It is, however, true. I have just arrived home from the thrilling three-day excursion to Chicago for SOFA 2012. It was brilliant, and not at all windy. I am still trying to process it all and the to get round to emailing all the people I need to talk to.
Day 1 - Thusday 1st November
I travelled over from Glasgow and should have arrived with plenty of time to spare, to check into the hotel and to get myself ready. The flight was on-time and had been pleasingly free of children (though we were disturbed half-way through by a woman who thought it appropriate to scream and shout at a Stewardess for serving her aubergine!), so I even had a chance to sleep. I left the airport and the shuttle bus filled and left earlier than arranged (and in which we all laughed at the Aubergine Incident): however I hadn't been prepared for the atrocious Chicago traffic... it took over two hours to get from the airport to the hotel. The driver seemed unfazed, but I was a wreck! The driving in Chicago is somewhat haphazard, lanes seem like a serving suggestion rather than a means of controlling traffic and indicators may or may not be used according to individual taste.
I got to the hotel at about 17.45 and had to be at the SNAG booth at SOFA - 20 minutes' walk from the hotel (I was not in any mood to get in a cab) - by 18.30. Somehow, I managed to wash, shave my head, change and be out the door within 10 minutes and then walked to the Navy Pier for the show, arriving on time. On entering the hall, practically the first person I met was Madelyn Smoak. Madelyn and I have been associates online for about four years now, exchanging comments and views, exchanging bits of scrap and found objects, but never actually meeting and it was so good to find that from the moment we met, we got on. Having a like-minded companion at something like this makes it all so much easier, less daunting, somehow.
Me with Madelyn Smoak on the SNAG Booth; photograph by Lester Snaith, from Chicago Fashion Blog, used with permission.
The SNAG booth was brilliant. Not only did it have an amazing selection of work - from the recent "Metalsmith" Exhibition in Print, "Gothic Jewellery: Sinister Pleasures" - but it was almost the first booth that a visitor to the show would see.
SNAG booth at SOFA with Madelyn Smoak talking to Lynn Cool in the foreground.
The table in the SNAG booth with all the magazines and cards for visitors to take.
We spent most of the evening in the booth, talking to visitors and also to each other. It was great to meet with Lynn Cool, Lin Stanionis and their respective partners and friends. My head is still reeling from all the people I spoke to and I am sure that there are more than a couple who think me very rude for forgetting that I had been introduced to them!
Work by Madelyn Smoak and Chelsey Hammersmith
Work by Lin Stanionis
Work by Lynn Cool
There were two things I forgot to do: 1) Photograph my own work in the show and 2) Photograph what I was wearing. Very annoying.
Snacks and nibbles at Navy Pier
The show closed for the preview night at 9pm and having filled up on the nibbles and snacks at the venue, we decided to head back to the hotel, Madelyn and I having decided to stay in the same place, Hotel Cass in the very heart of the city. It proved to have been a great choice, a famous old-school hotel which has recently been taken over by the Holiday Inn chain, it proved to be comfortable, clean and entirely staffed by exceptionally friendly, helpful and mannerly staff.
Hotel Cass in Chicago, where I was staying
View from my room.
Just across the road from the hotel, however, lay HORROR...
Friday 2nd November posting tomorrow!