Thursday, October 21, 2010

So much to say ( & see - image heavy!)

and so little time to say it.

That has been my constant mantra lately. I've wanted to update the blog so many times in the past month (yes, its been like almost an entire month since I last posted!!) but have just been too busy. Work has been busy, home has been busy. (Can anyone relate to busy??)

What with school starting and forms and projects and a new instrument (trombone) and Stockade and this and that and the other......I hardly had time to pack for the retreat much less write blog posts!

Somehow, though, I managed.

And on October 10th I departed for JAR 2010.

Its going away, but its like coming home.

Its lots of work, but its so much fun!

Its hectic, but so relaxing.

Its tiring but incredibly energizing!

Its noisy and robust and inspiring.

13 artists, 5 bedrooms, 3 and a half baths, 1 and a half kitchens, and one BIG garage.

I think we're most thankful for the big garage. A place where ALL of us can work together. Its where we spend most of our time.

There is a really pretty lake, and we do see it periodically . . . . if we're in the house long enough (kind of sounds backwards huh?), usually over meals or computer sessions.

Mostly though, we're in the garage, with all of our tools and stones and other equipment. iPods going, singing, hammering, creating. Its a beautiful thing. Brings tears to the eye. *sniff* *sniff*

I have tons of pictures to post, have been slowly editing and weeding them. I really have to be sure there aren't any incriminating or otherwise embarrassing photos of anyone going live into the blogsphere. I mean, I wasn't the only one behind a camera, so I NEED to be careful about this! (something about turn around being fair play...?)

I have a few to share and will share MANY more later.

First our work spaces.

Garage - left

Garage - right

Casting area outside
( we did a bit of broomstraw, salt, cuttlebone, cement, brick, wood)

Small secluded set up for making
millions of rings.

Flexshaft, vise, winder, koilkutter.

Etching area

The living room turns into a quasi-library each year with loads of books coming in boxes and bags and people sitting reading and using their laptops. (free wi-fi, gotta love that!)

Computers migrate to the dining room from time to time as we eat and talk and look at books and catalogs.

The dining room is also a great place for putting all those jumprings together into various weaves and chains.

The eat in area of the kitchen becomes a pantry of sorts each year - it holds drinks and chocolate. Apparently two essential ingredients for a smooth retreat. :)

We take turns making dinner each night.

Oh the food!!!

I need to be on a liquid diet for a week! (not the kind in the photo above - I'm an alcohol free girl)

the upstairs kitchen and dining room is a large space as you can see from this angle taken from the dining room.

you may also notice a tiny head hovering over the libations. That's Wendy. Or a representation thereof.

This is the first year Wendy has not been able to attend. Moving to China kind of put a crimp in her schedule this year. So she joined us in 'tiny head' form. Look for her in photos over the coming days. That girl was EVERYWHERE!

Finally, a few shots of some of the work. We never did get the photo box out this year. All of the following photos were taken on someone's workbench or the dining room table. Without special lights, cube, or other photography set up. Pardon the quality of the photos - know the jewelry itself is MUCH more beautiful than these photos represent. (thanks to the photographers, not sure who took each of these. I know Linda and I were snapping photos near midnight the night before we least I think that is what I remember...)

While all of the pieces have a story to tell, some can't be posted without sharing......

This one for instance was one of the pieces in our gift exchange.

From Lisa to Saree.

This piece represents work done with one of the favorite tools on this retreat - the hammer handpiece.

Bracelet by Christy

These were made by Sue.

They are made with castings she did with broomstraw.

And finally, this lovely little ring which was a collaborative effort.

Titled the RE-production ring.

(I'll let you figure that one out)

This is what happens when one benchmate leaves for the evening, two are left, and the two begin to get very silly very late into the night.

Three wire components were made and left with a lovely little MOTHER of pearl on the absentee metalsmith's bench.

She returned later to find the beginnings of, well, something.

Taking the components, she made a setting for the stone and turned Bob, Bob, and Bob, into a ring shank.

The end.


I have a list of 'bests' and 'awards' for this years retreat that I will share in full soon, but let's start one now.

The first award is............

The "Bravery" Award.

It goes to Luetta and Linda who came to the retreat as newbies this year knowing NO ONE but each other.

That in and of itself may seem brave.

But what was REALLY brave is that they STAYED after meeting us and seeing all the chaos.


Courage in the face of chaos or was it danger? no it was chaos, no danger -- oh heck - it was both!

Brave ladies indeed!

We had two other newbies this year, but both of them knew other attendees in person prior to coming. My hats off to Luetta and Linda! So glad to have met these new friends!

I will post more photos tonight or tomorrow as they are edited.