I spent this past weekend at Klay Karma 2007, a polymer clay retreat sponsored by the Central Massachusetts and New Hampshire Polymer Clay Guilds. Inspired by the Southern Connecticut Polymer Clay Guild’s Clay Connection retreat in 2004, we embarked on our first retreat in 2005. And we must’ve done something right because we sold out the 2007 retreat in about two weeks.
What happens at a retreat? At the Klay Karma retreat, the goal is to enjoy your time working with polymer clay in a stress-free environment. We open the weekend with a Friday night activity that encourages people to get acquainted with the other artists in a non-competitive situation. And then the demonstrations begin and continue through the weekend. The demonstrations are mini-lessons in various techniques that our fellow artists have developed or discovered while working with polymer clay. It is a great way to share information and to prime the creative muse.
But the most important aspect of an art retreat is the gathering of friends sharing their work and inspiration. I had the honor of creating a mosaic framed mirror that was given away in a special door prize drawing. The 1″ square mosaic pieces were created by each attending artist and then applied to the wood frame surrounding the mirror. It was amazing to put this piece together and view the talent of each artist. I wanted to bring it home myself. It seemed appropriate that Diane V from the SCPCG won the mirror as it was SPCG who inspired us to pursue our first Klay Karma retreat.
What I will remember most about this retreat was the laughter that could be heard throughout the weekend; the smiles on people’s faces; the ooh’s and aah’s as people shared their work, and the hugs people gave each other upon arrival and departure.
An art retreat is another great way to find inspiration, connect with other artists, make new friends, and to get reacquainted with old friends. It is a great way to honor yourself and your art away from family and all the daily responsibilities of our home lives.