Monday, July 21, 2014

Convergence 2014: Day 1.5 and an unexpected bangle sale

I had every intention  of blogging more frequently while I was in Providence this past week, but every time I sat down in my hotel lobby (where they had better wireless) to get some HGA tweets out and start to blog, I ended up talking to weavers.  Which is fantastic. I love meeting more weavers.
So I'm just going to attempt a re-cap over the next week.

Wednesday:
Packing and preparing for Convergence is best described for me as waiting for christmas morning.  I can barely get to sleep I'm so excited.  However, Delta quashed my excitement and canceled my morning flight, switching me to a later one which, if all goes well, will give me an hour to get to registration from the airport, and then check in at the hotel to drop my bags, wash up and get to the dinner before the fashion show.  I'd been frazzled since my 5:50 AM phone call telling me the flight was cancelled.

All was well when I got in a shower and finally wandered down to the lobby to walk over for dinner, I found weavers,  including Suanne, the current HGA president, so I sat at her table with a group of people including Robyn Spady and a number of ladies I hadn't met before.  It was nice to have a real meal and then get in a long line with weavers attending the fashion show.
























This is only my second Convergence Conference but I think that the fashion show this year was fabulous and far better than 2012.  It was on a runway-style set up which really helped us all see the pieces on the models better.  In Long Beach it was more of a theater set-up.  The pieces in this show were stunning.  I was unable to get a good photo of the show with my phone so I'm skipping that.

I was ready for a glass of wine after a long day of travel so I popped into the hotel lobby for one and found Rebecca Mezoff.  She's been one of my go-to's for questions about teaching workshops (which I am slowly getting in to).  We chat back and forth on our blogs and she is really on top of her newsletter, which reminds me to do mine sometimes so it's been great this week to hang out in person.  She introduced me to her roommate and tapestry weaver Cornelia Theimer Gardella who was also a student of James Koehler.  Cornelia was also teaching at Convergence and has some beautiful wok on her website.  After some visiting I turned in.

If you ever stay at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Providence, get an even-numbered room.  My room faced the street and although I'm used to street noise, Providence apparently likes to play their hip-hop and rap music really really loud, which bounces off the buildings into the odd-numbered rooms (I was in #307).  My issue was that they were always songs I didn't know, but I liked, so I'd stay up listening to the music going by....

Thursday:
The Featured Speaker was Rosanne Somerson, President of RISD.  Her talk was about "critical making" with really intelligent explanations about despite the technology that we have at our fingertips, it's in human nature to make with our hands, create, and understand how things are made, and the difference between slapping something together versus understanding quality work. I was raised with a lot of this, from learning how to make things at home with my parents renovating an old house, but I never thought that there were students coming in to art school who have never used duct tape before!  I love that RISD is committed to keeping the hands-on making in the art-process as everything is on the edge of going digital (I still can't draw on a computer, tablet, etc, it doesn't feel real).


I'm adding to my long list of books I should read "The Art of Critical Making" by Rosanne Somerson (Editor), Mara Hermano (Editor), John Maeda (Foreword).  


My first seminar was "Are you sitting comfortably?" with Walter Turpening.  He makes custom benches for weaving and spinning based on your loom and your measurements.  I have been having more and more issues with aches and pains as I've been weaving and beading many more hours per week, so I'm looking into what I need to adjust in my daily practices.  It was pretty enlightening just how bad we are all sitting, not just for weaving, but also at desks and chair heights, etc.

At the Fashion Show the previous evening I met a local fashion stylist, Lisa Shorr.  Myself and another weaver were helping her identify fiber techniques on the runway, which was really fun. She was presenting a scarf-tying workshop at the Vendor hall so I popped in and Cornelia joined me:

(Now I know how to do this bow style scarf, easier than you'd think
I didn't get this weaver's name that Lisa is using for the demo)

I also (finally) purchased an "official" HGA Badge Holder.  I have a bunch of flare to add to it from Long Beach Convergence 2012, and I visited my piece that was hanging in the All Media Exhibit hall "She Can't See the Forest Through the Trees" which. considering the space they had, they did a good job of hanging it.  Sandra said she'd try to get me a photo of how it was hung.  They used 3 S-hooks with a coated wire threaded through the copper pipe, layering the pipes just off of one another, so it still created some layering/depth to the piece.  The lighting in the ballroom was awful (nothing you can do about that!), so as dark as my piece was, it wasn't too flattering.  However, I'm just happy to have it in the show, and I got a lot of positive feedback from it.


My first mission after I was settled into the conference was to go find a place to get Oysters.  The taxi driver that picked me up from the airport told me to go to the Providence Oyster Bar which was a little ways away from the hotel, but a cute little area of Providence past the pineapple archway on Federal Hill. 



Yay Oysters! So I ended up staying a little longer than I had planned, but I was having such a great time beading and talking to the locals.  Everyone that I met in Providence was just so wonderful and helpful.  So I ended up chatting with a couple that works for Hartford Insurance and Kenna kept on trying on the bangle that I was wearing, and wanted to talk about having me make one, etc.  I'm really backed up on my larger work and I told her that I literally ripped off a price tag before I put it on today if she wanted that one.  
The wonderful world of technology "yes, I can take a credit card" makes things easy.  I gave her a discount and they bought me a glass of wine.  I need to send her a follow-up this week too.  I have had that particular Original Dream Bangle for a while and I'm so glad to see it go to a good home!

(Original Dream Bangle, there's only 4 of them made, and I have the first
having moved on to other designs, I doubt there will be any other unless they're commissions)

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