This May, 23 metal enthusiasts from three states met at the Tech Shop in Allen Park, MI to share a ride to the SNAG conference in Toronto. The bus was running a bit late so our Tech Shop host, MSG board member Jason Burton, gave our lucky group an impromptu tour of their impressive facility!
When the tour was over we boarded the bus, crossed the border and breezed through customs. We thought we were on our way…but an hour into Canada, we heard and felt loud banging under our feet! The driver pulled over and confirmed that we blew a tire. Not to worry, the bus garage was only 20 minutes away!
We took advantage of this time to get to know our fellow bus mates. We
exchanged postcards and business cards and even had a giveaway.
Congratulations to Judy, she won her very own MSG t-shirt! The new bus came and it was bigger and more luxurious than the first. We transferred and settled in to enjoy the ride to the conference.
The conference was tagged as one of the best in SNAG’s history and it did not disappoint! It was hosted by George Brown College and The Harbourfront Center and ran in conjunction with the Toronto International Jewellery Show.
There was an endless list of activities and events and we were anxious to enjoy them all. To begin, there was the annual pin-swap, a few of our members were prepared with creative pins to swap with other attendees. It was so fun to see them all! Then, there was the vendor floor with a silent auction, loads of cool tools, materials, technical demonstrations and chance to have your work professionally photographed.
The lecture hall hosted non-stop speakers, presentations and professional development seminars. There was also the education resource room, student exhibition, SNAG elections, the portfolio review and popular trunk show and sale. These events ran during the day and there was plenty to do at night too. The gallery walk featured over 25 venues, each hosting a fabulous show of contemporary jewelry and metal art. The Exhibition in Motion, a SNAG annual juried event, featured amazing jewelry on runway models and included MSG president Christine Bossler’s incredible silver collar!
The Harbourfront Happening was a water side gala that featured open studios, artist collaborative and pop-up galleries, live music and international food. Many of us also had a chance to explore the city and navigate public transportation, street cars, subways and taxis, as we visited Toronto based artist studios, galleries and great restaurants.
But, as all good things, the conference came to an end. We met again as a
group on Sunday to board the bus headed back to Michigan. It was a very short four days and, as you can imagine, a very quiet ride home. We arrived back at the Tech shop and said our sad goodbyes to old and new friends.
We couldn’t have done this trip without the generous support of our trip sponsors. We would like to thank G&S metals for their contribution to the trip and the goodie bag, Rio Grande for their contribution and the nifty totes, The Tech Shop in Allen Park for the special tour and letting us use their facility as a car pool and Studio JSD for the snacks.
Until we meet again at another great MSG event…Julie Sanford
A few months ago I was planning my trip to attend the SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) conference in Seattle. I was talking to a colleague about it and he suggested using my resources ($) to attend a Masters Symposium class at Revere instead and I looked into it. I have to admit, I have been a jewelry maker for over 20 years and have never taken any formal (European style) goldsmithing classes, the Master Symposium classes looked especially intimidating. Trying to figure out where I would get the ‘biggest bang for my buck’ and where my skill set would fit in, I opted to sign up for two fabrication classes at Revere. I am so glad I did!
The first was Fabrication 5, taught by Vasken Tanielian. In three days we made a crocheted sterling chain with a fabricated barrel clasp and two basket settings. I had never measured so much in my life! I had to get my own set of digital calipers…good thing Otto Frei was right next door.
The second class was Fabrication 6, taught by Alan Revere. In this class we got to choose our projects from a box that contained close to a hundred pieces of jewelry. There were rings of all kinds, chains, complicated clasps, bracelets and hinged pieces. Tough to choose! I made a hollow donut ring, a gallery ring with a tapered bezel and started a third ring, another difficult hollow construction. It was a great learning experience, each student was working on different projects and I tried to watch every demonstration. Most of the students had been together all the way through the program and it was fun to watch them interact with each other, their medium and the teachers.
Alan Revere is very patient, encouraging precision and efficiency every step of the way. He is also an excellent teacher and expert goldsmith. I learned so many new bench tricks and techniques. I can’t wait to share what I have learned and see how my/our work will evolve from this experience.
Whether you are new to fabrication or a seasoned bench jeweler, I highly recommend classes at Revere. The office staff and teachers are friendly, welcoming and professional, the facility is well equipped and the curriculum is extremely comprehensive. A perfect model for a teaching studio like Studio JSD!
I am so glad I took my friend’s advice and went to Revere and I look forward to taking the Masters Symposium Classes there in the future. To see this year’s Master class schedule visit: http://www.revereacademy.com/classes/symposium/
To see a few more pictures of my trip visit my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Julie-Sanford/37404771309
BTW, Hanging out for a week in San Francisco was super fun too!
PS.. I still want to go to the SNAG conference :)