Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Haystack 2016

Wow, just returned from the Open Door session at Haystack, for Maine residents. What a great concept, that there is a special session for just us Mainers, particularly as this amazing place continues to grow in reputation and attendance. (You get in by lottery.) What was offered this year? Clay with Kari Radasch (Portland), writing with Jaed Coffin (Brunswick), blacksmithing with Meagan Crowley (Colorado), wood with Zeke Leonard (Syracuse), metals with Sue Amendolara (Pennsylvania), book arts with Barbara Korbell (Chicago), and lastly, the workshop I took, Constructed Surfaces (fiber) with Warren Seeling (Rockland). We were a group of 13 in Warren's workshop, with various backgrounds (visual art, writing, architecture, farming) and various reasons for being there; we didn't just gel, we congealed, and had a blast! Really fast paced, and really mind expanding. Warren was not only 100 percent engaged with the group but insightful, helpful, informative and fun. For a life long teacher to sustain this level of engagement and enthusiasm for decades (he first taught at Haystack, I think, in the 1970's and continues to teach in Philadelphia, Portland and Baltimore) really impressed me. None of us were young enough to stay up all night working, as so many Haystack attendees do, but we lived in the studio when we weren't eating or sleeping. That is the magic (no cliche) and the excitement of Haystack. I hope to return next year, and it probably won't matter what the workshop is--though I know there will be something that will intrigue me--because it is as much about what surrounds you as what is in your own head for these precious four days.

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