I spent 9 hours on a train yesterday thinking about my experience at Touchstone and specifically thinking about how Touchstone added creative communion to my life...  

The place itself is magic.  I wasn’t expecting it to be so remote even though I knew there were no buses that went to this area.  I’ve been living right downtown in the west end of Vancouver for over 10 years now.  I’m a little city and it usually takes me some time to decompress when I get out of the city.  Touchstone is one of those places that makes me stand still instantly and be greatly appreciative of the moment I'm in.  I spent time sitting while hearing nothing but birds chirping and streams flowing.  I gazed at green trees and chipmunks scurrying into their homes.  I felt present and deeply blessed to be there. 


The artistic energy is abundant.  Touchstone feels like a place that has been loved by great creative minds.  You can feel the energy as soon as you get there, you know that this place has had many amazing artists walk through it and you feel like you are a part of something really alive.  

My class was a lot of fun.  I had dabbled in some of the techniques we learned before but getting the time to experiment further with them was great.   I have had some images that I’ve wanted to incorporate into my work for a while but I haven't been quite sure how to do this.  I got to play with them a little.  I’m still not sure that I know what I will do with these, but I think I’m getting closer. The other students came to the class with all different jewellery skill levels.  There was a mix of art teachers, artists, and hobbiests.  Everyone was really sweet and we were all helping each other figure out these new techniques.  It was really exciting for me to see some of the other students first introduction to metal work. 

My first introduction to metal work was when I decided to take a night class in ring making at an artists live/work studio.  I went into her studio and moved metal for the first time.  I fell in love with it and I was enchanted.  I showed a couple of my fellow students at Touchstone how to put blade in a jewelers saw and how to saw metal so that they could saw out some of the pieces they had been etching.  I love seeing people saw metal for the first time. 

 Our Metals Studio Group

A first time for me at Touchstone happened in one of the other studios on site.  The blacksmithing shop.  My new Estonian blacksmith friend Fred showed me how to move metal on a whole new scale.  I had never been inside a blacksmith shop before.  I got to sledge hammer and power hammer metal.  I have to say that again..... I’m enchanted.

Finding Creative Communion at Touchstone happened in ways that I didn’t expect it to.  I suppose that this is the great thing about saying yes to adventures, you just never know what you are going to end up with.  

My first blacksmithing project.  A bottle opener that actually works! 

 A hand made thank-you gift given to me by Nicole of Pea Soup Goods for showing her how to saw metal. 


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Masthead Credits

Nisa Blackmon

"Symbihome", 2017

Copper, vitreous enamel, luster.

6.5"l x 4.5"w x 1.25"h.

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