I drove up from my home in Victoria Friday morning to register/sign in at the Rutherford Mall. The Mall’s main sign announced the meet. Good! I’m in the right place.
Since I signed up for the ‘gold’ class, we had to be there at noon to sign in, as our class started at 1 pm. Signed in and go to meet Sue Banasky from Source Signs, nice lady. Also got to meet Mike Meyers, who brought this really cool mirror surrounded by driftwood. Is it customary to bring a panel? I didn’t bring one, kind of feeling bad, not a good start.
At 1 pm we are of to the glass class, held in one of the empty storefronts in the Mall. Since people in the Mall can watch us through the glass store front, we’ll be part of the Mall entertainment for the weekend. The class is set up for 20 participants, each of us with a thick glass panel with a screen-printed outline of a fairly intricate design.
We get to meet John Jordan, the gold gilding guru, our master of ceremonies for the class. John is a small unassuming man, soft spoken, with this gleam in his eye. He showed us a finished sample; gulp, we are supposed to accomplish this in one weekend? John is gentle on us, at least the first day. Unfortunately some of us were unaware that we needed to bring brushes or maul/mall sticks. We all helped each other out with brushes, and Tim invented some pretty cool looking sticks, a magic wand with a yellow happy face ball on the end.
Other letterheads were slowly filing into the mall to sign in. We were all given itineraries, and asked for our meal preferences for Saturday nights dinner. There was to be a get together later that evening. I decided to head for home, as we had an 8:30 am start for Saturday’s gold class, and my drive was 90 minutes each way, or a $150.00 US cab ride each way, just ask Mike M.
Up early Saturday, started class bright and early. We did a lot of very detailed painting on our glass panels since our gold size was still too tacky for gilding, which we’ll do on Sunday instead. Other classes started in a few different stores around the mall, as well as a local supplier (Taca/Adcam) with this honking big large format printer. Coffee/juice and goodies were always available, and much appreciated.
Just before noon Dan Sawasky had center stage in the Mall. He brought a small project to demo his concrete carving technique. While working and answering questions, Dan explained his ‘scientific’ mixing instructions, and the fun you can have with new people on his crew. Dan had started his project in the morning, and had it completed by 3 pm.
A group photo was taken at lunch time. In the middle of the mall off course!
After lunch the afternoon was filled with all sorts of classes, from airbrushing, to hand lettering, vinyl application, carving and tool sharpening, and just meeting these really cool and down to earth Letterheads. Oh, did I forget the window splash demonstration, almost missed that one. Unfortunately it was impossible to take all of them, but I tried my best.
Dinner, ask any one of us, was an experience. There were sixty some odd of us piled into booths and a bunch of tables. Since dinner took some time to come, we had plenty of time for great conversation and joviality. Once the dinners did come, mass mayhem broke out, and I think there could be a few Letterheads still waiting for their meal? Got home around 10 pm that night and couldn’t sleep. My mind was just spinning, I was so pumped.
Sunday took care of that. Gold class again at 8:30 am, time to break out the gold. Woo hoo! This is where things got a little hairy for yours truly. Picking up gold leaf and applying it to my panel was an exercise in futility. Who ever gets to vacuum that room after we left could have made a killing. I rubbed that gilding brush on the side of my head so many times to try to build up some static, mostly to no avail. Found out later, when looking in the mirror, where most of that gold ended up. As for John, this man can spot a holiday in your gold from a mile away. He’s got an eye for detail, and I’ve got a few holidays to deal with. Well, none of us got our panels finished, although some got close, so we have lots of homework left to do. It’ll be a show-piece (I hope) once it is completed though.
The afternoon, more classes, hand lettering, pin striping, vinyl striping, prismatic lettering, carving, watching that big honking printer produce some awesome prints (got to get one, as soon as I win the lo….). So much to do, so little time. There was a draw for some donated prices, included a fridge, which was to be decorated by any/all at the meet. Went through some of the many photo albums/portfolio’s, again, wow, I’m in company with some seriously talented people, I am not worthy. Picked up some cool looking business cards (mementos). Looked over some of the art/sign pieces that were brought to the meet, and took lots of pictures.
My feelings about my first meet:
an incredible experience!