No, I don't mean the all the Fall holidays and the ensuing friends and family... I mean Sandy Camp!  For 13 years October has meant getting together with all our clay friends and family here in San Diego for Sandy Camp, our annual San Diego Polymer Clay Retreat.  I can't believe it's been thirteen years since we held our first retreat in the top floor of the little hotel on the beach here in my home town of Imperial Beach.

Umm, the smell of clay ovens, carne asada and margaritas on the deck. The sound of Marie Segal slamming a platter-sized cane against the tile floor. The view was phenomenal – the ocean in front and we were literally surrounded by myriads of clay techniques going on at the same time.  For more than a few of the ladies, it was their first time away from home on their own in a looonng time.  Yes, we let them take cuts in the margarita line!

The San Diego Polymer Clay Retreat

This first retreat began the tradition of our all-volunteer retreat, which I have to say, is probably one of the best in the nation.  This group has it down – when you register, you also sign up to volunteer – its required and it's done before you know it – sort of like pulling off a bandaid.  We've experimented over the years with casual demo schedules, even classes – and found that less is more in such a creative environment.  The Retreat Committee works almost year round to provide the very best experience for all who attend. I highly recommend any group considering a retreat to have a chat with this outstanding group of clayers.

We have changed locations 4 times in the thirteen years, with each location being a treasured memory in itself (soaking in the hot springs at midnight, trying to out-think the racoons).

I am excited though – 400 cement trucks rumbled down our little beach street last Wednesday to pour the 27 foot thick concrete foundation for the NEW hotel in the same location as our first retreat.  This lovely new hotel complex will have a small convention center, so I am hoping that in a couple of years, Sandy Camp will be able to return to its roots.