The next 2023 - 2024 retreat dates: to be announced
An Artist's Journey for Inspiration
One of the brightest and most unforgettable times of my life happened one incredible summer.
A couple decades ago, during my student period at California College of the Arts, I had the luck of achieving a scholarship for a summer study abroad program, at the place of which I could only previously dream of - Central Saint Martins.
The impressions that I had brought back with me from London, even after all those years, continue to motivate and inspire me. The "magic" sketchbook that I acquired and filled throughout that summer is still in my possession, and I periodically peek into it to delve into a world of fantastic ideas.
How important is an inspiration to an artist? Where does the never-ending flow of images come from? The desire to sculpt, sketch, shape, felt? I have a feeling that everywhere we look is saturated with ideas; that is, the fabric of our reality is an ocean of information and dreams conducive to creativity. A significant problem is the routine of everyday life, with our usual surroundings dulling our capacity to catch waves of inspiration. Breaking out of the framework of the norm, seeing the world with your eyes wide open is a great way to charge your inspiration for years to come.
Vivid fresh impressions are the things that endowed my London sketchbook with magic powers. How to collect, take with you, and use "waves" of inspiration? I want to show you a simple to compose a proper artist's sketchbook the way students do in the best design schools around the world. The breathtaking sunset at Mount Teide, mesmerizing color palettes of the stone and sand landscapes, azure hues of ocean waves and blinding white sails (yes, excursion on a real sailboat is part of the plan!), intricate shapes of cacti and succulents - all of this can in some form be transformed into a felt design. You will create an art piece or a wearable piece depending on your desire.
Read about our retreat in my interview with ZoneOne Arts: https://zoneonearts.com.au/yekaterina-katia-mokeyeva/
What to expect at the retreat
The last retreat TeneriFelt 2019 was not only exciting but also relaxing and pleasant, and we have decided again to keep the group number reasonably small, about the size of an average felting class, with total workshop participants no more than 9 people.
Four full felting days, 6-7 hours a day, will allow us to create our pieces inspired by the beauty of the island and our fantastic adventures. We will start with a variety of surface design samples based on our collected sketchbook treasures and will learn unique, innovative techniques. After that, you will have a choice of making a light garment or textile art piece. Any level of experience is good, Katia works individually with each class participant. You can expect to improve your skills dramatically, even if you are a beginner. For the experienced fiber artist, it’s a perfect chance to raise your mastery to a new level, find answers to any technical problems, and define your unique artistic voice. Please feel free to bring your felt creations if you need any advice.
All the equipment is provided, and all the materials, a large variety of colors, and luxurious quality are available in class for a super modest price.
Our exceptional chef Anatolio, the highlight of the event, prepares your orders from a carefully selected menu, keeping your preferences in mind, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He specializes in European, Mediterranean, and local cuisine of the Canary Islands, and possesses a background in exclusive group vacations. He gathers all of the ingredients from the local farmer’s markets, which are known for their locally grown produce and meats, and freshly caught local fish and seafood.
The island itself contains a vast array of dining places, and aside from our at-home breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, you will get a chance to visit these restaurants on the days of our excursions. Any hours outside of the workshop and planned activities are yours to use as you please. The villa is located within walking distance (1 mile) from the beautiful ocean beach, promenades, shops, and restaurants.
Tour on Mt. Teide (an excursion to the third largest volcano in the world at 3718 m). Teide is not merely a symbol of Tenerife, and not just a national park and preserve. It is the spirit of the island. On Teide, you will find age-old parts of the island from the moment of its birth. Who knows, perhaps this could be the tip of a sunken Atlantis? We begin our ascent to Teide by visiting Vilaflor. Here, you might take your first magical photographs. As we scale the elevation, the views become more impressive, turning to full-on joy as we reach our target - the crater itself. Several stops at a few vista points later, we will navigate towards the town of La Laguna.
The serpentine winding way will take us through a gorgeous pine forest, one that is docile enough to even traverse in house slippers due to its cleanliness. Here we can observe the endemic 800-year-old pines of the Canary Islands, and marvel at their immense size. We will visit the Las Cañadas del Teide National Park, volcano, and the alien-like landscapes it has created, walking along an almost lunar valley, a place where many film scenes have taken place. In 2007, Teide National Park is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO. Further on, we continue our journey through the aromatic eucalyptus and pine forest called Bosque de la Esperanza. It is almost literally "walking on clouds," since the peak of the volcano towers above them at over 2000 m.
