I dont. The week was realxing and invigorating. Exhausting and energizing. Inspiring and overwhelming. And I loved every. second.  I have great new friends. Reunions are being discussed. Jane and Richard agreed to be interviewed for Art Jewelry Elements blog, so that is in progress. I have pieces I am working on already and pages of sketches for when my RIO order arrives. 

My work/WIP

Above: my pieces completed and WIP from the week. I am a little obsessed with stone on stone. I have great ideas for stone on porcelain, using my ceramic pieces….  

This was such a great experience! And timely for me as well. While I do not intend to stop creating ceramic sculptures, jewelry making has been moving into the fore over the last few years. I feel I have now reclaimed my metal smithing skills and expereinces from art school. They were lost in the haze of the teaching years. And learned new and exciting things!I am excited to add those skills to my repertoire and see where my muse takes me. 

Until next time… 

(I’d love to read a comment! Are you really out there reading? LOL)

 

Blissed out. ArtBLISS 2013

 

 Follow your bliss.

I know this J. Campbell wrote may be used overmuch – but it is a mantra for my chosen life and creative career. And it relates to the past weekend where I spent a blissful time with friends, old and new, creating, learning, experimenting, sharing and socializing. 

ArtBLISS 2013. 

Many heartfelt thanks to Cindy Wimmer and Jeanette Blix for the community they have created. Yes, its an art retreat; classrooms and a small sales venue. But its much more. Lifelong friendships are started, and nurtured. Support and encouragement offered freely. Inspiration and creativity are the daily norms.  

AB13

ArtBLISS faces

The only complaint – there arent enough hours in the day. Or night for that matter! So refreshing to meet faces that priviously had been a computer avatar. Equally satisfying – spending time with like minded people… 

AB 13 charm swap

The annual charm swap – gorgeous, diverse charms created and swapped amongst particpating students. Amazing packaging! Great work, a priceless momento. 

AB 13 polymer

Saturday I had the pleasure to work with Christine Damm for a second year. The pastels and crayons dazzled the eyes! Class mates Terri, and AJE teammates Karen and Diana working, each piece stirring new ideas… 

3 ring circus

Friday and Sunday I was taking class with Richard Salley and Jessica Papke. Two rings of their “Three Ring Circus” class series. It was so phenomenal… I am going to go a little more in depth into that experience in another post. Really. 

My Ab 13

My weekend’s treasures. A polymer work in progress – a palette, and a process to work with going forwards. The rings – as I said – the class was so rich, and so fantastic… and it carried extra weigth with me. I am giddy with pride at the results of my labors and so excited moving forwards. And yes – I am wearing them now – a talisman to keep in touch with the energy of the weekend. 

I will save my philosophical musings for another time – I have supplies to order, and artwork to create. Thank you one and all for making the weekend so magical!

 

Art Bliss.Pure and simply – art bliss! DC 2011.

Art Bliss 2011

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. 

FB begins 

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. 

FB rings

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!

Fb ring 2

Glad I finally got to work with Robert – it was a great class. 

Davies and Dancik

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! 

JKM and trunk show

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: 

Salley class1

Setting up: coffee, clean table, sketchbook. (Isnt the pen bandolier the best? Cleverhands on Etsy) 

Salley class2

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…

Salley class 3

Working: tools strewn around, notes, seltzer…

watches WIP

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!

watch crew

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” 

 

 

 

Art Bliss continued…

So where was I? I had met and greeted, I enameled… Ooh the leaf charm swap… must take pictures of my treasures… The Trunk show was fun, sold a few ceramic components. My thanks to all my fellow Art Bliss-ers who stoped by! But it was a late night, and I wanted to be ready to roll on Sunday morning… (pun intended)

Forest Floor locket: in theory we were rolling textures onto copper via the rolling mill, shaping them into puffed rounded forms with a hydraulic press and using cold connections to create a locket. 

Forest Floor 2

Forest Floor  

As usual Melissa was a treasure trove of ideas and inspiration. I fell in love with the rounded sculptural form of the metal after it was formed in the press. And since I don’t have nor do I foresee getting a press – I made extra pieces. Each piece I formed, sparked a new idea. Windows cut away to hint at treasures inside, reversed forms filled with resin… So I have a few in progress:  

Forest floor in progress 

These two will have copper backs, and open in some fashion like lockets. I am thinking collage + resin inside…

Puffed forms 

These pieces are awaiting inspiration. It is just nice to look at them and ponder the possibilities, at times. Let me show you the details; I am in love with patinad (sp?) copper now!

 Detail1              Detail2

The leaf detail if truly incredible! 

So overall – Art Bliss was ….blissful. I know, you saw that one coming. But it was! Great location: the hotel had nothing nearby, so we were uninterrupted in our creative bubble all weekend. Food was brought in; coffee was brewed 24/7. It was just the focus on creating, networking, sharing…very much fun all around. I cant wait til next year!

 My only complaint: The crash. I rode my personal wave of euphoria and inspiration and excitement home and into Monday. Tuesday was all about reality and chores, and time NOT spent in the studio. Geez – if thats the only negative…. I have pretties to look at, and take me back when I do get into the studio… And my new tiny steel letter stamps have arrived. Later! 

Art Bliss in DC

Do you know that feeling when you have experienced something fabulous and you want to share, yet at the same time you want to hold the magic in, keep it close and personal and precious? 

I am ready to share… Art Bliss thoughts and ideas from this past weekend. There are a plethora of art retreats all over the country. I have never attended one. I am spoiled in that I take workshops and work with infinitely talented artists – at the Shepherdess in San Diego, my second home… And while that becomes a retreat in and of itself –  a seperation from the daily grind, chores, etc…I used to work there, and I relish the behind the scenes perspective I have returning there. And Cooky, the owner is one of my best friends…

 The event, the first East coast, Mid Atlantic art retreat; was organized by the multitalented Cindy Wimmer and Jeannette Blix Ryan. Held in a hotel near Dulles airport, all our needs had been tended to by our thoughtful hostesses. Meals catered, classrooms equipped…Time to get to work learning, creating, sharing…

So I departed, with the intention to arrive in Dulles before DC rush hour had fried my brain. Used to live there; know what it is like. Friday night Meet and Greet: wine and nosh, artist instructors and their work, reuniting friends eagerly anticipating the weekend of creativity and inspiration. I was a little adrift, as my friend Jen had to cancel…and I didnt want to monopolize the artist/instructors and come across as a crazy stalker student. ( If you have ever done a retreat or a class, you know exacty what I mean…) Pleasure to meet Melissa ManleyDeryn MentockLesley Venable and her OOAK husband, chief executive cookie baker husband Tom. (Didnt get to meet Kerry Bogert. Oops)  

Saturday – “Hard Candy” enameled beads created from copper, glass, fire… taught by Melissa Manley using tools I already have! Oh I love an applicable skill that doesnt require $$$$ new tools! Just point me in the right direction, and sparks will fly: Hard Candy domes The first attempts. And the finished pieces, including a few extra components…

Hard Candy 

Saturday was a crazy day: dinner, evening class (more on that in a minute) and Trunk Show: Trunk show There were quite a few of my fellow students opening their doors as well, to display their wares. I wish I could have gotten out to see everyone! 

Stay tuned for Part 2 Art Bliss DC…..

Same Bat-time! Same Bat-channel! Until tomorrow…