WOW! It’s our SEVENTH annual metals retreat!
2020 marks our SEVENTH metals retreat in the Texas Hill Country, and we’re bringing you an all new, all-inclusive, and uniquely Texas experience!
We’re thrilled to be welcoming Michael Thee and Mary Wohlgemuth of FLOW Studio in Milwaukee as our guest instructors for the 2020 retreat. Their respective backgrounds in graphic design, fine arts, and photography are the springboard for this year’s projects, dramatic creations that make the most of a wide range of techniques and clean, precise construction methods.
We’ll kick things off with the Northern Nights Ring, a stunning project that combines principles of hollow form construction with a heavy layered, bordered ring shank (using a “secret weapon” that makes forming heavy shanks a breeze!). The open hollow chamber atop the shank allows light to bounce around the gold rutiles in our custom-cut rutilated quartz cabochon, amplified by genuine 14k gold balls around the edge. Then we’ll move on to the Earthrise Cuff, a striking statement piece featuring the wrinkles and rivulets characteristic of the reticulation process. We’ll build a raised mounting for a substantial cabochon custom cut for this project, and learn how to create our own tube settings from scratch so we can mount sparkling white topaz stones among the topography of our cuff base. Along the way, we’ll learn how to tackle complex projects with confidence, including how to plan for sequenced soldering operations and multi-step construction. We’ll learn how to reticulate a special silver alloy to create dramatic texture, including how to depletion gild large pieces of material, as well as how to design with negative space, set challenging stone shapes, and form heavy material into cuffs and ring shanks.
These are intermediate-to-advanced projects, which means you’ll need to be comfortable soldering unattended and have essential metalsmithing skills under your belt, including sawing, filing, flexshaft use, and bezel setting. (Michael and Mary will work with you to improve and advance those skills, but these projects aren’t a good choice for beginners!)
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
This year’s retreat is a truly special all-inclusive Texas experience centered around our own beautiful studio in the Old Village of Bulverde in the Texas Hill Country. Our fully equipped teaching space means you don’t have to bring a single tool or stone – just show up ready to have fun, and we’ll have everything you need to complete these projects. You’ll stay at one of two quaint and rustic cottages we’ve reserved for you at Tejas Rodeo, just a few minutes drive from The Makery, or right across the street at the brand new Eagle’s Landing Lodge (website coming soon!), featuring elegant Texas-inspired suites complete with soaking tubs and luxurious amenities. We’re providing breakfast and lunches served family style in the Village, and we’ll share spectacular dinner experiences together, including a private welcome dinner and reception, a Riverwalk dinner cruise catered by Paesano’s Italian Restaurant, and a Tejas Rodeo steakhouse dinner followed by VIP seating at their weekly rodeo event. (If you’re up for it, there will even be live music and dancing in their outdoor pavilion!). We’ll close out our retreat with brunch on Sunday, followed by a show and tell as we discuss our experiences and creations – and maybe share a few laughs! – before heading home to our own studios.
Best of all, your retreat and material fees include absolutely everything for an amazing week of creative immersion and forging new friendships: all materials, all equipment, all tools, and your lodging and meals. You just need to pack your bags (and bring eye magnification so you can see) and come ready to play (and bring eye magnification so you can see)!
PLEASE NOTE: If you have special dietary requests, please include a note with your registration so we can work with our food and beverage partners to accommodate you! And if you’re traveling with a friend, let us know so we can keep you together (or at least nearby)!
Pay in full up front, or make a non-refundable $650 deposit and pay the balance in two payments before February 10, 2020.
(Important: Please be sure to read our Terms and Conditions before registering!)
Dates: Tuesday evening, March 3
Sunday morning, March 8, 2020
Materials fee: $365
(includes all tools, equipment, materials and supplies!)
(taxable and payable at the retreat)
RETREAT FEE (per person)
with Tejas Rodeo Options
(includes all meals, lodging, special events and more!)
The Casita – $1600
Two twin beds plus one queen, with a shared bath. Perfect for a group of friends!
The Cabana – $1700 SOLD OUT!
A private king bed studio with kitchenette and bath on the Tejas Ranch property – rustic, secluded and private!
with Eagle’s Landing Lodge Options
(includes all meals, lodging, special events and more!)
Private Suite – $1850 SOLD OUT!
An elegant, luxurious private king room and bath within walking distance of the studio! Only two available!
The Honeymoon Suite – $1900 SOLD OUT!
An elegant, luxurious private king room, bath, and kitchenette within walking distance of the studio!
The Apartment – King Room – $1950 SOLD OUT!
Enjoy the master king bedroom and private bath in a stunning, luxurious apartment with full kitchen, living, and dining areas (shared with the queen room below).
The Apartment – Queen Room – $1900 SOLD OUT!
Enjoy a semi-private room (screened off the dining area) and private 3/4 bath (no soaking tub) in a stunning, luxurious apartment with full kitchen, living, and dining areas (shared with the king room above).
$1500 per person, includes meals and special events but no accommodations.
Limited number available. SOLD OUT!
ABOUT MICHAEL THEE AND MARY WOHLGEMUTH
Michael Thee and Mary Wohlgemuth create and sell their hand-fabricated jewelry at art shows around the upper Midwest, working from their home studio in Milwaukee. They describe their work as “Everyday Statements” – jewelry that is at the same time unusual and yet a comfortable accessory in daily work and play.
Michael and Mary have taught their projects and techniques at the Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee, at jewelry schools and retreats such as Silvera Jewelry School in Berkeley CA, and in private lessons at their studio. Michael and Mary also design and sell made-in-Milwaukee tools for metalsmiths, which you can check out at FlowStudioSupply.Etsy.com.
Together Mary and Michael enjoy teaching their approach to designing standout jewelry pieces. As instructors they focus on helping students develop a discerning eye for design and detail as they advance their skills in fabrication and finishing.
Both Mary and Michael have years of graphic design experience, which shows up in the style of jewelry they collaborate on. Michael studied fine arts at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, exploring his love of photography, and later graduated with honors from Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College’s jewelry fabrication program. He has been creating and selling jewelry for more than 20 years.
Before partnering with Michael in his jewelry business, Mary was a senior editor for Kalmbach Media. She acquired and edited how-to books on topics for metalsmiths, working with some of the top instructor/authors in the field. In addition to a journalism degree, Mary has technical metalwork training and art school in her resume – with the most valuable experience coming from the six years she has partnered with Michael, working side by side at their benches.
You can follow Mary & Michael on Instagram: @flowmke for their jewelry portfolio and @flowmke2 tor info on their made-in-Milwaukee tools, instruction, and inspiration.