Friday, August 26, 2011

Fine Line Creative Arts Studio

Last week, I had the privilege of once again assisting Thomas Mann with three workshops being offered at Fine Line Creative Art Studio in St. Charles, Illinois. I have to confess that I had never heard of Fine Line, so I really didn't know what to expect. But as I was pulling into the driveway, I could see what a beautiful setting it was. There were beds of wildflowers landscaped all around the buildings, with a large manicured yard behind them. It's a wonderful, relaxing setting, which really sparks your creativity.There are several buildings on-site, and they are well-equipped for every type of art medium. In one of the buildings, there was a room which housed many large weaving looms. I also noticed that there were a group of people at an out-building away from the main buildings who were blacksmithing. I also saw an area outside where there were kilns for ceramics.
The workshops began on Thursday morning with "Learn to Saw." I think there were 20 women all ready to learn the proper way to use a jeweler's saw. Tom really knows his stuff, and not only shows people how to use a saw, but teaches all the components and explains the 'hows and whys' of what is going on as you saw into your material.
In the afternoon he taught the second workshop, "Fastenation." This workshop focused on cold-connections, tube rivets, wire rivets, and wire-wrapping techniques.
Due to the number of students who attended, the workshops had to be held in two separate classrooms. Needless to say, everyone was going from one room to the other, depending on what stage of their project they were working on. It really worked out well, though.
This is Ellen, who was one of the students that I had the pleasure of helping. She is wearing the pin that she created in the "Found Object Sandwich" workshop which was held on Friday and Saturday.
And these are some of the pins that the students created in the workshop...
I love the soldered brass frames around some of the faces on this one.
Kathy's Pin
This gal made hers into a standing piece...

...and I loved her idea of using cutout shape as the easel in the back.
Robin's Pin
Gale's Pin
Leah's Pin
I like the embellishments on this one

One person even made little sculptural pieces!

Everyone did a fantastic job on their pieces!

I drove back home on Sunday morning. Shortly after I got over the border to Wisconsin, I noticed an antique mall in a town I was driving through. And it was open! So... of course, I had to check it out. It was a pretty good sized shop, and its always fun to snoop around a shop that you've never been in before.
I didn't leave there empty-handed, either. Here's what I bought...
This really cool little wooden cash drawer with a metal change-maker mounted on top.
And I'm always a sucker for small wooden cabinets to stash my stuff in. This one has nice solid-bottomed small drawers, a couple slots for putting metal sheet on, and on the upper-right side it has a door that opens to reveal a nice-sized cubby. Not only does that door have a lock on it, but it even came with the key!
I also found a few old wooden folding rulers, and three wooden cigar boxes.
When I finally arrived back home, I was welcomed by my two little boyz, all fluffy and fresh from getting bathed and groomed while I was away. Junior was even wearing a little bow!
And my sweet husband had a beautiful card and three dozen long-stemmed red roses waiting for me!
I had a great time at Fine Line, and look forward to returning there again next year!