The Guild began with the acquisition of a deserted Grange Hall in the rural community of Plain, Washington, in the Cascade Mountains. It was the beginning of the development of what has become a 14-acre campus with the 10 buildings housing the Guild today.
Classes in art began within the first year, 1980, in the renovated Grange Hall.
The heart of the Guild campus is the Centrum. A renovated grange hall dating to the 1940’s, it features a dining space and staff offices. An attached greenhouse is used to germinate vegetable starts for the garden.
The main floor is a large living room where guests can relax, read, sit around the fire, and enjoy lively conversation. With its flexible seating arrangements, this space provides a comfortable, welcoming space for groups to gather. A projector and screen for media use are available, as is wireless internet.
The lower level dining room can accommodate up to 50 guests.
The Guild offers nine established studio spaces designed for small, close-knit classes as well as focused individual work.
Seven dedicated studios offer facilities and equipment to support an impressive range of art processes and media, while two flexible gathering spaces invite activities ranging from lectures and concerts to yoga classes and silent meditation.
Fiber Arts Studio
Graced with a soaring ceiling and dramatic views of the surrounding pine woods, Fiber Arts is a spacious and flexible studio located at the heart of the Guild campus. It is well-equipped for a variety of fiber techniques, from sewing and weaving to silk-painting and fiber collage.
With its abundant natural lighting, this studio is a favorite work space for artists working in many different media, including painting, drawing, book-making, and collage. It can also be used as a meeting place and classroom for groups of up to 30 people.
With its glowing pine floors and vibrant stained glass, the library beckons individuals as well as groups to a variety of creative activities. An excellent “clean” studio space for art processes such as calligraphy, sketching, collage and iconography, it also provides an ideal setting for classes in poetry-writing and storytelling. The Library is equipped with a large projector screen, and may be used as a meeting place and classroom.
The Glass Shop
Located in a converted cabin near the heart of the Guild campus, the Glass Shop provides an excellent work space for glass artists of all experience levels. It is well-equipped for a wide variety of processes, and has served the needs of glass artists working in techniques such as leading, fusing, copper foil, stained glass, enamel, and mosaic.
The Paint Shop
A bright and highly versatile work space located near the heart of the Guild campus, the Paint Shop can accommodate many different art media and processes. In addition to being an ideal space for a wide variety of painting and drawing techniques, the Paint Shop can support projects in collage, book-making, and encaustic. It also serves as overflow studio space for the nearby Glass Shop.
The Print Shop
A quiet and cozy work space near the heart of the Guild campus, the Print Shop enjoys a peaceful view of the creek and wooded hillside. It is a dedicated printmaking studio and is equipped for a wide range of printing techniques, including woodcut, linocut, waterless lithography, drypoint, etching, aquatint, monotype and silkscreen.
In addition, the Print Shop is home to an antique monastic calligraphy table and is an excellent space for classes in calligraphy.
The Pot Shop
Nestled in tall pines a short walk from the main campus, the Pot Shop offers an excellent range of tools and equipment for the production of wheel-thrown, hand-built, and sculptural ceramic forms. This high-energy studio is also rumored to house the best stereo system on campus.
This studio features a complete chemical supply for glaze formulation. In addition to the three permanent kilns, temporary structures can be constructed on request for barrel, saggar, wood, and salt or soda firing.
Located in a converted 1940s barn near the edge of campus, this light-filled and airy studio features a stunning view of the valley and distant mountains. A highly flexible “dirty” workspace, the barn is an especially good studio for three-dimensional art processes, and has accommodated classes from wood- and stone-carving to installation work.
It is also a favorite space for quiet meditation and retreat, and has hosted a variety of contemplative activities such as poetry and song-writing.
The Wood Shop
A rustic studio and work space located in the lower level of a converted 1940s barn, the Wood Shop is well-equipped for a wide range of woodworking and framing projects. It provides a valuable support resource for artists working in all media, and also functions as a dedicated studio and classroom space for both functional and sculptural wood creations. Large double doors and ample work space allow for the construction of sizeable wood-working projects and sculptures.
What began as an impromptu space of privacy for an artist-in-residence has become quite the favored writer’s nook of inspiration. Tucked in the entrance of our wood sauna, this humble studio has just enough space for a desk and a chair, and more than enough for vast amounts of imagination.
Named for the large, airy studio space it houses, this building also offers five guest rooms and two bathrooms. The first floor holds 1 queen and 1 shared room; the second floor, 3 shared rooms. Ground floor rooms and bathrooms are handicap accessible.
This cozy building is dedicated entirely to guest housing, with five guest rooms and two bathrooms. The first floor holds 1 queen and 1 shared room; the second floor, 3 shared rooms. The Homestead also features a shared living room and kitchenette.
Located on the south end of campus, the Cabin offers spectacular views of the Wenatchee River. The main floor is an open concept and it has a queen bed. There is an enclosed loft with an additional queen bed. The Cabin has one full bathroom and a kitchen.
We are excited to also offer the Ridge House (formerly the home of Guild founders, Liz and Rich Caemmerer) as guest housing. This beautiful and light filled space can house four people. There is a large kitchen and 2 bathrooms.
The Ridge House can be reached via short trails from west of the barn or south of Homestead and is accessible by car by taking West Side Drive (slightly past the heart of campus on the right).
A light and airy space tucked on the edge of campus, the Library was the original schoolhouse here in the Plain Valley, dating back to 1912. The downstairs houses classroom space as well as an impressive art and faith library, while the upstairs level features an all-gender dorm-style sleeping loft that can house up to nine guests.
The yurt provides rustic three-season housing with a stunning view of the sky. Restrooms and showers are located nearby in both the Centrum and Fiber Arts building.
Our 14-acre campus offers a variety of spaces that invite private contemplation as well as group quiet times.
From ancient times, the labyrinth has served as a reminder of pilgrimage and spiritual journey. Ours takes the form of a Celtic triple spiral, located in a quiet clearing amid the pine forest and overlooking the Wenatchee River. It is a well-loved site for both individual and group contemplation, and is particularly beautiful at dusk when illuminated by candlelight.
Finisterre is a contemplative space at the River’s edge built in memory of Guild Founder Richard Caemmerer. It is a place to honor current and future Guild Masters and to remember fellow pilgrims on this art and faith journey. The Finisterre design is based on a rough sketch penned by Richard in the early 2000’s. Richard envisioned an installation based on the unique artistry of Plain craftsman, Gary Espe, who constructs using the organic forms of steamed trees.
The Sculpture Garden
Near the labyrinth is the Sculpture Garden. Featuring an ironwork piece by Guild Master Sandra Richardson, this space offers benches for quiet sitting. During the Summer 2016 program an impromptu cairn was created as people remembered and honored Guild Founder Rich Caemmerer.
In addition to providing beauty and sustenance for our community, the Guild’s organic garden is a source of spiritual inspiration. During our summer program, the whole community gathers for a time of prayer in the garden, and at other times it is available for guests to wander undisturbed among the verdant and healing leaves.
The foot bridge over the Wenatchee River connects the Guild with our neighbors at Plain Hardware and Plain Grocery. It also provides a place to stand at the crux of both receiving and letting go. Focusing upstream allows for reflection on provision and source; focusing downstream, on release.
The always-present, ever-faithful witness of the Wenatchee River has soothed many a soul, delighted the young-at-heart, and granted to artists the grace to begin again in the creative flow.
Spread throughout the campus are hammocks for rest. Good for body and soul, never underestimate the creative power of a good nap!
Enter the Guild from Chumstick Highway on the north end of campus. Check-in at Centrum (“4” on the map).