Few things excite me as much as Convergence, the bi-annual conference organized by the Handweavers Guild of America (HGA). Like a child anticipating Christmas, my heart rate and pulse quicken as the event approaches. It has now approached . . . and, alas, is now over. But, what an adventure! It exceeded my expectations and I’m already looking forward with tremendous anticipation to Convergence 2012.
While driving slightly more than 1,500 miles to reach Albuquerque, I was treated to to some truly beautiful scenery. Across the Cascade Mountains, through a bit of NE Oregon and SW Idaho, I entered Utah to see sights worthy of a movie set. Geological formations jutted up out of the Earth for some spectacular sights . . . then through a little corner of Colorado . . . and finally into New Mexico. Once I got beyond the Cascade Mountains, I was reminded how ominous the landscape becomes without trees to obscure the view.
I was a bus captain for the Focus on Fiber Tour . . . a chance to visit the studios of three textile artists (James Koehler, Rebecca Bluestone, and Jennifer Moore) followed by a tour of the Santa Fe Opera House, including a visit to their costume vault. Everything was amazing . . . including the fact that I didn’t pass out while running nearly as fast as I can to chase down the bus on two occasions to tell the driver where we needed to be picked up. Running, per se, may not seem like a major effort; however, when you live at nearly sea level and find yourself running at 7,500 feet elevation, I was proud I didn’t embarrass myself.
I started teaching at Convergence with a three-day workshop Pictures, Piles, Potpourri & Perplexing Curiosities, a workshop for intermediate-to-advanced weavers that covers a wide variety of weave structures. There were a total of 31 students in the workshop (the picture below shows the majority). It was a wonderful group and I was sorry to see the workshop come to the end.
After the workshop, I taught four seminars, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. Plus, I did a one hour ArtSparks class in the vendor hall. I loved every minute of of it.
One of the most exciting moments for me was the fashion show. I was matched with Susan Lazear for the Design Challenge, an opportunity to collaborate on the design for fabric for an outfit for the fashion show. I’ve included a photo of the outfit’s photo shoot . . . and hope to include more details images of the outfit in the near future. I was extremely fortunate to have been matched with Susan, not only was she the featured keynote speaker for Convergence, but she was one of the judges for the fashion (BTW, garments for the Design Challenge are not eligible for any awards). Collaborating with Susan was one of the most exciting and inspirational opportunities in my life!
After everything was over, I started heading home. I enjoyed the scenery so much when I drove to Albuquerque that I chose to return home via the same route. It was an easy drive that I did over two days . . . and then, just two hours from home, they temporarily closed the highway I was on right before I crossed the summit on Snoqualmie Pass. I stepped out of my car to take the picture below. At first, I was disappointed to be sitting there when I was so close to being home . . . but, then I stood there inhaling the fresh evergreen-scented air . . . and then I remembered I had purchased a couple of books during Convergence and wouldn’t have to wait until I returned home to start reading them. I happily sat in my car engrossed in my books for over half-an-hour while the highway remained closed. In some ways, I was almost sorry to see they had reopened the highway . . . it meant the next stop would be home and that my Convergence 2010 experience would have come to an end.