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Last weekend, following a luncheon held at the Center for Art in Wood for current and alumni Windgate ITE residents, the group headed to Bucks County, PA for the 19th Echo Lake Conference, an annual exercise in collaborative artmaking between thirty to forty artists of various disciplines (wood turners, wood carvers, furniture makers, painters, glass, and metal workers).  Unfortunately, I was unable to join them there, because I was scuttling all over the eastern seaboard like a bug.

At my request, the residents did send me pictures from Echo Lake, but provided no context and will not speak of the conference in my presence except in hushed tones while huddling their heads together.  I gather that some terribly exciting, clandestine things happened–possibly some high political or international intrigue?–but since no one will say a darned thing to me about it, I can only speculate about events there using these images as my guide:


The conference takes place in this panoramically curving warehouse full of work benches and heavy equipment.


ITE residents Felicia and Daniel and other conference participants smile conspiratorially into the camera.


Anastasia attacks a chair with an orbital sander.


Jason writes a secret message to Daniel, using this bowl he has just turned for cover, in pencil.


Collaborative block prints and detail images of the same.  Do these pictograms form some kind of pictorial code?  (Make your best guesses in the comments!)


A collaboration between Anastasia and Daniel–a musical chair!  This instrument is not a typical one for Daniel–usually, the instruments that Daniel builds do not have strings, and when they do, those strings are close to 30′ long.   These strings look to be no longer than 12-16″, and since the are all nailed in place, it seems like tuning them would be quite the chore.


Anastasia finds and befriends the “tiny kitten behind the curtain”–though unassuming in appearance, this little lion pulls all the strings at Echo Lake–and unravels sweaters and balls of yarn and chases flies and laser pointers, too.

Daniel, Anastasia, Felicia, Max, and Jason, if I am mistaken in any of my guesses, I hope you will correct me in the comments.

My next post will return to the realm of factual reporting.  I’ll be uploading pictures from our visits to private collections of turned wood in D.C.–stay tuned!