Deep in the Oregon woods, in the central part of the state, waaaayyyyyy over on the coast, and a two day journey from my island, is a wonderful, enchanting retreat, called Sitka, The Center for Art and Ecology. It is formally in the town of Otis, OR, which has a post office the size of my bedroom!
This multi-acre facility is lodged in amongst the woods at the coast, within a deep, green belt of tall trees, serene and absolutely beautiful. We had lots of misty summer rain the first day of the workshop, allowing the aroma of the deep woods to tickle your senses.
Sitka is a non-profit retreat camp, with the most adorable out buildings, and grounded tree houses. They have ongoing artist workshops, with accommodations for the instructors to stay.
Why was I there? Well, I got a call last week from a dear one, Stephanie Lee, who needed a little favor. She could not make a two day workshop she had planned with these lovely people, due to some personal issues, and wondered if I might be able to fill in for her. So I did.
I have to say it was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. The grounds are simply spiritual, putting all of us at ease, allowing the students to settle in to the changes thrown at them (with the option of canceling in advance) and helping me to feel comfortable, in knowing they really wanted to be there, with a substitute! I could never fill Stephanie's shoes by any means, no one could. But luckily, a great time was had by all. The Junk Drawer Metalsmith Class two day workshop went on!
To make the students feel comfortable in Stephanie's absence, we conferenced her in at the beginning and end of the workshop. It was great way for everyone to meet her and see her smiling face, and contagious enthusiasm for her craft, and love of the art.
Look at those smiling faces, did all of us have fun or what?
A big thank you to all the students who hung in there.
Pictured are Avery, Vicki, Diana, Holly, Kim, Joy (peeking out behind me), Cara, Dee, Donna and Laurie.
Here are some shots of the grounds. Art is overflowing at every turn, giving you a rich sense of reflection and inspiration. Truly a feast for the eyes.
Thank you Stephanie, for your support and trust. Thanks to all the students who put their faith in the facility, Stephanie and me. It was a blast, and I hope you will continue to use what you learned, and continue to play.
And a huge thank you to Eric, Alene, Dawn and Teal, who made me feel comfortable and welcome. Your facility is magical.
I hope all of you will get an opportunity to experience this oasis by the sea one day.
Lots of love,