Wild Wire Women Retreats

   Welcome to my Wild Wire Women Retreats blog!
   For several years, I offered wire-art and metal-art jewelry making retreats in my mountain home of Idyllwild, California. Wildlife such as the mule deer pictured above surround us here, and we feel very fortunate to call this little town our home.
   Above: Here's a mid-winter view of the national forest, a photo taken from my studio workshop.
   Above: We worked hard, but we had fun in the studio!
   Wild Wire Women retreats were designed for adult women who wished to spend quality time in a relaxed environment where they were able to concentrate on learning new jewelry-making skills. "Relaxed concentration" is the ideal I always aimed for, and we quickly dropped into this mode of consciousness as the stress of daily life simply melted away...
   Each spring my manzanita trees break out into rosy-pink blossoms, signaling the end of winter and the beginning of many long, sunny days. My home is at 5,000 feet elevation in the San Jacinto mountains, and maintains a temperate climate year-round.
Itinerary
   Our weekends began on Thursday afternoons. Upon arrival, we shared a bottle of champagne together with fine cheeses and snacks. We got to know one another a bit before dinner at my home...and then the workshops began on Friday morning right after breakfast!
   Friday through Sunday we worked in the studio together, learning new wire art, metal art, and mixed-media techniques for making personalized jewelry. We also enjoyed delicious lunches each day, like the salad bar pictured below:
   Once back in the studio, we immersed ourselves in jewelry making techniques, improving our craftsmanship while learning many new techniques.
   Pictured above: student-made bangles from my "Metallo del Fiore" bracelet workshop.
   Due to the nature of a WWW retreat, we had much more time to learn than is typical at a bead show or similar event. Class size was limited to six adult females, which gave us time for personalized attention that students were not likely to receive at any other venue.
   Pictured above: a retreat participant made cuffs with etching and fold-forming techniques (very popular!), a heavy-gauge wire bangle, and wire heart pendant.
   We finished each Sunday evening with a photography session.
   On Monday morning after breakfast, we bid each other farewell. It was such a bittersweet moment—saying goodbye to new friends—but thanks to the Internet, many of us have stayed in touch via email and blogging. Several past participants have kept in touch with me and each other over the years, and I often receive an invitation to a show or other event that a student is participating in.
   Pictured above: a collection of student-made jewelry, including wire-wrapped beads from the Silver Sampler bracelet workshop and twisted-wire beads from the Worm Bead bracelet workshop.
   Pictured above: One of my more popular workshop projects was making a wire-woven doll pendant using a vintage porcelain doll, wire, beads and charms.
   Pictured above: Fold-formed earrings, anyone? These were made by two students who attended one of my retreats.
   Pictured above: Etched Cuff bracelets made by my students during a Wild Wire Women retreat.
   Pictured above: Fruit of the Vine necklace workshop, another popular offering. Pictured below: Fold-formed pin made by my student Sharon Nodelman during a Wild Wire Women retreat.
  Fun in the studio:
   Proud of her achievements:
   Past participants have reported that they were very pleased with their classes, even those workshops they may not have chosen themselves. One guaranty: everybody had a great time and made new friends in the jewelry making world.
   I will never forget my students, or the fun times we shared over the years (2007-2014) in my Wild Wire Women retreats. However, I am no longer offering live workshops or retreats because I am now taking care of my elderly mother, who has just recently moved into my home with me after the passing of my father last November.
   Retiring from teaching art has been a very difficult but necessary decision that I made with a heavy heart. But my first priority is to serve my mother, who spent her life serving her family. It's time now for me to give back to her, providing her with a safe and happy home. Caregiving is a full-time job, one I have embraced knowing that I would have to sacrifice my own desire to teach and conduct retreats.
   I'm leaving this blog up because I'd like to think of it as a sort of memorial to my retreats, my students from all over the world (including the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, China, India, and Iceland), and our shared experiences. I think of my students often, and wish them all the very best in life, especially in their pursuit of creativity through jewelry making.
   Sparkle says, "Goodbye for now," and may our paths cross someday... you never know, it could happen!
   With love,
   Sharilyn