I grew up in Boulder, Colorado, where picnics at Chautauqua — a historic arts compound nestled at the base of the Flatirons — were the highlight of every summer. So when I heard about The Makerie, a newish weekend-long creative retreat that takes place in Chautauqua’s charming cottages, I had to investigate.
Former event planner Ali DeJohn held the first Makerie in 2011, while staying home with her two young children and feeling the need for a creative outlet. (“The whole idea is to let go of all your errands and just let yourself have creativity be a priority, for just a few days,” she says.) DeJohn cold-called her “dream team” list of teachers such as Canelle et Vanille’s Aran Goyoaga, Oliver + S‘ Liesl Gibson, and Uppercase magazine‘s Janine Vangool, and convinced them to come.
The three-day retreats include classes ranging from letterpress printing to leatherwork to food styling; morning yoga; hiking; and lots of fresh, local, organic food. Liesl Gibson was so inspired by her session during the 2012 Makerie that she teamed with DeJohn to plan a sewing- and fabric-focused weekend this April, and will bring friends such as Amy Butler and Tamar Mogendorff along.
DeJohn created the classes for “the every day person,” but experienced crafters are welcome too. For those of us who sometimes need a little nudge — and positive encouragement — a dose of Makerie-style mountain air might be just the thing.
(photos: Celia Hung, Julia Vandenoever)