Sharing a Passion for Handmade

"I believe it is important to thirst for knowledge every day of your life. If you are tired of learning, you are probably tired of living... "
Holly J. Stanger

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FloDo is short for Florence's Daughter in honor of my mother who instilled in me my curiosity and appreciation for all things handmade.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Much to Learn, Much to Do...

Creative people everywhere share at least one basic thing in common - we love to share our art. No matter what the medium of choice, the joy we feel when creating is an infectious kind of happiness that we can't wait to pass on. Whether we are displaying our creations, selling our wares, teaching or attending workshops there are many ways of sharing this feeling and I for one am certainly glad we do! Nowhere can this sense of sharing be found more prominently than a delightfully magical place in Manchester, Maine called Sweetland Retreat.

Sweetland Retreat is a charming little antique farm turned artist retreat in the heart of rural Maine. It is the brainchild of twin sisters Joy and Jamie, and Jamie’s husband Brian. This little group of artistically talented, wonderfully welcoming, downright down-to-earth individuals has taken a wonderful piece of Maine history and are single handedly (or I guess you would say triple handedly) turning the well loved, well worn former single family home into a place where artists from all walks of life can come together in the spirit of sharing their craft. The hope is that one day down the road, when all the painstaking renovation is complete, this beautiful house will become a full fledged artist’s retreat/B&B. With its incredible antique rock wall, beautiful flowering shrubs (many decades old) and flowers and its well tended vegetable garden, it is a glorious and relaxing location where one cannot help but want to overstay their welcome.

The main barn of the old property has been carefully and lovingly turned into an open and airy artist studio flooded with many sources of natural light. This space is used to host workshops taught by local artists and teachers (Joy and Jamie included) who share a wide variety of fine arts, crafts and more. From polymer clay flower making to precious metal clay jewelry making, body scrub classes to classes on encaustic painting, beginning sewing workshops to gelatin printmaking, digital photography to etsy shop setup, knitting to Ukranian egg dyeing, the list goes on and on with more classes of various types being added all the time (I believe there was even a violin class).

I have attended a couple of the offerings at Sweetland Retreat and highly recommend them to anyone interested in a fun, creative, one of a kind experience. Some classes are held during the week but most are held on the weekends making it very convenient. Many classes have the supplies included in the price of the workshop; all you have to do is show up and have a great time! And, Joy, Jamie and Brian are infectiously warm and friendly.

Check out their website for a schedule of upcoming workshops and treat yourself to a wonderful experience. You will be glad you did!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the post! This was so nicely written! :)


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