Monday, April 21, 2008

Art & Soul Retreat

Last week I attended Art & Soul at Asilomar on the Monterey Peninsula in California for a three-day creative retreat. The retreat started on Sunday evening and ended Thursday morning. The all-day classes were Monday through Wednesday. I signed up last November so that I would be assured of getting the workshops I wanted to take. These workshops have been known to fill up fast, sometimes within minutes, so I was eager to get signed up as soon as the registration began. It was hard to choose, but I ended up registering for three jewelry-making classes. Before I knew it it was April and I was ready to go. I had ordered all my class supplies, I had my PT Cruiser checked over, I had a suitcase stuffed with clothes just in case the weather changed - which it did, and I was psyched to be staying alone in a rustic cabin setting with no children, no husband, no dog, and no TV. Gasp! That meant I could do whatever I wanted! I haven't done that for a long time. So I played loud music in my car on the way there. At night I read my book in bed for as long as I wanted.

I drove around the edge of the peninsula, stopping now and then to just stare at the awesome beauty of the windy sea. There are deer that wander along the lush landscape, some that came right up under my large windows in my cabin room in the early mornings. One of my classes was cancelled so I spent an entire day with my sister, Stevie, who lives in Pacific Grove. She took me to all of her favorite places. One of them was a lagoon in Carmel, with its calm water slightly separated by a stretch of sand from the blustery waves of the aquamarine Pacific ocean. We ate seafood on the wharf while laughing and sharing and enjoying the moments of togetherness.
In between all this I took two jewelry classes. The first one was using Precious Metal Clay to make free-form bezels to be filled with images and resin. I made two things in that class and am still working on creating a finished necklace. The other class was "Junk Drawer Metalsmithing" with Stephanie Lee. I got to play with fire (torch) and metal - cutting, soldering, stamping, etching - and came away with a fabulous finished piece. I decided my necklace would be a tribute to my much-needed escape to the sea. I came home completely inspired to integrate into my jewelry-making all that I had learned. Of course, real life resumed within two hours of my getting home on Thursday morning. My children's school called to tell me both boys had fevers and needed to be picked up. We spent the day together watching movies, taking medicine and getting caught up on the five days of their life I had missed.

1 comment:

Tally O said...

Jennifer-I love how you took that shape from Stephanie's class and made it your own. Great blog! I will visit often!


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