Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Letter from Camp


When I was young, probably still in elementary school, I spent a portion of every summer at a camp in central Ohio.  I remember singing silly camp songs, I remember the lush green forest, filled with bird songs and the sound of the wind in the leaves,  and I remember spending many hours making things.  Baskets, lanyards, boxes out of popsicle sticks and even pottery. It was a wonderful time.

I had a chance to revisit that experience last weekend.  I attended Susie Monday's Summer Art Camp near Albuquerque, NM.  And once again, I reveled in silly songs, beautiful surroundings and the joy of making things.  It was fabulous, everything I remembered camp being and more!

The Camp at Capilla Peak is high in the Manzano mountains, in the middle of the Cibola National Forest.
At the camp, 7200 ft. elevation
At the top of Capilla Peak, about 9300 ft. elevation, storm rolling in
Accommodations included rooms in the barn, near the main classroom, and small cabins in a clearing near the bonfire area.  Rhonda and I had a room in the barn.
The best part was that we spent all of our time making art.  Not necessarily art with a capital "A."  Some of it was just plain silly, such as this whole body drawing exercise.
We saw plenty of wildlife! We had four bear sightings in the four days of camp.  Probably the same bear. He didn't seem particularly bothered by our presence.
Bear sighting 1
Bear sighting 2 (photo by Rhonda)
And we saw and heard many types of birds. Hummingbirds (several varieties), flickers, nuthatches, Steller's jays, woodpeckers, towhees, phoebes, western bluebirds, buzzards, and several types of hawks.

Can you spot the Western Tanager?
We hiked around the Abo Mission and viewed the ruins...

 and a canyon filled with petroglyphs.

And, best of all, we made things.  I spent the entire time learning how to work with metal.  Dale Jenssen is a very patient teacher and very talented.  Metalwork is definitely outside my comfort zone. I generally shy away from power tools, but by the end of camp I was drilling like a pro.
I made three pieces.  A nightlight, a luminaria (with an owl punched onto it) and a wall sconce,

My sconce is on the left, Layne's is on the right.
My sconce even lights up!
Thank you, Susie, for such a wonderful adventure!
The whole gang!

1 comment:

Maria Shell said...

What an awesome experience! Love your metal work. Great post Heather!

Sign up for my studio newsletter