For those who follow my blogs know I took a 5 day course with Bob Leatherbarrow “Studies in Powder” or crackle last week. I’ve taken other classes that included crackle and I just recently bought a eBook about crackle so some have asked me why fly up to a little island in British Columbia Canada to take another class about crackle.
Actually there are several reasons. One I love learning and meeting new glass artists, two I’ve done the crackle technique for a couple years and it’s kind of hit and miss for me, three there is nothing like learning from the person who created the technique, fourth is I’ve never been to Canada and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity, etc.
We were so busy and worn out I didn’t even take blog notes until the 3rd day. Needless to say there is so much I want to cover so I’m going to break this post into two blogs.
First Salt Springs island is beautiful and the people are friendly. In fact if I have one regret about the entire trip it’s that I should have gotten here at least a day earlier or stayed an extra day or two!! For several reasons to include: the island has several galleries, whale watching (orcas) and stunning scenery. Sadly, the shops don’t open until 10am and close at 5pm, albeit I did get to stop by a shop or two before my departing ferry. Even most of the coffee shops opens at 8 am. Ah island life!
Luckily for me I did find one coffee shop that opened at 7am, (TJ Beans) and the owners were friendly and needless to say the food and coffee were fabulous.
Anyway, Bob and Liesbeth are wonderful and talented people that were just a joy to be around. Liesbeth is a gourmet cook, quilter, and a gardener (she wrote 4 books on it) as well as Bob’s book editor. We ate like queens everyday, the food was spectacular! I didn’t know salads could be so inventive, one had thinly sliced brussel sprouts! Her Garden looked like it came out of a magazine with every color of the rainbow! Truly a splendid way to spend a week.
The class included three different crackle techniques, three different types of wafers and so so much more. I’ll talk about them in the next blog.
One of the reasons I love taking classes isn’t just because of the class itself, but the others that attend. Our class was full of amazing women and artists. Of the six women there where three Americans and three were Canadians. Yafit is from Washington state (she is originally from Israel – her fused glass menorahs are exquisite, clearly she is a designer and her color choices were wonderful). The other American was a good friend of mine, Melinda (and her husband Dan), what can I say about Melinda she is a great person, so kind and gentle and her artwork reflects that as well again great color choices and beautiful designs. The Canadian ladies were also incredible, first they taught me so much about Canada (wow there is a lot I didn’t know). Anna is an honorary American, because she lives in Arizona 6 months out of the year and teaches glass to retired people. She picked some fabulous colors that I never would have thought about and now they will be the first that I try when I get home. We walked to breakfast a couple of times and what an fabulous Lady. Another of my Canadian ladies, Wendy was a hoot, she had us laughing so hard a lunch our stomachs hurt. I loved her outlook on life and her artwork. I just enjoyed being around her. Last but not least the last Judy was so precise and deliberate so all of her pieces were exactly the perfect. I was amazed by her choices of color and design. She is a teacher so after a very long day she went back and worked on schoolwork. Wow we all should be more appreciative of our teachers and their sacrifices.
I’m sure you are wondering why I just spent so much time talking about these ladies. Again numerous reasons. Mainly, If you pay attention you learn as much from your fellow classmates as you do the instructor. Second is even though I took notes and pictures and Bob gave us a book of instructions I won’t remember everything so I can also email these wonderful ladies / artists for a little assistance in remembering and it’s always nice to be able to talk with someone you know took the class and can discuss the techniques.
Needless to say beyond the glass I just enjoyed spending time with them. We talked about our favorite glass classes, our favorite glass books, who wouldn’t we take again, etc. Plus I learned more about Canada from my three ladies than I ever learned from school (and I have a masters, a bachelors, and two associates)!! Of course now they all think that we Americans aren’t very knowledgeable regarding our Sister (Canada) to the north. Sorry I didn’t represent very well.
Next Blog will be about the class but please understand I will not give secrets away or post anything that would.
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Keeping my Kiln warm,