You will catch a glimpse of the neighboring islands and feel the magical atmosphere of Tenerife. Moreover, here, we reach the former capital of the island, and perhaps the most beautiful town here - La Laguna. After a short stroll through its old streets, we will head to one of the most magical places on the island - the northeastern part, a little-known one to tourists, but even more so enigmatic and attractive. El Monasterio San Pedro is a landmark of unique architecture and history. A while ago, it was home to monks who propagated grapes and livestock. They created some of the best wines from their harvests, which continue to be legendary in these parts. Surrounding the monastery is a picturesque view, hosting a variety of fauna to this day. The monastery also hosts a couple of restaurants, with local delicacy and wine tastings from the monastery reserves.
Ocean trip. The date may change depending on the best weather choice. Ocean trip on the 50-foot sailboat Brittany.
Our professional and friendly Skipper will show you the best views of Tenerife, and the most amazing wildlife of our Ocean. Not only does he commands the local yacht fleet, but the sea itself! This comes as no surprise, as it is an accumulation of over 20 years of experience from traveling in various countries, operating yachts of different models and sizes. Food and drinks will be available on a deck, in complete harmony with nature, at one of the most beautiful seas of the world on the South Coast of Tenerife to visit whales, dolphins, and sea turtles in their natural environment.
One free day for your individual time, shopping, dining, massages, adding finishing touches to your work, enjoying the sunset on the beach, or having some rest, fun, and laughter time with friends by the pool. The last time, some of our participants requested an additional trip to the North of the Island, and we had a great tour with our guide and driver!
Kind words of our participants
"In last year's newsletter, Katia made mention of a felting retreat in Tenerife. I had only been abroad twice before, both times to Scotland. Admittedly I needed to look up where Tenerife was located. And then the intrigue and interest began. I decided to take the plunge and sign up for Tenerefelt--one of the best decisions of my life. Katia is an incredible artist and also very organized, gracious, generous, and a great trip planner. Our every need were anticipated. Her knowledge of the island and the people who assisted us made it all seem so easy. So imagine--a small, private group of like-minded fiber folks. A beautiful, incredibly diverse island. Lovely accommodations, gourmet meals (even our own chef), wonderful excursions. A multi-day felting workshop with Katia's assistance every step of the way. Fellow students who were fun and supportive. Time flew by; I wish I could have stayed much longer. This was my 'once in a lifetime' trip. I hope it can be yours too."
- Julie G.
"As the teacher at this fabulous retreat, Katia did so much more than teach us felting techniques and technical aspects of working with wool and plant fibers to create the pieces of our design. She led us on a path of creative discovery through the natural beauty of Teneriffe...gently reminding the participants to really look at our surroundings on the water, in the forests, on the beaches, and use the details to inspire our design. Armed with a sketchbook and pencils, I sketched shapes, noted colors, listed materials, a new process for me, and incorporated this practice into my felting. Katia attended to all participants generously and individually with her time in class. It was small and intimate; we bonded well as a group. It was a very special week... Katia is extremely organized and fearless! We wanted for nothing on this trip, excellent meals, lovely lodging, special side trips, all coordinated for us, our only task for the week was "to enjoy" and create a piece of felted art. I am using my sketchbook still also!"
- Barbara M.
"For the felter thinking of bringing a spouse or friend, do not hesitate, there is so much one can do. As a nonfelter, I participated in all the wonderful trips, activities, and opportunities that were part of the retreat. Tours of the island, villages, and winery were amazing, along with a very fun and relaxing boating adventure to see dolphins and whales. The chefs and the food they prepared were top notch. On the 4 class days, when I was on my own, there was plenty of places to walk, the beaches were wonderful and the water warm. Even without speaking Spanish, the bus system is easy to use. I highly recommend hiking the Barranco del Infierno. The Tenerife retreat was fabulous and exceeded all of my expectations. Katia, you are such a wonderful, caring, and creative person with a great web of family and friends. All you felters out there if you can, look into this retreat for next year!"
- Chris V.
To make our fiber art vacation fabulous, we've been looking for a suitable space that would help to get the most from our retreat time. A place of comfort, convenience, holiday atmosphere, with plenty of room for everything: work and leisure, fun times together, and privacy. At the Hacienda Cristóforo, beautiful hand-crafted small private houses made from wood and volcanic stone and hand-made local artisan roof tiles, designed with imagination and enchantment by architect and founder Denis Devaris. This place provides the perfect environment for our group to get away from 'it all' and relax and recharge fully.
