The reason it has been quiet around here is that I have been fortunate enough to have just spent an incredible week at Snow Farm: The New England Craft Program in Williamsburg MA!
From their website ~ "Snow Farm’s mission is to provide the highest quality arts education in an inspiring setting. The facility is a blend of historic 200-year-old farm buildings and contemporary living and dining accommodations. Our studios are housed in both old and new buildings.
Snow Farm is a special place where students come for solace and rejuvenation while learning a craft from master craftspeople. The artistic foundation and spirit of community at Snow Farm make it a unique learning place for teenagers and adults of all ages."
Long fascinated by the idea of precious metal clay, I had finally found the perfect place to learn the process. Snow Farm is just under a half hour from us here at Frog Hollow, so I commuted every morning to class. (You can also be an overnight resident during weekend or week-long classes, complete with meals in the common room/dining hall and evening activities or studio time.) The food was local farm-fresh and had options for plant-based diets. It was unseasonably warm so we were able to sit outside for many of the lunches, I really enjoyed the social aspect of this after so many years of solo studio work.
I signed up for "It's All About Texture in Handmade Jewelry" with the incredibly talented Terry Kovalcik (when I found out his favorite artist is Brian Froud, I knew I had found the right teacher!) First day of class he sent us out into the woods to find textures in Nature to work with. Exploring the abundant grounds around our little red cottage Metals studio, we made silicone molds and placed them on trees, brought in branches, buds, seeds, flowers and leaves.
We began with copper ~ pressing the clay into the molds we had made. Over the course of the week we were taught other exciting techniques and learned the basics on how to finish, fire in the kiln, and finally add patina for copper and silver metal clay. Terry was patient and encouraging and his wife Corrin was also a huge help with some issues that came along in the process for all of us. The atmosphere was really enjoyable and I found myself wishing this was going to last longer than just a week!
I can not fully express how enriching this experience was. Learning a new creative skill can be so rewarding, but also sometimes humbling and difficult and this was no exception. Not sure exactly what direction these new skills will bring Parrish Relics Jewelry, but stay tuned! I was proud of what I accomplished with a brand new medium in only five days. (everything came out of the kiln so tiny, the shrinkage rate of precious metal clay can range from 8 - 20 % depending upon the clay or metal!)
The absolute best part about taking this class was the people I got to work with, laugh and connect with, some visiting from very far away. To be able to forget about the troubles of the world for a time and just enjoy creativity and getting to know the lovely humans I was lucky enough to share a week at Snow Farm with.
Terry, Corrin, Sam, Jen, Julie, Helen & Charlotte. (not pictured, Nancy)
Friday evening was an Art Show, dinner and Auction Gala, was grateful my husband Dave got to join us and see the magical place I had spent my week. (think he is already planning what class he is going to take!) Will not lie, got teary in the car as I was driving away. Until next time!
Do yourself a favor and explore what they have to offer, from Drawing and Fiber Art, to Glassblowing, Woodworking and Welding ~ there is something for everyone. I am hoping to take a future class from a fellow classmate who is also an amazing local Glass Artist! Sam Myers Portfolio
a closer look at what I was able to create at Snow Farm
Copper Star Seed Pod Clover Cross Pendant
Carved Copper Tapestry Fox with Millefleur & Labradorite
Silver Dragon Ouroboros
Copper Hydrangea & Fern Pendant with Labradorite
~ goodbye for now Snow Farm! Thank you ~