I returned from my trip last week and I finally have time to write about it.
Getting to Maine was an adventure in itself. On Saturday, I took a 6:30 am flight out of San Diego to Philly. I would have an hour layover in Philly and then catch a puddle jumper to Bangor, Maine. I would spend the night in Bangor before catching a Taxi to the school on Sunday. I landed in Philly on time but the weather was not cooperating. The connecting flight was delayed, delayed again and then cancelled since the plane was coming from North Carolina and could not take off due to the bad weather. I was put on the next flight at 8pm, which of course was also delayed and then cancelled. You can see where this is going, can't you. I was bumped to the 9:30 flight and it too was cancelled. I got myself on the stand by list for the 8:30 am flight with a confirmed seat on the 3:30 pm flight, checked into the Airport Marriott; had a burger in the bar and went to bed around 11:30 pm - totally beat and freaking out I would get to Haystack too late. I hate being late.
Sunday morning I checked in at the airline counter at 6 am and I was the first person on the stand by list though the counter person said the flight was full, I had hope. Sure enough, there was room on the plane and I was called to board at 8:15. I landed in Bangor just before lunch time and guess what - my bag was not on the plane, it was going to arrive via the 3:30 flight and I would not get it until sometime on Monday, luckily I had a change of clothing in my carry on and my tools had been shipped a head and were waiting for me at Haystack.
I hooked up with the taxi van with another half dozen other students and we were driven for about 2 hours to Haystack. I found myself just looking out the windows at the older homes, the coast when it could be seen, and the trees - the green, green trees.
I miss trees, I miss the sound the trees make when the wind blows through the woods. And the rain, I miss that too.
I arrived at Haystack around 3:00 pm and checked in. I found my cabin and my room mate had not arrived so I opened my boxes and assembled my bed. I had used my bedding as the packing material for my tools which was a good thing other wise I don't know what would have used until my luggage arrived. I wandered around the campus and got warm by the fire until dinner. Afterwards, we had orientation about how the school is run. Then the metals group had a meet up in the studio and I eventually met Ellen my roomie for the next two weeks.
I won't repeat here, what I did most days in the metals class... But the typical day was: Get up and shower; breakfast at 8 am; work in the metals studio from 9 until noon; lunch; work in the metals studio from 1 until about 4 or 5 pm; call my sweetie for our daily chat; dinner at 6pm; relax and read for about an hour; nightly lecture/presentation at 8 pm; work in the metals studio from 9 pm to 10 or 11 pm; go to sleep.
Some days I went for a walk in the morning before breakfast or before dinner. I would check email just after lunch or around dinner time. After meals I would grab a cup of tea and read a few pages from a book on my iPad, most nights by the fire. BTW, it was an 800 page novel I started on the plane ride out and I finished in on the plane going home. Not bad considering everything else that was going on.
Most of the "kids" (all of the other students except one were younger than me by at least 15 years, so I can call them kids) who were in the metals course with me would work in the studio past midnight and some nights they had a bonfire down at the cove with some of the other students as well. I did not hang out with them very much and I tried to eat my meals with different students every time so I met almost everyone in the other courses.
As I said I would also do some reading at night, which was by the fire in the dining hall. Someone or groups of people would hang out there most nights and there were varied and very interesting conversations that would result. Other times I would wander into the other studios just to see what people were working on.
One night the blacksmith group invited everyone up to their shop because they were inflating metal. That was very cool and fun to watch. Several days later we watched the inflated life preserver get tossed into the ocean so it would get a rust patina on it.
Over the weekend, we could do what we wanted. I did some work in the shop, I was invited by the ceramics group to join them in a car pool and we went into town to tour some galleries. Saturday night we had a lobster and clam boil down in the cove.
Another night the class got together with some beer and we showed images of our work. There was some amazing pieces.
On the last night there was a dual auction. The live bidding was on the pieces given by the instructors. The silent auction was for those pieces donated by the students. I won a print of lichen done by a student. I also donated a scarf I wove - it raised over $50! I think, over all they raised several thousand. All the proceeds go to the school for maintenance of the school and their scholarship fund.
There was a visiting writer there as well and there was a writing workshop everyday. I did not go but I did compose my own poem:
A walk in the wood
A tree fell
I heard it
The flight home was uneventful and my sweetie was waiting for me to bring me home!
To see some of my pictures use this link.