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Report from SNAG for Orchid


#1

Hi Folks.

Just got back from my trip at SNAG. Great conference and as usual,
great people. I formally met many of you at the Orchid dinner
graciously arranged by Dave Sebaste. Dave and I had many talks about
jewelry, writing, nomadic travels, etc. A good friendship forged
through Orchid and soldered together at SNAG.

If you haven’t been to a SNAG conference, I can tell you personally
that the organization has gone through some HUGE changes.

This is my 9th SNAG in 10 years. I had to skip one because of review
boards during my last year at Mass Art. Over the last two years, Don
Friedlich has been at the helm guiding this growing organization
through choppy waters and shifting currents. Of the nearly 650 people
in attendance, 231 of them were students. This was unprecedented, as
SNAG has been making a serious commitment in reaching out to the
student population. A student sponsorship program was initiated by the
board, for continuous student conference registration funding
maintaining the cost at bare bones. Attendees were asked to sponsor a
student for $80 which is the cost difference between a full member
registration and a student. I believe nearly $3000 was raised,
allowing nearly 37 students to participate for next year. We hope to
raise enough to allow at least 250 to attend in Denver. If you haven’t
been to the SNAG website, http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/ come take a
look.

A wonderful Tiara show was installed in the main lobby of a
commercial building next to the hotel. It was great to see such
fabulous work, both in concept and fabrication engaging passerby’s on
their way to work. The Metalwerx group was in full force for the Pin
Swap. In honor of the Tiara show, we arrived with our Marshmallow
Peeps Tiaras! All six of us strutted about and saw many stunned
people. The Pin Swap is fast and furious and once again I came home
with a box of terrific pins.

A real highlight of SNAG was the tour through Hoover and Strong.
Our tour guide, George Hoover, is a third or fourth generation of
Hoovers. We were lead all over the building, watching machines click
and whirr creating findings, tiffany settings, drill posts and solder
everything in a long oxygen starved oven led in on a conveyer belt.
Certainly would make my soldering easier.

Part of the tour was the refinery and making gold anodes for plating.
Even though the presence of some fairly nasty chemicals was seen, all
the rooms were so well ventilated, you couldn’t tell. Mr. Hoover
explained how all the chemical particulate that traveled through the
ventilation ducts were scrubbed clean and the participant captured as
an eventual solid. He explained that the resulting discharged air was
way above EPA standards since the building was on a lake and he liked
the ducks that resided on the shore.

Just as I was trying to figure out how I could talk Tevel Herbstman
from Allcraft to have someone make me a foot wide smooth rolling mill,
the machine of my dreams came into view. It was a continuous casting
machine that oozed out a 3/4 inch 14K rod at 1/8 per second. Gold
rebar. Now that is how I want to build my next house. This is used
to begin rolling out 14K wire and flat stock. I never saw anything so
cool.

The talks were excellent this year. Joyce Scott gets an A. What an
artist. If you ever get the chance to see her work or meet her in
person, go do it. She inspires the creative voice within and makes me
glad that I do what I do.

Just before the final banquet on Saturday night, SNAG usually holds a
nice cocktail party. This is true eye candy for me, because so many
people are wearing just drop dead gorgeous jewelry. And how wonderful
it is to see men wearing great brooches and earrings. I think more
men should wear jewelry. Coupled with a nice outfit…sweet! The
banquet had an excellent band and we all danced until we couldn’t
dance anymore.

I’m counting the days before the Denver conference. I hope to see
many more of you at this exciting venue.

-k