Traci ColeIn the late 1990’s I made a brief foray into stone carving via Meredith Earls. I was entranced by stone, but other priorities put carving on hold. This past winter I finally circled back, taking Sabah’s stone carving class at Pratt. Camp B seemed like a great way to continue that growth, to immerse myself in carving and see what might emerge. I signed up for the entire week without knowing a single soul or what to expect. What I found was an extended, welcoming family of supportive enablers, and an incredible array of learning opportunities. Without exception, people were warm, encouraging, and incredibly generous. Advice, tools, materials – all freely shared.

Every day was non-stop activity from nearly dawn to dusk. River walking before breakfast? Why yes, please. Lectures after lunch? But of course. Slideshows after dinner? Absolutely. The jade workshop was a phenomenal introduction to the stone and the tools to work it – all new to me. Deborah is a superb artist and teacher, and I was privileged to spend five days learning from her. Beyond the jade tent? Lectures, instruction, work time, demonstrations, visiting other artists at work, vendors... an amazing and never ending smorgasbord of riches. I came home with an extra stone or two (certainly more jade) than I had planned! I learned many new names, made new friends, was introduced to new tools and techniques, and returned home energized to create more art.

Traci Cole