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