Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Durfort Workshop 2008 - Day 3

When I read my travel journal from last year's trip, I am amused to read my notes about the sound of the waterfall behind La Cascade (hence the name) and the hourly church bells, both of which seems so obvious to us when we first arrived and which quickly barely noticeable after just a day or two, they were such a part of where we were. Here's a picture of me beside the waterfall (taken by Jennifer), so you have an idea of how much water was thundering through there. There is obviously some sort of sluice gate at the top to control the flow but it seemed to be wide open the entire time we were there.

On this 3rd day, Kate had invited some of our local friends to come by the studio and she would demonstrate what we were doing with the precious metal clay. Joining us were Shewaun, who (I think) is a goldsmith in NYC back in the real world, Valerie, who makes jewellery and mostly works with silver and Vero, the owner of the B&B where I stayed the first night, who works with mixed media and told me she makes hats. She is also a performance artist and often performs at fairs and the like wearing her creations. At least, I think that's what she does - there might have been a problem with the translation, but she did show me some photos of her work as well, so I think I've got it right! The picture on the right shows one of her pieces that she had sitting in this old barn-like area attached to the side of the mill house, so you can get an idea of the age of the building as well as her art!

After the demo, we all made some metal clay pieces before having a delicious bowtie and vegetable pasta dish for lunch.

In the afternoon, Linda, Wendy and I drove to the book binding village of Montelieu, which is about a half hour's drive from Durfort. It was a pretty drive, winding roads and through a lovely little medieval town called Saissac with very old stone buildings and unbelievably narrow streets - at one point, I had a back down a hill to let a truck go past me on the road and since I was driving a standard, I was worried I'd never be able to get the car going uphill again! But id did). Saissac also has a fabulous panoramic view of a valley - we had to stop for a photo op there, but my picture really doesn't do it justice.

We walked about Montelieu a bit and checked out the book stores but it wasn't as exciting as I thought it might be, mostly because we were incredibly hot. So we went into a little cafe and had a cool drink. They didn't have any Diet Coke (can you imagine??) so I had an Orangina, which is always refreshing.

On our way back to Durfort, we stopped in Soreze to hit the bank machine and while we were there, checked out the bakery and tried some genuine French pastry - yum!

After dinner, several of us headed out in 2 cars to a night fair in the town of Avignonet, about a half hour away. The drive there was quite beautiful with lots of picturesque farmland, with the sun setting as we drove. We stopped to take pictures of a sunflower field and had a lot of fun pretending to be flower childs (or children of the corn, as Kate said!). Jennifer went a little bit risque, as you can see from this photo!

The night fair was so much fun! It was a combination of fair and flea market, with lots of people walking up and down, music playing, coloured lights and all sorts of stalls with vendors selling lots of goodies - clothes, food, meat, breads, live animals, antiques, books, you name it. They even had a merry go round with live ponies! I bought a bracelet from Valerie and a very cool book about Paris from 1960 with really neat black and white photos throughout.

This picture of Jennifer, Kate, Shevawn, Carin, Adrianne and Sydney is one of my favourites from the trip - it was such a magical evening.


Sharon said...

What fun this is to read Cynthia. I love the sunflower photo. Very cool.

Cynthia of Cynful Creations said...

Glad you are enjoying reading about it, Sharon, I am enjoying looking back and at the same time, looking forward to my next visit in August 2010!