Red Cliff Paper Retreat Gallery

The Red Cliff Paper Retreat takes place the week after Labor Day in Helen Hiebert’s papermaking studio near Vail, Colorado. Get a glimpse of this timeless experience through the images below. (Click on the images to make them larger, then use your arrows to scroll through the galleries).

The Town

Red Cliff, Colorado was the first community in the Eagle Valley. It was founded in 1879 during the Colorado Silver Boom by miners from Leadville who came over Tennessee Pass scouting for better prospects. The town site is concealed below the highway (which passes over the Red Cliff Truss Bridge) and is accessible by a side road leading to Shrine Pass in the Sawatch Range.  The name derives from the red quartzite cliffs surrounding the town. The town is situated in the canyon of the upper Eagle River off U.S. Highway 24 and north of Tennessee Pass, where the 10th Mountain Division of the US Army trained troops for winter survival and skiing in WWII. 

The Setting

The town of Red Cliff (population 265 or so) is primarily a bedroom community, but it has the amenities we need: a hotel, a few B&B’s, a restaurant and a post office! The old schoolhouse, where Helen Hiebert Studio is located, was turned into artist studios in the 1980’s. The retreat takes place in Helen’s papermaking studio, and she rents out the gymnasium to provide an individual workspace for each participant.

“The three-day retreat more than rewarded my 2,700 mile drive. Although we all were keenly aware of how valuable every minute was–there was a timelessness about the whole experience. The high quality instruction, magical setting, creating, and sharing made the experience magical. I came away with a head full of ideas for future projects.” – E.T. Kalamazoo, MI

The Participants

Participants have come from as far away as Panama and the United Kingdom, span four decades in age, and range from beginner to advanced in their skills, interests and experiences related to paper. The diversity has led to a delightful group camaraderie at every retreat and participants learn a great deal from each other.

“This was my first time at the Red Cliff Retreat. I could not have asked for a more rewarding and educational experience. Helen and her assistant went above and beyond to make sure that everyone was able to meet their learning goals while having a fun time!” – L.P. New Bern, NC

The Projects

To date we have explored many aspects of paper, and one of the highlights of the retreat is the opportunity to make paper in a professional studio.  In addition to exploring papermaking techniques, Helen also introduces a variety of projects and techniques that can be created with readymade papers. We can’t do everything at one retreat, so some participants keep coming back!

“I just wanted to say THANK YOU for another amazing, creative, thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable retreat. Thank you for being such a patient teacher and sharing your boundless knowledge, talent and love of craft with all of us. Thank you for holding the space and creating an environment where everyone is free to share, and everyone supports everyone else. Thank you for being the beacon that attracts such a lovely group of people each year. I loved this retreat even more than the last one, and I loved the last one!”  – L.L., Santa Fe, NM