Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wild Wire Women Retreat April 7-11, 2011

This is a late addition to the blog; photos from last weekend's Wild Wire Women retreat! Sometimes it's just too busy and hectic to post all of our activities each day, and with the snow we got and everything else, I just wasn't up to posting during the actual retreat. So, here is a recap of our adventures. Above you can see two Wild Wire Women: Sally (left) and Raven, ready to begin the first workshop on Friday morning. They look rested and stress-free already, don't they?
Unfortunately it began to snow on Thursday evening and we continued to have some rather wild weather for this time of year, all the way through Saturday night. So we didn't have our welcome dinner at Cafe Aroma on Thursday as we usually do. I made pasta (Trader Joe's Puttanesca sauce and some chicken ravioli from Costco!), and, given that Sally provided an excellent bottle of wine, we did OK. The next morning we awakened to the scene above: clouds to be sure, a nice dusting of snow, and brilliant sunshine breaking through now and again. We saw deer and other wildlife... it was quite enchanting.
Our first workshop was 10 Trippy Tricks 2, a necklace of many different wire links and bead wraps. Lots of coiling (above), twisting 24ga wire to make "worm beads" (below) as featured in my newest book, Wire Art Jewelry Workshop, and more: spiraling, wrapping, shaping, forging, and generally bending wire to our own designs. It was fun and a great learning experience.
We made 16ga twisted wire using the drill, and then formed it into tight coils which we then sawed apart (below) to make gorgeous jump rings. I provided all the copper wire needed to make our jewelry samples and practice pieces. Sally brought some silver wire because she was interested in using it here and there... she made some very pretty jump rings twisting silver and copper wire together.
Above you can see Raven working hard on her twisted-wire jump rings. Below is a picture of my mom's daffodils, which I had cut from her yard on Thursday morning before the snow started. I'm glad I did, because my parents' house is 1000 feet above mine so their daffies took a beating while mine weathered the storm much better. Sally took the photo below with her iPhone and emailed it to me. Thanks, Sally!
Pictured below you can see Sally in my kitchen, using a common kitchen torch to make ball-headed headpins out of scrap copper wire pieces. Amazing the things you can do with simple tools and materials! On Saturday we used the same torches to do some fine-silver fusing to make links for bracelets. After lunch, we made Worm Bracelets using 24ga twisted wire to make each worm. They came out gorgeous!
Sunday was our last day of the retreat, and we worked on the Silver Sampler bracelet with a Celtic Knot link thrown in... after lunch, we finished our bracelets and I showed the ladies some different types of hook earrings that are easy to make but very stylish, too. Once you learn how to make your own components from wire, you'll never buy them again.
Since we never got our welcome dinner at Cafe Aroma on Thursday night, we decided to have a farewell dinner on Sunday night instead. It finally stopped snowing and the sun melted so much of it that by Sunday evening we were able to drive up the hill to my favorite restaurant in Idyllwild. We spied this handmade sign in a shop window near Cafe Aroma: "Vote for Casey, Our Wild Idol!" Yes, Casey Abrams of American Idol fame lives here in Idyllwild where he attended the local arts academy. He loves Cafe Aroma, too. No, I've never met him myself but I have heard from the locals here that he's super nice.
Here's Raven (left) and Sally at my favorite table in Cafe Aroma: the couch. Actually, you can't see it because I was sitting on the couch while I took this photo. Guess what, the couch is also Casey's favorite seat in the house!
Another Wild Wire Women retreat begins tonight, and I'll be back at Cafe Aroma for our welcome dinner. The snow has long since melted away and it looks like springtime again. My daffodils are up again and nodding their golden heads. Soon we'll begin our workshops... stay tuned!
Happy wrapping,

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