Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mind boggling

It's been 9 years.

I really have a hard time wrapping my head around that.

NINE years.

This year marked the 9th year for the annual Jewelry Artists Network Retreat. And to think, I've hardly been making jewelry much longer than that! In fact, at that first retreat, in OC MD - I wasn't yet soldering. I had just purchased solder but was kind of scared to use it and completely unsure of what I was doing with it. I don't believe I actually flowed any solder at that first retreat. In fact, I'm sure of it. I did all cold connections at that retreat. Which was a 3 day retreat, rather than the 7 we've done the subsequent 8 years.

The following year, the second retreat, was held in NC (which is where it has been each year since). We have a beautfiul view of the lake but hardly ever really SEE it because we spend nearly all of our time in the 'studio'.
Jewelry Artists Retreat, Metalsmithing Retreat, Jewelry Making

How crazy! But ultimately fabulous!

The core group has remained a very tight knit group on and offline though not all of us make it to retreat each year. While it's sad not to have everyone there, it's also a GREAT opportunity to meet new artists/friends! This year we had the pleasure of welcoming two new artists to the fold (and believe me, once you attend - you DO become part of THE fold, the tribe, the group, the family):  Stacie Florer and Eva Sherman. Both fit RIGHT in and we had a BLAST and are hoping they can join us next year!

It's crazy how the years have flown by and how this group has stood by each other - through life's ups and downs, joys, challenges, marriage, birth, illness, and death.

And equally as mind boggling is how open everyone is to sharing - from designs, to techniques, to business. It's all pretty much an open book.
 For me it's an amazing time to just sit and create. Something I get very little opportunity to do at home. I highly recommend taking time away, going on retreat, and slowing down and enjoying creating. Experiment, play, fondle a few stones.....

And maybe take a few other 'smiths along with you - you never know where it may lead!

Jewelry Artists Network Retreat 2013 Attendees
Lisa, Nancy, Ann, Rina, Christy
Tara, Sue, Eva, Linda, Stacie, Janice