THE TOUCHSTONE RETREAT EXPERIENCE
September is the time to step back and immerse yourself in four days of inspiration, discovery and hands-on making. Whether you explore something new, or expand your existing skills, our annual TOUCHSTONE RETREATS provide a unique creative experience. There’s a reason so many artists are drawn to this part of Maine, and we spend much of our time outside, exploring our “sense of place“ and how it can enrich our work. In your workshop, you’ll be part of a small, close-knit group, and get all the skills, help and support you need to develop a really personal, one-of-a-kind project—maybe even more than one! It's a chance to take a deep dive and hear your soul whispering.
When you're not in your workshop, you’ll be able to balance your work, social and alone time as the mood takes you. Studios stay open before and after class, and we continue to connect with each other, and with our teachers, sharing wonderful farm-to-table meals, taking walks along the beach, and gathering around the campfire after dinner. Creativity is contagious! You will go home grounded and refreshed; and, like a pebble in your pocket, your TOUCHSTONES experience will stay with you long after you leave.
Let us take care of you
You can make your own arrangements for accommodations or choose one of our new packages. Wherever you choose to stay, our award-winning campground, music, and art facility will be your home and classroom for four days. Our studios, organic gardens, woodlands, and private beach all offer magical spaces in which to work, be in the moment, and find the freedom to play with new ideas, thoughts, and materials. Our gardens have been planted with dye plants and our trails are dotted with special places to sit and stitch.
Give yourself permission to feel the warm September sun on your skin, breathe in the wonderful fragrance of the sea and the forest, and tune in to all the sounds, colors, and textures of a landscape teeming with life. The Japanese call it ‘forest bathing’ and it's scientifically proven to reduce stress, and even lower your blood pressure. Rediscover the rhythm of your breath and the beauty of your imagination.
"We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves
after a journey that no one can take for us..." Marcel Proust
Nourish your body
While you are in our care, you don't have to worry about practicalities! Your registration covers breakfast and lunch everyday, Thursday's welcoming cocktail party & Saturday celebration dinner with gluten-free and vegetarian options. Friday evening you're welcome to prepare a meal with fellow students in the garden kitchen or explore the myriad of restaurants within 10 minutes of the campground.
We prepare everything from scratch in our outdoor kitchen situated in the middle of the gardens. September is harvest time and we use lots of fresh, local produce...a farm-to-table experience with herbs from the garden, wood-fired flatbreads, and craft beverages.
Under the tent, we'll share meals and enjoy meandering conversations between students, teachers, and mentors. This is time to relax with your tribe...living in the moment that is uniquely yours. Why not bring your handwork and linger by the campfire in the garden, enjoy the opportunity to talk about projects—those in hand and those that are still just forming in your imagination.
"I can't say enough about the food and the company...the retreat would have been worth it even without my amazing workshop!" Jayne
Feed your soul
We all need time to stroll...not stride. Enjoy our 150 acres of private space that spans from the pebble beach on Penobscot Bay to the fern glades and cedar groves atop the mountain. There's time to take walks by the shore, work quietly on your project in the garden, and listen to the hum of the bees. In the evenings we light the campfire, pour warm drinks, and welcome live music and conversation. We'll surprise you with special events that will engage your senses and give you the kinds of memories to take home in a jar. As a grand finale on Sunday, before say goodbye, we'll holding a curated craft and supply sale to introduce you to even more local makers from our Fiber College world.
"This is a healing, restorative space." Kathleen
"My experience at Fiber College surpassed all of my expectations." Simone
What you'll take home
When we say “farewell” at the end of your retreat, we know you’ll be leaving with a sense of deep satisfaction—and, maybe, even surprise—at the beauty of the items you have been able to create. “Empowered” was a word we heard more than once as last year's retreat drew to a close. This means you will be going home not only with new skills and ideas, but also with the confidence to trust your own creative instincts—and to give yourself permission to explore, innovate and be original. You will also take with you the gift of community. Whether you are new to Fiber College, or one of our old friends, you immediately become ‘one of us’—a group of like-minded people who share each other’s hopes, struggles, and successes as we push our creative boundaries. When you talk with your friends who weren't lucky enough to join you in Searsport, you'll find yourself using words like ‘connection’, ‘inspiration’, ‘support’, and ‘renewed’. We've been hosting Fiber College events since 2005 and we're thrilled to share our experience and circle of mentors with you. Our definition of success is simple: you leave us feeling that you’ve been part of something special that could never be replicated in a different place...and are already making plans to return next year.
"The people were so friendly and approachable!" Anne