Falling Waters Retreat with Heather Powers at Allegory Gallery!

October 5, 2015 , In: Clay, Events, Inspiration, Polymer Clay

A couple of weekends ago, I traveled (the 1 hour!) to Ligonier PA to take a class with Heather Powers.  Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery sponsored her workshop entitled Falling Waters Retreat at the Main Event Gallery in Ligonier.  It was a beautiful weekend to be in beautiful Ligonier and to take a fun workshop with a lot of fun people!

The retreat was for 2 days, the first day was making polymer clay canes and beads, and the second day was making jewelry inspired by Falling Water, a Frank Lloyd Wright house near Ligonier.  It was also inspired by Ohiopyle, which is a white water rapids area with water falls as well. 

The first day, we spend conditioning clay and making canes and beads.  The following photos will give you an idea of what we did!







We made three different types of canes, and with those canes, we made some of Heather’s better-known beads, like the disc beads you see above.  The next day, we made jewelry with what we created!






We started by making the copper oak leaf you see that was used as a clasp for a necklace.  We made Falling Waters earrings and a necklace using Swelligent metal patina and we made an awesome long necklace with the long tube bead we created.  I’m really please with how the tube bead turned out – however, when I made the hole through the bead, I kind of mangled the inside! But I like it on the outside!

The Gallery was a nice place, with some interesting sculpture on the outside.  There were many more, but here’s a few examples.


Heather has a new book coming out in December, you can already pre-order it on Amazon.  A lot of what we did in this retreat was taken from inspiration from her book!  Kind of a sneak peek!

And Andrew always has some great classes going on at Allegory Gallery – if you are in the area, you should definitely go, but even if you aren’t, you should check them out!  There may be some classes that you just HAVE to take! 

Susan Kennedy



Susan Kennedy

Susan Kennedy Susan, the owner of SueBeads, started making glass beads in 2005 because she loved lampworked beads so much, but wanted to make her own instead of buying them on ebay! She also makes enameled components and dabbles in polymer clay, but her first love is glass. She has attended jewelry-making classes at ArtBLISS and has taken classes from Barbara Lewis (torch fired enameling) in addition to several classes at the Pittsburgh Glass Center.
  1. Reply

    The retreat was a wonderful experience. I highly recommend it. I love your how your Swelligent metal patina looks on your waterfall. You clearly had a vision of what the finished piece should look like. My waterfall is a bit dried out looking. I am gathering my tools to make some more leaves!

  2. Reply

    The beads you made are lovely Susan. And that waterfall effect on the copper is very interesting. I'm not sure that I've seen anything like that before.

  3. Reply

    Many thanks to everyone who came out! I always delight in seeing people from the makers tribe! Heather is such a lovely teacher. She's very patient, calm, and low-key. It makes learning a pleasure! Main Exhibit is fabulous and we are lucky they opened their new art center! It makes these retreats a pleasure! And… Heather and I have already started throwing around ideas for something very special next year! Keep your eyes peeled!

  4. Reply

    Looks and sounds like a fantastic weekend! Oh, how I would love to attend one of Heather's polymer clay retreats…some day. Love the pieces you created Sue, well done! Thanks for sharing the weekend with us.

  5. Reply

    Beautiful and creative! Learningin such an aristic environment is a forever memory!

  6. Reply

    What an awesome time you had! I am green with envy (in the Uk)! At least we have the book to look forward too! I absolutely adore your coursework! Fabulous!

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