Paper Retreat Wrap-Up

 

The town of Red Cliff: population:  285, elevation: 8650

The town of Red Cliff: population: 285, elevation: 8650

From September 5-7, 2014 I held my first annual Red Cliff Paper Retreat. Ten participants and one assistant joined me for three creative days in this tiny hamlet on top of the Rocky Mountains. Here are some images and thoughts.

My studio is located in the old school house, also home to the town museum and town hall, and other artist studios

My studio is located in the old school house, also home to the town museum and town hall, and other artist studios

We came from a variety of backgrounds, men and women ranging in age from mid 30’s to mid 70’s (that’s my guess). Some had never worked with paper and others have fully equipped papermaking studios; some were content to stay dry and others couldn’t get wet enough; some came thinking they wouldn’t make paper but changed their minds.

The back door...

The back door…

Step inside:

We each had a table in the gymnasium, which was our dry work area

We each had a table in the gymnasium, which was our dry work area. This is what it looked like before we descended.

Here’s what I’ve heard:

– The pace of the retreat was energetic but never frenetic.  

– How lucky were we to have such a great group of people!

– There was plenty of time to experiment and develop the ideas that were presented.

– It was superb and you took such good care of us.

Here's my studio - the papermaking studio - ready and waiting.

Here’s my studio – the papermaking studio – ready and waiting.

And a few more comments:

– The morning sessions provided an excellent launching pad for creativity.

– You provided an excellent mix of technical and creative skills.

– This was a wonderful creative learning space.

– You got my creative juices flowing; I can hardly wait to get back in the studio and apply what I’ve learned!

The kitchen was stocked with tea, coffee, water and snacks (homemade gingerbread and brownies, among other things)

The kitchen was stocked with tea, coffee, water and snacks (homemade gingerbread and brownies, among other things).

Every morning, we gathered and worked together on a step-by-step project. We made collapsible lanterns, we wove paper and created variations with a piano hinge, we made armatures utilizing wire and reed, and we experimented with abaca – embedding wires and strings, nailing sheets to boards, hanging sheets on a line and creating paper string. Afternoons were more free form, with papermaking demonstrations and time to continue the morning’s work or experiment in the papermaking studio.

Busy, busy at work in the gym

Busy, busy at work in the gym

 

Makin' paper!

Makin’ paper!

 

This is Jane's table. I love the tools, works in progress and organized clutter!

This is Jane’s table. I love the tools, works in progress and organized clutter!

Here’s a glimpse at what we made:

Reed armature covered with wet abaca.

Reed armatures covered with wet abaca.

 

Collapsible structures

Collapsible structures

 

Poof!

Poof!

 

Experimental abaca

Experimental abaca in the glow

 

Wow, that abaca really shrinks!

Wow, that abaca really shrinks!

 

Lampshades

Lampshades

Paper weaving

Paper weaving

 

 We enjoyed time outside of the studios too!

Here's about half of our group at the town picnic on Saturday at lunchtime.

Here’s about half of our group at the town picnic on Saturday at lunchtime

 

The entire group went to Edwards for dinner at The Rose. We filled the place, and this is the only photo that was taken...

The entire group went to
Edwards for dinner at The Rose. We filled the place, and this is the only photo that was taken…

 

We took a short break and visited the town museum (in the school house) and enjoyed the antiquities.

A

Artifacts

 

More artifacts from the old days.

And more artifacts from the old days.

 

All in all, I think it was a success! Plans are underway for next year’s retreat, which will take place September 4-6, 2015. Registration will begin in January; please let me know if you’d like to be in the first group to be notified.

 

A professional kite maker was in our midst; he did a little kite flying one day at lunch.

A professional kite maker was in our midst; he did a little kite flying one day at lunch.

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I’m Helen Hiebert!

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