I think I am becoming a junkie for this group, I am always sad when I
read the last posted message, wishing there was more!
> I think I am becoming a junkie for this group, I am always sad when I
> read the last posted message, wishing there was more!
Pauline... that's why LURKERS need to stop LURKING and talk to us <G>!
By Golly... I do believe this ng was more active LAST WEEK while many were at
"R"! Maybe the "R'ers" aren't done recuperating... and the ones who didn't go
are worn out from all the laughter last week???
Katie, I believe you are right! I think all the non R's are leaving
space for the R's to cough up. Some have done so and it is great, while
we anxiously await more. I encourage the R's to provide comments,
---anything---that will enable us to experience as much as possible,
through ***space. I would be interested in hearing about a description
of the site, weather, overview of the camp, and individual impressions.
What about those who attended first time, what did you like most, dislike
Anxious to hear more
In article , Pauline says...
>I think I am becoming a junkie for this group, I am always sad when I
>read the last posted message, wishing there was more!
Sam in MS
Lake Retreat is near Ravensdale, Washington, east and a bit south of
Seattle, in the foothills of the Cascades. Everything was green! Tall
trees, wonderful fresh scents. The lake is smallish. The camp seems to
own about half, with private residences the rest of the way around. The
camp was quite extensive. The chapel was the main assembly hall for
evening sessions, and in a room off of the chapel was the RavenStore,
which sold supplies and people's work (a tremendous undertaking for
them). In the back of the chapel was Expo, the show of current work. They
had so many entries in Expo that they had to limit them to one entry per
category (Limited Edition, One of a Kind, Production), which they
determined themselves. The items juried in were in cases with numbers
(anonymous) and the other items were spread out on tables to be looked at.
There were several small cabins and a big lodge. The greatroom of the
lodge was the general work area, where people set up their stuff and
clayed late into the night (the first night I went to bed at 11:30 and
was derided as a wimp). Down the hallways were rooms with bunk beds, and
a bathroom with not enough stalls nor showers.
The morning studios were in another lodge which was a good piece away from
the rest of camp -- 10 minute walk?. Since I didn't do one, someone who
did should describe the setup. I wandered around in the main working area
one day and thought it looked terribly exciting.
We had access to the lake in the afternoons. They had paddle boats,
rowboats, and canoes, plus swimming. The weather was terrififc at first.
Tuesday I noticed the thermometer up to 80. I spent a couple of hours in
heaven rowing around on the lake (well, sitting leaning on the oars with
my eyes shut enjoying the scents and sensations). By Thursday it was grey
and misty, and from there it deteriorated unless you love rain and wind.
By the time I left Seattle on Monday (I left camp on Thursday), fall had
The dining hall had two steam tables, and surprisingly not long lines. The
food wasn't too bad considering it was institutional ... vegetarian
lasagna, curried yams on couscous, baked potato buffet, waffles or french
toast for breakfast ... you had to grab your dessert while you could,
because they went fast.
Workshops were in various other buildings scattered about. I thought the
facilities were fine, although I heard that some classes were shoehorned
into spaces that were hard to work in.
It was hard to figure out who people were, especially at first, both the
faculty and the internetters. I mean, the stars didn't show up all that
well, and after all there were 200 something people there.
Let's see, what else did you ask? Oh, we were all attending first-time.
There's never been anything like this. My understanding of the National
Guild retreats and last year's NW Guild retreat is they were free-for-all
working sessions and didn't include formal workshops, morning studios, or
evening programs. One of my favorite parts was wandering around the work
areas late into the night -- I had some terrific conversations with a ton
of different people. I really liked all my workshops, and the evening
programs were great: an historical overview slide show/challenge to take
risks from Kathleen Dustin, a slide show by the terrific couple Grove &
Grove, and a thought-provoking panel discussion of what's going on with
polymer clay and how we can guide it where we want it to be (as a medium).
I had a great conversation with the husband of Karen Murphy, who was
managing the RavenStore. He said he firmly believes polymer clay is on its
way "in" as a viable art medium, and he thinks that in 50 years people
will marvel that there was a time in 1996 when everyone renowned in the
world of polymer clay was together in one place (I still can't repeat that
without *** up).
