Monday, July 27, 2009

Durfort Workshop 2008 - Day 1

On our first full day at La Cascade last summer, we were treated to our first breakfast made by Nese, who would be cooking for us for most of the rest of the week. It was a simple buffet of fresh fruit, yogurt, granola, breads and jams but it was all very French and very tasty.

After breakfast, we headed up to the 3rd floor studio and Kate gave an introductory talk, telling us what she had planned for the week. She also showed us various pieces that she had made. Just before lunch, we went for a walk to the town square of the village and Kate showed us the path to take if we wanted to walk to the next village, Soreze, about 20 minutes away by foot.

Durfort has a history of being a village of copper craftsmen - the shop in the photo was filled with copper items. Some of the streets have what they call a quench running down the middle - the copper artisans would bring their hot metal pieces out to this stream of water to dip them in the water and cool them off. It's very picturesque, although a little disconcerting if you're trying to drive a small European car up the street and trying to keep the wheels out of the trough!

After a very tasty lunch with a green bean and tomato salad featuring the best cherry tomatoes I have ever tasted in my life, omelettes and bread, we were back in the studio from 2 to 5 pm. Kate walked us through her book, Structural Metal Clay and described various techniques.

After class, I took a walk to the local cemetery with Jennifer. We had been warned that there was a storm coming in and as we walked about checking out the tombstones, we could see these amazing cloud formations over the mountains in the distance so we didn't stay out too long and made it back well before the rain started.

Dinner was roast chicken with potatoes and carrots and salad and lots of wine. Everyone was chatting and getting along very well. One of the women in the group was travelling with her husband and he joined us for dinner. They were from Germany, 2 of us were from Canada and the rest were all from various parts of the U.S.

After dinner, it was still raining and since everyone was a bit jetlagged, we had an early night after a little bit of show and tell, when my roommate Carin (from British Columbia) brought down some of her lampwork beads to show us. They were gorgeous!! Here's a picture of her marble bracelet, I loved the big beads!! It's a year later and I still haven't made a marble but at least now, I know how and what tools to use!

(Commitment update: 10 workouts in 13 days, including an hour of tennis on Saturday, 90 minutes of intense cottage cleaning on Sunday prior to the jewellery party in the afternoon and a 40 minute walk today)

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