Guild School kicked off with an opening dinner on Saturday night and early on Sunday morning classes started, I took both of Bill Robertson's classes, he is about the only teacher that teaches the techniques that I really want to learn. For me, Castine is too far and expensive to go and do a class just because it is nice, so I do put a lot of thought into choosing classes and then hold my breath until I know which classes I got as the classes are allotted lottery style and not on a first come first served basis. So far I have been lucky enough to get my first choice every year. This year I chose the bone chest class for two reasons, I wanted to learn how to get from a piece of irregular shaped bone or ivory down to a flat slab or square, there are lots of antique furniture that has ivory inlays or/and ivory knobs and then all kinds of lovely little turned items too, especially needlework items like lace bobbins, etc and then also dressing room items like shoe button hooks, etc. The second reason was the working lock on the chest. I chose the Rococo carved mirror simply because I don't have a lot of experience in carving or the tools needed and a lot of the furniture that I would love to make has detailed and intricate carving and I didn't really knew where to start although I have a few books on the subject, but then I was pretty sure doing it in miniature wouldn't be quite the same as in full scale. I can safely say that I enjoyed both classes very much and did learn both the things I expected and one or two unexpected surprises.
Bill's prototype boxes, one of the unexpected techniques that I learned was using hand cut through dovetails to join the box with. Ever since Aubrey Cronje, one of my South African friends showed me his blanket chest that he made a few years ago in one of Bill's classes with hand cut dovetails, I wanted to learn how to do that too.
I am not sure on which day this photo was taken but by this time I think most of us was working on the metal work for the box, which involved sawing out really tiny pieces with the jewelers saw and adding details with files.
Since most of the metal pieces needed bending we had to heat them red hot with a torch to anneal them so that they wouldn't break while bending them.
And here is my almost finished box together with my mirror frame that is far from finished, the box only needs the strap in the front, mine broke soon before the end of class on the last day and I was just too tired to start a new one and I thought the chances of messing up again were good, I plan on finishing it next week, I think I am almost back in my own time zone :-)
A photo that Missy took of me in class, I must say that except for the first day cutting the bone which was hard work, I found the class relaxing and fun, I think the fact that I got used to working long hours most days now at home during the last year making miniatures full time really helped.
And here is Debora carving away at hers, she made it look so easy, but then of course, she has done a quite a bit of carving before. By the way she had her savonarola chair with her, just breathtaking and much more beautiful than photos can ever tell, I also saw the real chair that she based hers on in the MET museum, I like the mini one more :-)
I didn't nearly finish my frame, for this kind of intense and concentrated work I really need to be alone in my workroom with just the dog and some good music. Do any of you work with music and what do you like to listen to? I work so much better when I have music to listen to, my favorites are the classics, yes, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven etc, didn't like it much when I was younger, but now I love them, another favorite is movie sound tracks, especially John Williams who did a lot of music for movies like Star Wars, ET, Harry Potter, Memoirs of a Geisha, can you tell I have lived with two teenagers for a long time, I watched a lot of movies with them and sometimes still do. Well, back to the frame, I plan to work a lot on it next week before I jump back into all my commissions and hopefully I will have it finished by next Friday.
It rained for most of the week in Castine and it was rather cool all the time, so the summer clothes never made it out of the suitcase. Of course on Saturday morning when we had to leave at 8am to get to Portland in time for Missy's flight and my train, the sun was shining brightly and we had this wonderful clear blue sky.
Wednesday night is the only night during Guild school that there isn't anything official happening, but some teachers and groups like to do things on that night that has become a tradition. One is chocolate martini's with Bill straight after class, here am I and Missy enjoying ours, well I guess I was finished with mine by then. Afterwards I joined the Petitpointers group for dinner and show and tell in Annelle Ferguson's class, it is always a treat to see one another's work up close and personal, photos never do petit point any justice. My favorite though had to be Frances Peterson's newest rug, I just love her design and the colors she chose.
I didn't buy a lot on sales night, here are most of my purchases, two wine bottles with real wine and a tin of yummy cookies from Christina Minischetti and a meat cleaver from Bill Robertson.
And all too soon it was Friday night, time for graduation and teary farewells, here is a part of the bone chest class display on Graduation night, we just had to include the file and saw in the display.
Me with Bill, do check out his lobster tie, the second most talked about thing at Castine after miniatures, lobster, most everyone seems to love it, except me and a few others, I don't like seafood, oops ;-)
And with my dear friend Stacey Sereno, there were lots of other friends too but no photos with them, we forget most of the time because it is such a busy week. Hope I didn't bore you with this long post, but then some of you did ask for a detailed report.
Next: a visit on the way home with a special blogger friend.