Whew! It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I’m been quite remiss in my blogging. And things are going to get busier in my life. The big news is that I’m headed back to one of my favorite places, Arrowmont, in Gatlinburg, TN for The Enamelist Society Conference.

When I initially agreed to create the show catalog, I was going to receive cash and conference fees for my work. Unfortunately, a series of financial obligations meant I had very little left over for the rest of the trip. I had decided that I wouldn’t be able to attend the conference which really bummed me out. Fortunately, I have a great friend in Sarah Perkins, who not only believes in my skills, but went to bat for me and got the society to pay for my room and board. Not only that, I’m able to hitch a ride with Sarah and some MSU students who are going. My only fees will be part of the meal plan and any money I need on the road. Plus, I’ll be working part of the conference as a studio assistant to any artist who’s teaching a workshop. Let’s see, room, board and conference fees paid for AND I get to meet and hobnob with well-known enamelists from around the world. Where do I sign?! I owe a huge debt to Sarah for believing in me and making this happen. She’s so awesome!

In other news, I have a new studio assistant – Steve! He’s been helping me get ready for this big show in Des Moines and has done a great job. So far he’s been doing a lot of the hammering work, but last night I taught him how to use the torch and he made granules. I figured it was something he could do and not have to worry about messing it up. I think he liked it, but he mentioned that intricate work wasn’t for him. He also mentioned that he could tell I enjoyed having him in the studio. Let’s face it, working alone gets quite boring after a while so having someone else around is nice. Plus, it gives us something to do at night rather than sit on the couch watching TV. I always make sure we quit with enough time left over for Steve to play his XBox before bed. That’s just the kind of awesome wife I am!

That’s all I know for now. Hope everyone has a great, safe Labor Day weekend. I’ll enjoy doing very little.

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