Today was the final day of the Synergy2 Conference. It’s sad that it’s over, and we’re saying goodbye to friends, but I am looking forward to bringing some of the creative energy from the conference back into my studio. (actually, I’m not heading home until Tuesday, as I am taking a 2 day post conference workshop with Dan Cormier, so I get to prolong the experience another couple of days)
I attended two excellent seminars today. The first was on Kaleidoscope Construction with Carol Simmons.
Carol has developed a very precise system for building a myriad of kaleidoscope patterns from a single cane, It’s fascinating, and there are elements of her approach that are just genius. She mentioned that she is hoping to start teaching workshops soon. Based on the short taste of her techniques we got in her seminar, a workshop with her would be fantastic.
My second seminar today was “Building or Improving Your Portfolio” with Wendy Outland. It was a great and really informative session. I feel like I’ve got a road map for what I need to prepare for presentation to galleries, competitions or other calls for entries. As someone who hasn’t yet pulled together a complete artist’s portfolio, the concept seemed very intimidating, but Wendy made it very straightforward. It wasn’t the most exciting seminar I’ve taken here at the conference, but it might be the most useful.
Other events today included a “Clay Manufacturer’s Forum” where representatives from 4 polymer clay companies answered attendees’ questions, and the final shopping hours in the sales gallery and Vendor Fair.
The culmination of the conference was the Banquet with keynote address by Craftcast host Alison Lee, and of course the Live Auction with Tracy Holmes as auctioneer. A lighthearted tone for the evening was set by Lisa Pavelka with a demonstration of the secret polymer clay handshake which started at this past summer’s IPCA Retreat.
The banquet is an occasion for everyone to show off some of their best creations. Two of my favorites were:
Julie Eakes’ purse with her famous retro cane mosaic face cane
And Pam Sanders’ amazing necklace::
The auction itself was a lot of fun. I really appreciated Tom Truty of Art Clay Silver’s video camera which projected images of the items being auctioned up onto a couple of big screens so that everyone could see. And on a personal note, the highlight of the auction was that I am going home with Laurie Mika’s Collaborative Artist Quilt.
The photo really doesn’t show the fantastic dimensionality of the piece. I am proud to have been one of the 38 participating artists, and I will treasure this piece along with everything else I’ll be taking away from Synergy2.