Friday, February 22, 2008

Synergy, Day Two

Miss Carol Duvall got the day off to a rousing start with her keynote speech, Television, Polymer Clay and Me. Her tales of the early days of her career were hilarious, and her description of the craft items that didn't make it onto the air (think of cute things made of feminine hygiene products!) were priceless. The whole thing turned into a love fest with members of the audience thanking Carol for her contributions to crafting in general but especially for introducing polymer clay to the public. Many in the audience first heard of polymer clay through Carol. At the end of the speech, all of the artists who appeared on her show gathered for a group photo.

Next the Vendor Fair opened: so many goodies and too little money to spend. Kato Polyclay introduced their new colored liquid clay; Alumilite Corp introduced their new Amazing Mold Putty and Amazing Casting Resin; Robert Dancik introduced Faux Bone; and there were lots of books, videos, tools, Art Clay Silver, and of course, polymer clay for sale.

An afternoon panel discussion chaired by Jeffrey Dever tackled the tough topic of "Inspiration, Originality and Infringement." Is imitation really the sincerest form of flattery? The consensus seemed to be: in order to learn, you must first imitate, but you don't have to sell it! Take the time to develop your own voice, your own style. Use techniques, not someone else's design. The panelists were Elise Winters, Thomas Mann and Dan Cormier.

My afternoon seminar was about the Juried Craft Show Circuit. Louise Fischer Cozzi gave us helpful information about applying to shows, what kind of photography we need, what is required in a booth - lighting, signage, displays, flooring, etc. I didn't know you had to pay extra for electricity!

Later in the day there was time for vendors to give demonstrations. Melanie West showed us how to cover her cuff bracelet blanks with clay.

Finally, after grabbing a quick sandwich, it was time to learn how to blog! Cynthia Tinapple (center in photo) of Polymer Clay Daily led the presentation assisted by Alison Lee of Craftcast (left) and Susan Lomuto of Polymer Clay Notes. I think I still have a bit to learn.

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