I’m just back from the (last ever) PMC Guild Conference, held just outside of Cincinatti, Ohio.
The very BEST thing about the gathering involved the interactions among all the participants. Whether it was a presenter sharing information, an audience member asking or answering a question, folks in the vendor’s hall doing a demonstration, or all the interactions among everyone at the various social events (including out in the swimming pool under the stars late at night) … well, those interactions are the things that make this such a valuable event.
Blogs, websites, newsgroups, Facebook, online workshops, etc., are fine, but nothing like that wonderful, live, personal interaction among the hundreds of attendees. And seeing everyone’s “bling” live, for real, in person! Yes, many of the initiatives that the PMC Guild and Art Clay Society started have been picked up elsewhere. But not the big conferences; at least, not yet. And I’ve always found those to be very special events; and, coming from someone who generally prefers small groups to crowds, that’s really saying something! A girl can hope that good, strong, viable alternatives will re-appear in the next year or two….
Because I found that electronic-versus-human difference to be magnified even further by what I consider the worst part of this year’s event: the extremely limited ‘net access at the meeting site itself (especially since it had promoted its “Free WiFi” as part of the service). I really had hoped to get started on at least some new posts while on the road immersed in thoughts of metal clay (a few to finish and post immediately, and others to continue working on to post over the next week or two). But those posts just didn’t happen, and my schedule now is jammed up. I’ll try to get a couple of posts going, but it may be a few weeks before I can get back to any real writing.
Since I want to end this note with a positive thought, more in keeping with my overall positive feeling about the event, I will end with a photo from Tim McCreight’s “History of PMC” talk, showing him with CeCe Wire. My guess is that this was taken in 2006? Anyway, I’ve enjoyed learning things from both of them (whether it was when we agreed, or disagreed, about the best way to approach a construction…).
There’ll be more here about other people and interactions, plus news about my own workshops and projects, as soon as I can find the time. In the meantime, regarding the title of this post: yep, the direct human interaction won, for sure!