Saturday, June 09, 2012

2012 AAW Symposium - Day 1 report

I was pretty busy running around all day with my camera gear, which is great exercise and gives me a chance to sample a lot of different rotations. The panel discussions are primarily what I'm missing, but I will slow down a bit today to take in a few rotations. So far I've done about 30 GB of photos - maybe 2000 images to sort through from Thursday and Friday. I'll probably end up with as much or more today and tomorrow.

Highlights for me from a photographer's perspective: watching the reaction of the kids in the youth turning program when they are seeing a very cool or new technique demonstrated. I also enjoyed watching some of the kids looking at the instant gallery items - I took one photo yesterday of a little boy with such a sense of wonder on his face that I'm sure it will end up being my favorite from the weekend.

I'll be posting pictures in a week or so. There are some already on the AAW Facebook page, but I will need some post processing time to sort through all the images, select the best ones for processing, and then to give Betty Scarpino a selection for the journal. Afterwards, AAW will publish a selection of my highlights and the rest will go onto my Woodturning Facebook page.

I really enjoyed watching the trade show action yesterday. The demonstrations that take place there are very intimate with a few turners gathered around to watch what is going on. The exchange of questions and answers is very intense in this setting. Watching attendees peruse the instant gallery and exhibits is also a lot of fun. Another highlight for me was the interaction I had with a security guard who is assigned to the exhibits gallery space. I showed him my "You will reap what you sow" entry and explained the symbols inside the pod chambers. I put a headlamp there for people to explore the piece and my new friend is telling everyone about it as they enter the exhibit. So my little bit of outreach has had some good effect in that people can actually learn a bit about my piece and have that extra little surprise as they shine the flashlight into the chambers.

There are a couple of other academics on the demonstration roster this weekend. Rob Wallace, my good friend in plant systematics, has a few rotations. He had quite a crowd gathered last night for his Special Interest Night sessions on Gizmos. Sara Robinson is a wood mycologist from Michigan Tech and she's been giving demonstrations on do-it-yourself spalting. I had a nice chat with her at dinner on Thursday night. The woodturning community is made up of people from all walks of life and career tracks. I mostly meet retired engineers, but there are a few of us in the biological realm - mostly medical - and other areas of expertise.

Today will be a long one with the banquet and auction taking place tonight. I'll write up a synopsis tomorrow morning if I don't have a chance to do it this evening.

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