Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuning Back In

Yes, that's right.  I'm home after a long run of travel to the Glass Art Society Conference in Seattle, followed by a trip to Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee.  Both trips were spectacular.  My talk at GAS went well, just as I hoped.  Just enough people showed up to create a nice audience, but not so many that I was too nervous, either.  
photo by Eugenia  Diaz de Vivar

This was my second trip to GAS, and like my first time attending the conference in New Orleans in 2004, the trip was enormously inspiring and educational.  Of course, I was disappointed that the conference didn't happen in Tucson, as was originally intended (damn you, SB1070!!!), but I love Seattle, so I got over it quickly.  Favorite highlights included getting to meet artist (on whom I've had a several-year-long artist-crush) Ginny Ruffner after her talk and a screening of the documentary just recently made about her, and seeing the De La Torre brothers create a border-issue-themed piece at Seattle Glassblowing Studio.

The cool weather in Milwaukee was a nice change of pace, with averages there being a full 40 degrees lower than they are here in Tucson.  Over the years, B & B has turned into an odd kind of family reunion, a gathering of old friends, artists, and customers, and I truly enjoy my time in Milwaukee.  My UnGlassy Glass class last Saturday was full of enthusiastic and creative students, and I couldn't have asked for a better group!
While there, I signed up for the Bead Bonanza show on October 9 in Michigan (I'm already in the area teaching classes), made a few neat trades, and did a bunch of other wheelin', dealing, plotting and scheming for future classes, collaborations, and shows.
After the show ended on Sunday, friend Devin Somerville took me to a local street-fair on Locust Street.  It was a perfect unwinding to the weekend.  Devin introduced me to his old pal, Arno Michaels, who recently published a memoir about his departure from being a racist skinhead during the 80's and 90's to becoming someone who teaches, writes, and facilitates discussions about tolerance, non-violence, and forgiveness.  His book is called My Life After Hate, and so far, it's a great read.  Check it out.

Two great trips... but wow, I'm glad to be home.  I set myself up for a crazy summer of travel, and I'm glad this first leg is done.  Next week I head up to Seattle again to help out at the David Grisman concert that's benefitting Beads of Courage (see my previous post from yesterday).  After Seattle, I head straight to my working vacation each year, also known as High Sierra Music Festival.  Hopefully I'll be disciplined enough to write from the road about that trip.

In the meantime, this week has four goals, in no particular order.  1. Get caught up on the paper (emails, breathing life back into this blog and my website, show apps, articles, etc.)  2. Make beads for High Sierra.  3. Get caught up on sleep.  4. Get plenty of quality time with my animals and garden.  Wish me luck.  So far, so good.   However, my cat, Minou, seems not-so-understanding of the goals that involve things other than petting her.  

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