As if we needed MORE collaborative experiences, we headed to Bucks County Community College (BCCC) for the three-day, intense, Echo Lake Collaboration XVIII. Not only is their wood studio spacious and well maintained, the other facilities at BCCC are ideal for working beyond wood: metal, jewelry, printmaking, glass.

….. first, though, was the traditional pre-Echo Lake luncheon on Wednesday at The Center for Art in Wood (CAW) where we met with a few past and future Windgate ITE Fellows, CAW staff and Directors, and friends/colleagues.

It was fun to see friends and meet new ones. In the first photo (top left), at the table to the left, Albert LeCoff sits at the end (or better yet, at the head of the table). On his right is Darrell Copeland, a 2012 Windgate ITE Fellow. At the end of the other table, Rex Kaleoff (2015) talks with Ashley (black shirt). In the second photo, Amy (pink shirt) sits across from Melissa Engler and Graeme Priddle (2000 Fellow). Third photo, Nuch sits next to Daniel Fishkin who will be one of the 2017 Windgate ITE Fellow Artists.

Clockwise from top left: Katie and Michaela shared a workbench. Second photo: Michaela had a delightful time with Ramona, envisioning, making, assembling and painting this sculpture’s girl parts (Ed Kelle photo), and then explaining Ramona to others! Third photo: Ashley began assembling a handful of the many turned objects from the resource tables to create her own version of “multi-axis” object — she’s obviously thinking beyond woodturners’ usual definition of “multi-axis” …  The resource tables held an amazing array of weird, crazy, plain, delightful objects from which to create sculpture, such as the vent cover for Romona’s skirt (and check out her Maryjane shoes). The background in these photos provides a glimpse of the wood studio.

Left to right: Former Windgate ITE Fellows from 2011, Beth Ireland and Kimberly Winkle. Last photo is a CAW’s Director, Suzanne Bonsall Kahn, who made and collaborated on a large chair. (Ed Kelle photos.)

Nuch instrument

Nuch collaborated with Beth Ireland and Gabe Infante on an instrument. Love the pyrography, Nuch! (Ed Kelle photo.)

First photo: Katie Hudnall’s bandsaw box, individual smaller boxes embellished by Amy Forsyth, Kimberly Winkle, and me (Betty Scarpino). Second photo: some of the actual blocks from the collaborative print project, frame embellished by Kimberly Winkle. Third photo: One of the framed prints from the block-printing collaborative. Katie painted and then drew on the frame.

We “bunked” at Amy Forsyth’s home (thank you Amy!) and returned to Philadelphia Sunday night, tired, but in many ways inspired by the free-spirited creativity at Echo Lake Collaborative. A huge thank-you to the organizers of the event and to Bucks County Community College for hosting the collaborative. A shout-out to Joe Seltzer for his ongoing, dedicated, volunteer work on behalf of Echo Lake Collaborative!

— Betty J. Scarpino, Photojournalist