Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Renewing my spirit at Ghost Ranch

The land surrounding Ghost Ranch.
Renewing my spirit 
at Ghost Ranch

Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and jump.

Last weekend, I traveled to New Mexico for the NM Potters annual workshop at Ghost Ranch, about two hours north of Albuquerque. My friend and fellow potter Darlene Nelson invited me to attend, and I made reservations in the summer, while I was not working.

The actual workshop took place while school is in full swing. If I had had to make a decision about whether or not to go while I was so busy, I probably would not have gone. But I already bought my tickets, and I already paid for the workshop - so I was going, no matter what.

My head. He became a face jug.
The travel, as it usually is, was a pain. Airplanes and airports just aren't my thing. But when I got to the ranch - oh, my! It was beyond beautiful. We slept in bunks, shared a common bathroom and ate in a dining hall - it was like a summer camp for adults. And what's the best thing about summer camp? CRAFT TIME! :)

The workshop itself was packed with ideas, techniques and information. We had six different presenters, and I learned a great deal from all of them. Of course, my favorite workshops were the ones that let us get our hands in clay. At one session, led by NM artist Debra Fritts, we all built heads from coils, working quickly and loosely, and then learned different finishing treatments. Every person there finished his or her head, and every one was different. As I looked at the heads sitting drying in the sun, dappled by the overhead leaves, I felt a relaxation that I haven't felt in a long time. There is a peace that comes from working with your hands in the earth, whether it is a garden plot or clay. And in New Mexico last weekend, I found that peace. 
Heads on a table.

Farewell, Ghost Ranch. I will be back.

Here I am with an old ceremonial hut.

No comments:

Post a Comment