Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Durfort Workshop 2008 - Day 2

My roommate Carin woke up about 4:30 this morning to go to the bathroom, which woke me up and I lay in bed with my brain buzzing, wondering what I was going to make in the studio. When Carin came back, neither one of us could get back to sleep (probably a combination of jet lag and excitement) and we started talking about lampwork beads and all sorts of things and finally, just after 6 a.m., we decided we might as well get up and go for a walk. We headed out through the quiet village streets and on up a country road. It was so quiet and peaceful, as there was no one else about, and everything was still a bit damp from the rain we'd had overnight with that nice, fresh, damp nature smell. We saw several very large snails as we walked, they must have come out with the rain.

After breakfast, when we were back in the studio, Kate took us through the section of her book about rings and we also looked at her calendar which featured 16 months of ring designs. She did several demos and before we knew it, it was 12:30 and time to head across the street to visit the studio of two local artists, Anne and Peter. Anne paints silk scarves and Peter paints pictures and they were quite happy to show us their creations. The picture on the right is of Kate and Anne and shows one of Anne's scarves.

Lunch was a delicious potato and leek soup to counteract the lingering chill of the morning, together with salad, bread, cheese (oh so French) and a delicious banana crumble for dessert.

After lunch, we were back in the studio and finally making stuff! We all made toggles for the Shag of Pearl bracelets that we were going to make, as Kate had given us each a kit. Once they were done, we started in on the bracelets themselves, which involve a lot of wrapped loops on headpins. Sadly, my bracelet is still a UFO (unfinished object) but I'm hoping to get that done very soon!
Before we knew it, it was time for dinner, which we ate out at a lovely restaurant that is part of a hotel called Abbaye d'Ecole. It's a historic building surrounded by 6 hectares of garden. It was quite fancy but the prices were more than reasonable. We had a table outside and it was a beautiful summer evening to sit out. Wendy and I had a stroll around the grounds before our appetizers arrived, which came much sooner than expected after the maitre d' had warned us several times that because there were so many of us in our party, it would take longer to prepare all our meals because not all of us had ordered off the prix fix menu and we must be patient. This in spite of the fact that we had answered just as many times that we weren't in any hurry and quite happy to wait. We figured he must have experienced some very unhappy campers in the past and wanted to avoid any possible unpleasantness, but luckily, we had nothing to complain about!

Have a look at the hotel's website if you want to see how majestic this old place is!

The owner of La Cascade, Gwen Gibson, joined us for the meal, as did Shevaun, whom I'd met on the first day when we went to the vide grenier. She was staying at a friend's house in the village of Soreze for a couple of weeks and Jennifer had met her on the street the day she arrived, as she was wandering about trying to find Gwen's place. Shevaun very kindly offered to let Jennifer stay at her place for the night and a new friend was made.

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