Friday, June 08, 2012

2012 AAW Symposium - prelude

Today was the set-up day for this year's AAW symposium, which is in San Jose, California. The trade show, instant gallery, and the exhibits space was a buzz of activity as everyone scrambled to put things into place for tomorrow's opening. Despite all the frenzied activity, there was a lot of laughter and good cheer spread all around the San Jose convention center.

I spent the day running around the site taking photos of all the action. Every year there is the fun of watching people reconnect since the last gathering of woodturners. It's as if no time has elapsed and everyone picks up where we left off from last time we met. That's one of the great joys of this community of artisans.

In addition to the regular activities of registration packet pick-up, merchandise sales, "Learn to Turn," and putting together all the lathes and demonstration equipment, there was a new activity in the form of a gathering of international turners to discuss how to enable interaction among the turners who live in different parts of the globe. I'm sure there will be many interesting developments from what is started here in San Jose.

One of the most interesting things I photographed today was the behind-the-scenes assembly of all the demonstration gear. The local clubs really do a lot of work to make it all happen. Despite the physical labor involved, I heard a lot of laughter and comradeship going on while all the power tools were being used to build light and camera stands and safety shields.

The exhibits reception was this evening. I have a piece in the "Beyond Containment" exhibit as well as in "A Walk in the Woods" exhibit. It was fun to watch people checking out the pieces in these exhibits as well as the one featuring the PoP merit award winner, Richard Raffan.

My brief walkabout in the instant gallery as pieces were being placed on tables gave me a nice preview of how great this exhibit will be this year. I'm looking forward to checking it all out tomorrow and the rest of the weekend.

Elizabeth Lundburg gave a well attended demonstration as the first of our four emerging artists to be featured in the instant gallery space. She demonstrated her surface techniques and talked about design inspirations.

All-in-all, the symposium is off to a good start.

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