Monday, June 29, 2009

Day three of AAW symposium

The last day of the symposium always feels a bit rushed. You want to get it all in and make sure you don't forget anything. I had the first rotation at 8 am, which is normally not a problem for me. However, I had stayed up way too late the previous evening - socializing with some of the other demonstrators and professional turners. I was so buzzed from the discussions that when I got back to my room I couldn't sleep. I think I fell asleep at 4 am and then awoke at 5 am with two really cool ideas to try to move my work in a slightly different direction. That's what these symposia are for - to percolate some ideas and to get excited about trying new directions.

I managed to get through the day without too much trouble, despite the lack of sleep. My demonstration on surface enhancement techniques went very well and I had a good crowd to keep me company. After it finished, I packed everything and got it moved over to my hotel room. Then I had time to go to the instant gallery critique.

I have to applaud Kevin Wallace, Merryll Saylan and Garry Knox Bennett on the critique. This is the first one I've attended since I started going in 2001 that was actually and truly a critique. The three of them didn't always agree on the merits of a piece and there was quite a bit of discussion regarding particular design elements for each one that was selected for the critique.

They started with the purchase awards and then the excellence awards. I was really interested to hear what they would say about my sphere "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be" - Lao Tzu, No. 5. Kevin and Merryll both spoke about the organic feel of the piece; how they wouldn't be surprised to find it on a forest floor somewhere. They liked the form and the effect of the wings swirling around the sphere. Garry didn't have any comments to add. It was nice that they picked up on what I was trying to express in the piece without me having talked to them about it.

There was a flurry of activities for the noon hour - the auction from the PoP exhibit, picking up stuff from the instant gallery, trying to get a look at the trade show. I didn't do any of those things because my friend was at the paramedic station and I dropped everything to help him get things sorted for the transport to the hospital. He'll be alright, but he gave us a bit of a scare there for while.

I popped into a couple of different things in the early afternoon, including a final walk through of the trade show. I did get to see the last half hour of John Wessel's demonstration on metal inlay. He's a fun demonstrator - cheeky as they come. I hope I have a chance to sit through his rotations sometime when I'm not a demonstrator myself. It will be well worth watching.

Dinner with friends, packing, saying goodbye to the Wessels, and then a wee bit of sleep finished off the symposium. I'm waiting for my flight right now, and having a bite to eat before I get on the plane for home. It was a fantastic weekend and the AAW, together with the local club (thanks John Ellis!), did a great job on keeping things on track and organized. I'm looking forward to next year's symposium in Hartford, CT.

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