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Thread: Worth the trip from the other side of the world - Gathering, 2011

  1. #1
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    Jan 2011
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    Default Worth the trip from the other side of the world - Gathering, 2011

    Somebody mentioned in one of the other threads that there weren't many positive experiences being published, to encourage people to come to a Gathering if they hadn't been already, so I thought I'd share my experience. Like Angie mentioned, I generally share on my blog, and Facebook, so it didn't occur to me to come over here for that....

    I travelled from Australia for the Gathering. Those who spoke to me know that it isn't the only thing I did in the US - I travelled for a month after all, but my trips to the US, that I have been fortunate enough to make every 2 years since 2007, are for the purpose of attending a glass conference and meeting up with other bead artists. In 2007 I was lucky enough to attend the gathering in Minneapolis, as one of the international scholarship winners, and in 2009 I attended Glasstock. My point is, that while I had a wonderful trip, the gathering was the goal, otherwise the trip would not have occurred.

    While there are always things that can be improved at any conference ( and as someone who singlehandedly ran an education conference for 300 people once, I understand all the hard work and organization that goes into it) overall I had a wonderful experience. As an art teacher who also specialized in professional development for teachers, we often say that any PD from which we take one new thing we can use is a good one. I found that certainly the case with all the presentations and activities.

    All ISGB 'staff' I spoke to were helpful and welcoming, particularly so when I realized I had misunderstood what each tour was about, and they enabled me to easily return my ticket, and purchase a banquet seat (which I had also missed). The atmosphere was friendly, and inspiring - I find it so very inspiring and energizing to be around so many creative people. I took home not only new ideas, but the new energy and inspiration to put them into action, not just let them wash over me. New determination to get some colour from my silver glass, motivation to follow my own teaching and use a visual diary to collect ideas and inspiration for my glass art, hints and tips with so many tools and techniques that my brain was buzzing.

    I made many new friends and met up with some existing ones I had dearly missed, spent too much on beads, glass, books and tools and went home a very happy and inspired camper (and exhausted). The gathering kept me too busy and entertained to give in the homesickness I was starting to feel.

    I would dearly love to be in Seattle next year, but it won't be possible to come back so soon. I encourage everyone to make the trip if you possibly can - you won't regret it, and the birthday year is going to be something special I'm sure.

    There will be lots of conversation about what can be improved and changed - and that is a good thing. But don't let that take away from what was still, IMHO, a great event, run by volunteers. Thanks ISGB!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    I had an insanely fabulous time too, and this was my 15th Gathering! They never get stale, they only get better, and most of that is because of the opportunity to meet great BeadBabes like you. I look forward to seeing you again year after next, toots! *sharon*

  3. #3
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    This was my 14th Gathering and I put it on my must do list every year. I give up other things so I can do this and I have never regretted the money spent for the experience. This year was no exception. I learned some new tricks, picked up some new tools and glass, saw old friends and made some new ones and saw awesome work. I had a wonderful time and am already saving pennies for next year.

    Debby

  4. #4
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    Suz singing with you was a highlight! One of many.
    You have an amazing talent- many talents that is - but what an amazing voice !
    thank you
    Sam

  5. #5
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    Jul 2002
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    I also can't emphasize enough (and I know, I have said it elsewhere), how much I enjoyed the master presenters who weren't existing luminaries within the ISGB (and I love our luminaries!). Donald Friedlich and Robert Dancik brought us related viewpoints that addressed jewelry, construction, artistic development and their own philosophies. Super-kudos to the Board that brought them to the Gathering. There were many wonderful presentations, I don't mean to disrespect any of the presenters, but I do want to acknowledge the benefit of these two presenters who were largely unknown to many of us before the Gathering.
    Don't worry Suz, 2013 will be here in no time!! Jeri
    www.jeriwarhaftig.com

  6. #6
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    Crossville, TN
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    Suz, I'm pretty sure you only enjoyed the Gathering half as much as we all enjoyed having you here.

    And Jeri, I couldn't agree more with what you said about both Donald and Robert's presentations. Both of them were so gracious and giving of their time outside the presentation hall as well, and I can only hope that they took away a fraction as much from the experience of being there as we all did because of them.

    And while I enjoyed every single presentation, my favorite part of the Gathering is the same as always....the bead swap! I'd rather make beads to trade or give away than to sell any day of the week, and that one evening was worth every penny of my expenses for the whole trip.
    Angie Ramey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharonPeters View Post
    I had an insanely fabulous time too, and this was my 15th Gathering! They never get stale, they only get better, and most of that is because of the opportunity to meet great BeadBabes like you. I look forward to seeing you again year after next, toots! *sharon*
    Thanks Sharon. It was great to see you again! Thanks for sparklin' us all up - my last strand fell out in the hairbrush yesterday . And thanks for your presentation - I really gave me the motivation to change my approach.

  8. #8
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    Today I was at the grand opening of a stained glass shop here in Frederick, MD. I was talking to a vendor of grinders and polishers (guess which demo was in the back of my mind!), and found out he was at our Gathering. He got so excited about lamp working that he is looking forward to taking his first class in the next coming months. I think that really says something about the Gathering!

    Debby

  9. #9
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    Jan 2011
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nina"Sam"Hibler View Post
    Suz singing with you was a highlight! One of many.
    You have an amazing talent- many talents that is - but what an amazing voice !
    thank you
    Sam
    Ditto Sam, had a ball! And thanks for he kind words.

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