Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Retreat....OR...four days of being alive!!!

Finally I have some time to show you some of the glorious things people made at the Creative Soul Retreat.Actually I tried to get this post uploaded last night but Blogger wasn't playing fair...of course that could be due to the fact the kids have used all our high speed allowance for the month, 10 days before it is due to roll over again GGGrrr.Anyway here are some images at last.

Day O.This was Wednesday the 17th.After we had our lovely lunch and been to Rickett's sanctuary we went back to the Country Place, located our rooms and unpacked.The rest of the students arrived and we had the first of many amazing meals in a communal dinning area.It was exciting to see some people that I get to mingle with few and far between...sometimes years pass before I get to see some of my friends in the flesh like Deb Baker,Karin Hutchinson,Gail Hart,Jen Crossley,Diana O'Cobhthaigh ....etc etc.We were all so excited at what the days had in store for us all.Bevlea (our chief enabler,retreat organizer and bloomin amazing person) gave us a wonderful goodies bag that had things donated from sponsors,tutors and the like and included a GREAT apron to use.We all chatted,laughed and got to know some new friends as well.I had a poor sleep that night...maybe due to the excitement but also I am not used to all the people noises around LOL.The only thing that wakes me at home are the birds or if the dogs bark.

Day 1.Waxy Layers Class with Jan Harris.The unmistakable smell of beeswax hung in the hall and danced in our nostrils as we approached the class room.I find a chair,meet yet more students on either side of me like Kyla and Kimbra(a lovely artistic lady from Broome in Western Australia).Jan introduces herself.She has taken over from Judy Wise whom fell seriously ill just weeks before the retreat and it MUST have been scary as hell for Jan to fill her shoes.She needn't have worried as she is an amazing artist,kind and generous tutor and we all adored her.
Before we know it Jan had us layering collages in 5-6 layers of melted beeswax, adding colour with encaustic wax, adding interest with foil highlights, doing toner based wax transfers, shellacking and then burning off the Shellac to create marble like effect's across the surface.As usual I didn't get mine finished LOL."The Dancer" still needs some transfers, some more white then purple encaustic wax (I have some I have never been brave to use before),then shellac and flame to go...I'm sure Tim will love the Shellac part *grin*.

My Asian one has six layers of different transparent papers and is only 1/4 done....I'll show when I get all my classes finished....yes I didn't finish any class items though others did.

Day 2 .Talisman Bracelet with Susan Lenart Kazmer.OMG the things the ladies had produced in Susan's class the day before with enamelling were amazing.Most of the students in her class had booked in for all 4 days.Kyla,Maryse and I (plus another lady I think)were all newbies in a huge way.I had never seen the tools all these ladies had like dapping and shaping blocks,Diamond drill bits,Dremmels,circle cutters and punches let alone knew how to use any of it.I'm hoping Susan comes back and I'll do more of her classes.Susan is elegant with a distinct fashion style that suits her well and patient amazing teacher.I was fascinated watching her showing us rivets,how to build height and how she molds the metal so effortlessly.

On her very first demo we all gathered around her table.I started to feel dizzy watching her,then my vision went dark at the edges,the colour drained form my face and I knew I was going to faint or throw up....how embarrassing....I remember thinking I should sit down but then I couldn't see what Susan was doing LOL so I went to take a step back to get a chair but fainted and landed in Susan's box of papers.I didn't hurt myself or any objects but boy was I embarrassed LOL..At dinner that night Gail told me the gas cylinder near were I was standing had been accidentally left on all night so I think that is why I fainted as I am not known to faint at all.

After that Jen Crossley and her firiend Chris Aitkins befriended me and let me sit at their table.Jen (whom I adore LOL) and Chris make amazing jewelery. My concentration was shot for the rest of the day though.Still the skills I learnt were amazing and I'll make trinkets on and off till I have enough to finish the bracelet.Here are three of the charm trinkets I did complete and I have another 3 partly done as well.The rivet part of the middle one is one of my Aunt Betty's old coat buttons.I really want to get a Dremmel,circle cutter and dapper now to make even more jewellery *grin*.

Day 3.was my day off as I didn't fit in any other classes.I spent the day reading, went for some walks and had a go at drawing a face in my sketch book. I'm slowly re-finding my past drawing abilities.

That evening Martina Hart gave me this beautiful soldered piece below.It was a return for an etched metal ATC I gave her.I love it.I also bought a shimmery large Dichroic necklace from Gail Hart.Gail makes glass pieces that are to die for and she sells them to Galleries.I LOVE her work.

Here are some works by other students.These were done in another class taught by Jan called expressive faces.The students had to draw the faces upside down....that is turn the face image upside down they were drawing from and then draw it so the face was upside down on their page.Jan then got them to use non traditional colours for skin tones.I think they all look amazing!!.These two were done by Martina Hart whom was a delight to meet and get to know.

Next two were done by Nic Hohn who is another mixed Media artist in her own right.Nic's work is inspiring indeed and I have admired her stuff on the web before.A very lovely artistic lady.

Next are some of the works produced by the students in Laurie Mika's classes.I know this is Nic Hohn's but I am not sure about the next few after this.

This is Kelsey O'Mullane's waxy layers pages.I loved meeting Kelsey at last and love her dark style in producing art.

Day 4.Big Girl Dolls with Jan Harris.My last class was fun fun fun.Other then Sonja we were all newbies to doll making and it was a hoot watching everyone's ladies come to life.The class was cut short as there were people booked in for another function that evening so none of us completed our dolls.Below is me and Jan Harris.On one of my trips to clean my brush I glanced down the stairs to spy an Amazing Race checkpoint!!!!.When I mentioned it to Jan it turns out she is a huge fan and she raced down the stairs for me to take her photo next to the checkpoint LOL.Silly me I forgot to take one for myself but I suspect that was the reason we had to pack up and be gone by a set time.

Here is my emerging unfinished doll.I took her legs off for the photo but they attach with wire and she is meant to sit on a cupboard ledge.Mine was a very imperfect lady indeed...she has cellulite dimples and pudgy tummy and all *grin*.

What an amazing time we all had and I hope to go again another year.After the retreat I spent time with Elizabeth Harm's and my much loved artist friend Cath Daulman which was absolutely wonderful.I was in jaw dropping awe of Elizabeth "office" craft space(i'll show some of it to you all later....but Queen of Toys she is and more LOL)) and delighted to catch up with Cath as well.Thankyou Elizabeth for all your help.Please if I have used an image of your art work and you don't want me too just let me know and I'll remove it :o).
Annette In Oz

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