Sunday, June 10, 2012

2012 AAW Symposium Day 2 report

Wow! Such a long day with so much packed into it for getting a wood turning fix. Sessions started at 8 a.m. along with the opening of the trade show, instant gallery, and exhibits space. I flitted in and out of the demos to take photos, but some of the highlights for me included the session given by Frank Cummings on "why we create." This started with a vintage movie showing the history of art and invention. It was really cute, but I liked the take home message about how it takes a long time of exploration to reach success. As a scientist, I fully identify with this theme. The examples in the film were about the decades long search for cures to diseases, often with no results, but that researchers keep working at it to find a solution. Frank made the analogy that this kind of dedication is what it takes to find an expressive voice in art.

I listened to just a few minutes of almost every rotation - enough to get a flavor of the demo, but not enough to report on details. There were several demonstrators with packed rooms, but others with just a few people in the audience. Sometimes scheduling works out that way. If you're going head-to-head with Richard Raffan, expect a lighter crowd :-). I did sit through the entire instant gallery critique, though, because my piece "Tesserae Serrai" was selected for the critique. Frank Cummings, William Moore, and Kevin Wallace were the jurors for this session and I am so relieved that they thought the piece was very successful.

A major highlight of the day for me was attending the drawing for the lathes in the youth turning room. I was able to capture some of those happy moments when the kids heard their name announced as a winner for the lathe package. Powermatic and the other sponsors of the program were very generous in donating 25 mini lathe set-ups for this give-away. There are some very happy kids who will become our next generation of turners. This program is a huge success story for AAW and all concerned. Congratulations!

The banquet last night was at the Parkside Hall - about a block away from the convention center. There was ample room, and the acoustics were fantastic. This was one of the only banquets I've attended where I could hear everyone at my table. The floor, walls, and ceiling were covered with sound absorbing material - what a treat.

I had a bit of a logistics challenge with getting a group shot of the youth turners and volunteers right after the dinner service was done, and then getting back in time to take a photo of John Jordan receiving his life-time achievement award - such a well-deserved honor. Richard Raffan received the POP committee merit award and it was humorous to watch Trent Bosch and Richard Raffan working at feeling comfortable talking to a large crowd sans a lathe to hide behind. At the end of the program we have a tradition of honoring prominent members who have passed away during the past year. Jan Peters was given a tribute first, Phil Brennion next. Bill Haskell did a touching memorial review of Phil's life and career. Phil Brennion will be sorely missed in our community.

The live auction used a mix of still studio shots done by Steve Wolfe onsite during the first two days of the event, plus live audio feed provided by the local union guys. The still shots were very useful for actually seeing the details of each piece. John Hill and Rob Wallace were the auctioneers, Nick Cook and crew did the support work. The auction moved along at a quick pace, and we were done before 10 pm. Another treat for those of us in the audience. I heard a rumor that more than $50,000 was raised at the auction, but I can neither confirm nor deny that number.

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