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.
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.
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 left…..at 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.
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.
(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.