The rates include:
- accommodation for 8 nights;
- workshop fee and work equipment;
- ride to and from the airport;
- meals prepared by a gourmet chef; 8 breakfasts,
5 great lunches, 5 gourmet dinners;
- full-day tour to Mt. Teide and many other remarkable island places;
- sailboat tour with food and wine.
We are planning this exclusive event for a small group, therefore spaces will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. To make the sign-up stress-free, we have decided to make the payment process available through deposit and two installments. Please email us to receive the deposit invoice at firstname.lastname@example.org
Methods of payment:
pay by check, (if you live in Canada, it needs to be a money order), payable to Yekaterina Mokeyeva; please contact us for the mailing address
pay by wire transfer (let us know and we will provide you with our account number)
pay by credit card using www.paypal.com (3.5% convenience fees applies).
We will send an invoice for the deposit and for the following installments, receipt, and notification of payment received.
For all other countries - to make fast and safe online transactions we use PayPal.
To secure your booking, we kindly request that you put down a security deposit of 900 USD per person. This deposit amount is to hold your space. As soon as ten spaces are reserved (the necessary number of participants to make the event happen), you will be notified, and then you will be able to book your flights. The deposit will be held untouched, and in the case of event cancellation, it will be fully refunded to you immediately, before the scheduled event dates.
The flights: the flight fare to Tenerife from Europe is amazingly affordable, usually between 100 – 200 USD. In the US, we always find our tickets through www.cheaptickets.com or www.expedia.com. Usually, you can find a roundtrip from 800 USD via these sites, and we always did. Today, United Airlines offer daily direct flights to Tenerife South airport from Newark, NJ. You can be flexible with dates; we will help to arrange your stay before and after the event.
To reserve your space, ask questions, or arrange payment in the way most convenient for you, please email us at email@example.com
If you, because of any reason, will change your plans, we will need your help with finding someone to take your spot.
A refund by your own request, in the event of an emergency, will only be issued if a cancellation is made at least 30 days prior to the retreat, and only if your space will be filled. Otherwise, we will not be able to offer refunds.
The purchase of travel insurance is recommended to cover any unexpected circumstances that could lead to a change in your plans.
Arrival and departure dates
The arrival day is June 26th, and the departure is July 4th. If you wish to come earlier or stay on the island for a few more days, we will help with accommodation (a lovely condo in a luxury condo complex for 50-60 Euro a day), and help you to get the best rates on car rental.
Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands, contains two international airports: Tenerife North Airport and Tenerife South Airport. Both have a high volume of inbound flights from many European countries. The Canary Islands is a highly desirable vacation spot for many who flock to its destinations from all over the world. Please choose Tenerife South as your destination! Our drivers will shuttle you on a comfortable van in small groups or individually, to a villa, your home for the retreat time. Wine and appetizers will be taken care of as well, and Katia will personally be greeting each of you. On the day of departure, we will drive you to the airport.
What to Bring
The weather on Tenerife is usually so pleasant that you would probably not need to bring a great deal of clothing. Of course, bringing your most comfortable walking shoes and a warm jacket (for the trip to Teide) is a good idea. If you have sneakers with white soles, bring them. Our sailboat have a white deck, and our captain will ask you to travel barefoot unless you came prepared. Moreover, don’t forget your swimsuit, our villas have pools, and the beach is near there too.
All of the class supplies, meaning the high-quality Australian Merino processed in Europe, hand-dyed organic Uzbek silk, a variety of plant-based fibers, felting supplies, all will be prepared for your use. The necessary equipment will be free of charge, and the materials will be available for sale at very affordable regular prices. Bring your favorite felting tools, like felting stones or palm washboards. You will also be receiving complimentary sketchbooks, markers, and colored pencils for your sketches and notes of the lasting impression and effect this place will have on your creativity.
Weather in Tenerife
Tenerife has an average winter temperature of 68-72°F and average summer temperature 79-82°F. Perfect temperatures really - never too cold and never too hot. Indeed Tenerife is known as the "Island of Eternal Spring." The weather in the south of Tenerife is generally warmer and drier than the weather in the north of the island. The most extreme temperatures in Tenerife are to be found in the Teide National Park, and during winter months there is often snow on the top of Mount Teide. In the summer temperature there can top 104°F.