Sunday, June 28, 2009

Second day of AAW symposium

My demonstration today was the last rotation, so that gave me plenty of time to walkabout the trade show and instant gallery plus to take in a panel discussion. I attended the one moderated by Michael Mocho (Betty Scarpino, Joe Seltzer and Jack Slentz on the panel) titled "Whose turn is it anyway?" It was about the breadth of woodturning from "conventional" brown and round to sculptural forms. I thought the presentation and discussion were interesting, but I was disheartened to note that the audience consisted of collectors, gallery directors, and artists who do the surface enhancement, texturing, carving, coloring and sculpting that is so controversial to the brown and rounders. This panel discussion is the kind of thing that needs to be heard by turners who feel that we've gone too far in the artsy/fartsy direction. I got a kick out of Michael Mocho when he said that "artsy" is ok, but we definitely want to discourage "fartsy."

I enjoyed walking through the trade show. There are a lot of cool toys to oggle. I wish I had an unlimited budget so that I could sample the wares. I'll walk through tomorrow and see if there is anything I can't live without.

The instant gallery had a pretty steady flow of people. There are a lot of interesting pieces on display and I'll post pictures sometime in the near future. I've taken way too many photos - enough that I keep thinking about the rest of my Nepal trek photos that are waiting for processing.

The banquet and auction were tonight. The food was pretty decent - surprise, surprise! Some highlights at the banquet: Phil Brennion gave a short speech to thank the members of AAW for supporting him this past year in his physical therapy and rehabilitation from his spinal injury; Merryl Saylon received the AAW merit award; chapter collaboration awards - the Dallas Area Woodturners are to be congratulated; and Giles Gilson was acknowledged as this year's lifetime achievement award. He wasn't able to be with us at the symposium, but I'm really glad he's received this recognition for his career of innovation.

The auction yielded a good return on the amazing pieces donated by the luminaries of woodturning. I thought the bidding was very low, though. Again, I wish my bank account had a healthier balance because this would have been a fantastic opportunity to get some beautiful artwork. Alas!

I stayed up way too late tonight, but it was great to visit with everyone after the auction ended. I'll be paying for it tomorrow because I have the first rotation beginning at 8 am.

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