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ronna sarvas weltman, hacienda mosaico, remembering beginner’s mind

One of my intentions for 2010 is to nurture my creative self.  I’m off to a good start: In January I set up a brand new studio (I’m still organizing and getting used to the wonderful large space), and I took an online class.  Next month I head to Baltimore for the Synergy II conference and March will find me in Mexico attending Ronna Sarvas Weltman’s week-long workshop/retreat at Hacienda Mosaico.

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Pendants, Ronna Sarvas Weltman 


The workshop will include plenty of technique, as Ronna teaches about resins in addition to polymer clay, wire, shaping and texturing fine silver, copper, bronze and brass, but there will also be a strong focus on connecting students to their own artistic voice and helping them ‘hit the sweet spot’ in their work. Students who have taken classes with Ronna say that her classes are empowering – couple that with a spectacular setting and you’ve got a winning combination for nurturing your creative self.  Here’s what Ronna says about the week:

“This week-long workshop will help you find your unique artistic voice through polymer clay and wire. We will experiment, play, laugh, create and transform as we explore and expand ideas about art as adornment. Rounding out the experience will be twice-daily optional (but free) guided exercise by Janis Levine, open studio at night, forays into Puerto Vallarta, and gourmet spa food for breakfast and lunch.” Read the entire workshop description here.


Ronna Sarvas Weltman, Pink Ring, polymer clay, wire

The venue is Hacienda Mosaico, a bed and breakfast in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico that specializes in art retreats. In addition to Weltman’s workshop, the 2010 schedule includes workshops with Michael deMeng, Robert Dancik, Hadar Jacobson and Opie and Linda O’Brien.


Hacienda Mosaico

“You will find cobbled streets, where tortillerias and markets catering to the locals rather than the tourists…..craft shops, cantinas, night life and adventure. Hacienda Mosaico is ideal for small retreats and intimate parties as well as a quiet respite from the busy world….a tranquil vacation destination in a tropical environment for adults.” From Hacienda Mosaico’s website


Hacienda Mosaico Workshop

I am excited about attending Ronna’s worshop – and I will approach it in the way that I now move through all of my days – with Beginner’s Mind. Beginner’s Mind is the Buddhist concept of approaching the study of any topic with openness, eagerness and a lack of preconception – even if you are at an advanced level of study. Last week I was listening to Tara Brach’s podcast (she helps me quiet the chatter of my ‘monkey mind’) when Brach related what is widely considered the most famous line in the book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s, there are few.”

I find peace, release and comfort in exploring the world with a beginner’s mind. Won’t you join me – in Mexico, in Beginner’s Mind, in exploration?


Puerta Vallarta, Mexico


tim mccreight is coming to my house

Tim McCreight is coming to my house to teach me how hammers and other tools can assist me in my design process.  I had dinner with Tim at the Synergy conference last year and he is as he seems: warm, accessible, down-to-earth, engaging. It was during our dinner with Tim that night that Alison Lee (CraftCast) had an idea for a series of online workshops and she produced her first Master Class a few months after that dinner.

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[private_archives]I’m pretty excited that Tim is coming to my house on Monday night.  Sweet! But wait, there’s no reason to be envious – he can come to your house too – even if you live on the other side of the globe!


On Monday, May 11th at 8pm (EST), McCreight will teach “Design, a Blow by Blow Approach”, the newest Master Class.  Watch, listen and learn from the comfort of your living room with another cutting edge online workshop from CraftCast.

Tim McCreight, a renowned metalsmith, teacher and author has published two dozen books and videos. In Monday’s online workshop McCreight shares his design expertise, including how a hammer became as important as a pencil in his design process and how his new experience of trusted tools helped him develop a deeper appreciation for chance and spontaneity. I’ll be there. In my living room. With Tim. Won’t you join us?  Click the image above to register.

dan cormier is peeling polymer!

Dan Cormier and Tracy Holmes are winding down a stellar Southeast USA teaching tour with one more weekend workshop in Raleigh, North Carolina this coming weekend.  There are a few spots left in the 2-day Cutting Edge, Decorative Veneers in Polymer Clay class, and if you hurry you can snag one!  For more information and to register, click here.

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This will be the fourth and final Cutting Edge workshop on this trip – workshops in Tampa, Orlando and Atlanta sold out and were a resounding success.  One student, who has been working with polymer clay for more than 20 years said that she learned more in two Cutting Edge days than she has in two decades!

Join Dan and Tracy  in Raleigh, won’t you?
Where: ArtSpace, Raleigh, North Carolina

When: Saturday & Sunday, March 28 & 29 10am – 5pm each day

What: The Cutting Edge

Why: Learn how a peeler can become your favorite new tool for this medium, and see why students in eight countries are calling this workshop “fabulous… fun… awesome…inspiring…a revelation… mind-blowing… truly Cutting Edge.”

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