I think the NW Polymer Clay Guild did a wonderful job pulling this off.
There were a few instances of "bite off more than you can chew" syndrome,
such as the entries in Expo should have been limited, likewise the number
of items you could put in the store. But this will be a really hard act
to follow for the next group who decides to host a Convergence!
I must say that Sherry has done an excellent job of outlining all the
workshops and classes clearly and thoroughly. And she seems to have taken
most of the same classes I did, so I have little to add, I fear. Except,
perhaps, that I was one of few who thought the food wasn't THAT bad! The
curry was the only thing I couldn't bear to deal with, so I slipped away
with my roomies and went off-campus to satisfy a Big Mac Attack.
The instructors were very accessible and very generous with their time.
If I have any complaint at all, it is that there were far too many cameras
snapping away in people's faces while they were either trying to learn or
trying to teach! I have no objection to people taking pictures, but when
there is someone*** over the instructor's shoulder and taking
snapshots of every single step of someone's demonstration, it becomes very
invasive. And not everyone with a camera was guilty of this - most were
taking a few here and a few there, for memories, so I do not want to lump
them in with the ones who were discourteous.
Karen Murphy's husband Terry, who said all those nice things about us that
got Sue all choked up, makes FABULOUS coffee - I don't know how I would
have gotten through the week without him. There was coffee available all
over the camp for free, and yet every morning I saw tons of people headed
for the RavenStore, willing to pay fifty cents for a cup of Terry's brew.
(There were two Thermoses - one marked "unleaded" and the other marked
"hi-test", and a basket labeled "honor system - .50 per cup". I'd be
willing to bet that Terry got about ten dollars out of me!)
I met lots of onliners - did you all know that Nancy Carpenter has the
prettiest blue eyes? Or that Sherry doubled as a walking billboard for
Mike B.? Or that Dotty is the sweetest thing - even when she doesn't have
any chocolate handy? Diana Crick is a hoot and a good story-teller. Jan
Jones does the neatest things with crystals. Christine Alibert-Mas has
lovely strawberry-blonde hair and a very sweet, quiet personality - not to
mention some cool-looking beads! I met Tom P. and Carol S. and Janet F.
briefly, and thought all three were very nice. Marty Woosley and Jane
Mahneke are super! I know I'm missing lots of people, but I've run out of
synonyms for "nice", "sweet" and "cool"! I really enjoyed meeting
I know some of you out there took Morning Studios - care to fill us in on
Hear hear! Well said Sue!
I just wanted to add that the Northwest Polyme Clay Guild can't get enough
praise for taking BIG FINANCIAL riskes to set this up and run it, and I have
been to a lot of professionally managed conferences not as well run as this
was by innocent inexperienced volunteers! (Now that they are not so innocent,
they are skeptical about doing it again, but I can see potential careers in
conference management here!!!)
So three or more cheers for them!
No one mentioned the wonderful gray mist that rose from the lake
in the early mornings, or after a rain. Or the spiderwebs that stretched
metallic outside windows. Or the emerald headed ducks that rummaged for
food along the shoreline. Or streams of golden sunlight filled with
gossimer seed pods. Or . . . . .
Or the tiny rooms in our lodge which housed nine people, or the
bath, with one toilet, one shower and two basins, that was attached. And
on the other side of the bath another tiny room filled with nine more
bunks. Or the complete blackness that enveloped us at night in the tiny
room with no windows. Or the dolloping sound of someone tumbling from
the third bunk up, when they forgot where they were sleeping. Or . . . .
Or, the wonder of seeing dozens of people at a dozen tables, heads
bend over their work, intent on creating--creating---creating. Or, the
crackle of a log in the hearth of the mammoth fireplace, or the smell of
wood smoke. Or the taste of M&M's mixed with potato chips, and coffee.
Or the shimmering sight of Kathleen Dustin's illuminated pendants and
purses. Or the sound of laughter filtering up from the floor below as
you drifted off to sleep, wondering how on earth so many people could
stay up most of the night and not become robots in the morning. Or . . .
Well, you get the picture. No one who went to Ravensdale, will ever
forget the experience, for many, many reasons.