Back from the Gathering!

Gathering 2013 was my favorite so far.  I had so much fun!  This year afforded a lot more hanging out then in years past, which really increased the fun factor.  I have known many fellow Gathering attendees for many years, and met a lot of great new people, as well as got to spend time with many people I generally just see in passing.  I won’t list all the great folks whose company I enjoyed, but this was tons of fun, and thank you to everyone who spent time with me!  You were all great!!

This was the first year I taught at the Gathering.  I instructed to mini workshops, 7-10pm on Wednesday and Thursday!  I went knowing Wednesday was full, but Thursday only had 4 people enrolled.  I was so excited that Wednesday went so well that I had several more people sign up for Thursday giving me 2 full classes!!  We discussed how to approach shaping tools and how to trouble shoot when things aren’t going quite right.  The students did a great job and everyone said they learned what they were hoping to, so that was all I could hope for!  Ellen Gaimari and Kerry Bogert were fabulous TAs and I enjoyed my time with both of them.

We had a smaller number of attendees this year, but a very supportive group.  Thank you to everyone who supported us and the other vendors!

Inspiration was bountiful this year, as is always expected.  I was able to several of the presenters because the vendor area was right next door so I could slip in, watch for a while and still be around for my parents and customers with questions.  It was a great set up.  Jen Geldard did a fabulous demo of adding small glass components in the flame.  I’m itching to try that.  Holly and Ali made me green with envy over their stringer control and ability to work on one thing for hours.  Not my nature at all, but I am going to try to extend the time I work on one piece, just to see where I can go with that.  Libby showed how she makes her beautiful silvered glass pods, and I fully intend to give it a go.  I liked how she worked logically in a specific order, so the steps didn’t get in each other’s way.  I also loved her perspective on glass, and our history.  She pointed out that if you were a painter and had the opportunity to talk the the greats of the past, that gave the foundation of the art, like Picasso and Renoir, of course you would.  We are lucky to have our Picassos and Renoirs in the room with us, at the Gathering, and we should take the opportunity to talk with them, watch them, learn from them. I got bits and pieces of a couple other presentations and was impressed with what everyone was sharing.

The Bead Bizarre was stunning.  Getting to see the work up close, talk to the artists and and be inspired.  It’s one of my favorite parts of the Gathering each year.

The show that was onsite had some absolutely amazing pieces in it.  The talent in the members of the ISGB is really awe inspiring.  I talked for quite some time with Dvora about her piece, and was amazed with the amount of time spent on not just the whole necklace, but each individual piece.  She made cabochons one of which was done using a technique she learned from Bronwen that involves painting on glass and several firings.  Another was made by layer two colors of glass and carving into the top layer to reveal the one underneath, add to that some stunning silver work, itty bitty spacers, a blown glass piece that held the most beautiful beach sand I’ve ever seen.  It was amazing.  And talking to her was the highlight of the show for me.

I came home with glass, tools and other random goodies, along with lots of inspiration to get back to the torch.  Oh, and Beads of Courage was there, and they need more beads!  So if you have some time to make up a batch and send them along, they would really appreciate it.

After the Gathering I stayed an extra couple days to hang out with the fabulous Kerry Bogert.  She was the most delightful hostess, and her family was so great.  We had a lot of fun, including a marathon day of antiquing, checking our her fabulous Interweave press library…since she is the Acquisitions Editor for Interweave now, she has a wonderful selection of books.  I found a couple I need to pick up, and ordered another that isn’t from Interweave but is self published and is the most beautiful book about glass beads I’ve ever seen.  I’ll tell you all about it when my very own copy…ordered on the spot from Kerry’s living room, arrives.   I also got to meet the horses that reside near her studio, check out her studio, where I got to see her well loved ZooziiTools all neatly arranged, and relax on her deck.

I had wonderful pictures of all the fun, but had a phone malfunction, so there is not much to show, but I’m looking forward to Houston 2014!  Will you be there too?  I hope so.

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