"We had the most awesome weekend! We went hiking on Mt. Pointless and about halfway to the campsite we realized we'd forgotten all the tarps, but we went on anyway. Then Emma tripped and sprained her ankle so she had to give her pack to Kim and I helped her walk. Just as we got near the site these huge black clouds rolled in and the wind started to blow so hard we couldn't even set up the tent! Oh my god, we were so cold and wet! It was great!"Fortunately it doesn't look like there's any obligatory hiking at jewelry camp, even though the studio is a short two-miles from the living/eating area. I'm bringing my car.
As if the ruralitude of the locale weren't enough of a trial, the list of things to bring contained this disturbing entry, complete with bold font for emphasis:
Insect repellent This season we are experiencing a high than normal amount [sic] of ticks and we suggest everyone bring repellent with them.It gets better. Three lines down I read: "Flashlight with batteries, there are no streetlights here." Ok, so I'm going to be out in the middle of nowhere stumbling around in the dark with my ankles covered in fat ticks incubating a nice case of Lyme disease. This guy Frederick Marshall better be one hell of a teacher.
So why do I want to go to jewelry camp? When it comes to making jewelry I like to say that I've been raised by wolves. I've never taken a class - everything I know came from books and lots of trial and error. I'm sure there are easier, faster, more elegant ways of doing half the things I do on an almost daily basis. (Actually, that's probably true of a lot more than making jewelry.) And then there's soldering, my attempts at which fail around 90% of the time. I'd like to get it down to around a 50% failure rate by the end of the class. According to the brochure, we'll also learn to use "die forms with texture hammers and roller printing for surface design." And we'll bezel-set some cabochons. All of which sounds like heaven on a bun.
Nevertheless, it struck me last night that the real reason I'm going to jewelry camp is that I want to take a painting class. I've also been raised by wolves when it comes to painting and I'm starting to feel that I need outside eyes to look at my work and push me in new directions. I've been wanting to take a painting class for a couple of years, but it's difficult with work and, also, I've been scared. It's one thing to paint in the privacy of your home and show your work to friends and colleagues. It's quite another to put myself into a class in front of strangers, most of whom will no doubt be decades younger than I am, who have no reason to believe that I'm an artist of any kind. I'm getting a little nauseated at the thought even as I type this. Clearly, some healthy part of my psyche got annoyed with my lily-livered ego and said, "ok, if you're too much of a wimp to jump right into a painting class, start with something artistic that you don't have so many hang-ups about - like, say, jewelry."
The reason all this became so clear last night was because, for the first time, I actually got nervous about jewelry camp. I don't mean I got nervous about the ticks and lack of civilization (i.e., no Starbucks within walking distance). I got nervous about being a beginner in front of strangers. It's been a while since I've gone out on that particular limb and that's not a good thing. So, thanks for the push, hidden healthy part of my psyche, just don't expect me to go hiking.