I've received my confirmation packet for Play, a winter art retreat held at
Fort Warden State Park in Port Townsend, Washington. Teesha Moore and Tracy Moore are the folks who bring us Artfest and Journalfest. Sadly, the Journalfest I just attended in October is the last. And Artfest 2012 is the last. Likewise, Play 2012 is the last and that's why I jumped at the chance to go.
I had waffled about going for the last two years. Would it be too small for me? Artfest is too big (over 500 people). Journalfest is more manageable (150 people) so you can easily make friends but also disappear if you like. But would Play be too small. It's just about 45 people staying in the officers houses (rather than the dorms). Could I hang out with the same small group for three whole days? When I learned that Play 2012 was the last, I tossed aside any indecision. It was now or never. And I need a challenge - socially and artistically. Hanging out with other artists for three days will be inspiring, educational, and just plain fun.
Basically, Play is three days of doing your art, whatever it is. I've just received my confirmation packet and I've learned that there are other activities planned for those who want to participate. Tracy is an avid Lomographer (analogue/toy camera) enthusiast. He'll be guiding a photography walk and he'll also be demonstrating how to make your own TTV (through the viewfinder) camera. That's where you take pictures with your digital SLR through the viewfinder of an old twin lens reflex camera. I've done a little bit of this and it's really fun.
Teesha will be doing a couple hours each day of a painting/mixed media workshop and I'm definitely going to participate in that. Also, there is a theme project of a photo cookbook. We're all supposed to bring a recipe photo card for each participant.
So there are plenty of creative options and I'm going to do all of them.
A large part of the whole Journalfest experience is the location. Ft. Warden State Park in Pt. Townsend, WA is so scenic and October can be a very beautiful time of year. From water droplets on the richly colored leaves, morning mist on the lawn, the early morning colors, to mushrooms hiding in the rhododendron glen.
One of the classes I took involved working with wooden book covers and decorating them. I used nails and rivets, milagros I bought months ago then “lost” but found, and bottle caps. Not to mention several iridescent acrylic paints. I got to use a drill, sandpaper, hammers, a doming set, this funky saw thing, and some heavy duty scissors that cut metal.
To turn a bottle cap into a domed piece of cool art, you cut off the ridged border, flatten it, then round it out using a doming block/set.
I made my own rivets in order to affix these little washers to the book. I made the washers too. To make the washers, I took old pieces of tea tins and the like and drilled several small holes. Then you stamp out little circles, making sure the hole is in the center. Then you flatten the circles with a quick whack of a little hammer. To make a rivet, start with a little nail. Drill a hole for the nail. Insert the nail. On the back side slip the washer over the nail. Snip off most of the nail. Then flatten the remaining piece of nail to secure the washer in place. There you have it, hand-made washers and rivets.
Let’s not forget paper for the book. I measured and cut my paper, folded it into signatures, then sewed the signatures into the covers with a single-needle coptic stitch. Another successful journal created.