It’s been far too long since we’ve updated the blog! The summer passed so quickly with the preparation for, travel to, and work during both the LetterWorks conference and the IAMPETH convention. We had such a wonderful time seeing so many of you! For those that weren’t able to attend, we wanted to share just a bit about each conference.
LetterWorks was held in June on the campus of Weber State in Ogden, Utah. Stellar teachers came from the U.S. and abroad to lead wonderful workshops. While some classes gave students the opportunity to study with the same teacher all week, others took two classes lasting two and a half days apiece. The classes varied pretty widely in content-from traditional broad edge and pointed pen to working on canvas and employing mixed media techniques. Classes at the international conferences tend to be smaller, and because they last at least 2.5 days, students develop more depth of knowledge. This year, the conference organizers also orchestrated a LetterWorks, Jr. conference for those who may not be able to attend the entire conference or perhaps even those arriving early. The Saturday before the conference officially began, several half day classes were offered to eager attendees. At the end of the week, students engaged in a show and share event where each class set up tables of the work produced in the class. Class participants took turns manning the tables and talking to others about what was done in the class. It is always one of our favorite aspects of every international conference!
We debuted a few new products at this conference and enjoyed having multiple in-store demonstrations to showcase them. Special thanks to C.C. Sadler, Melissa Esplin, Schin Loong, Carol Hall, and Jacqueline Sullivan for making time to give our customers the chance to see new products in action! As always, we enjoyed seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones! We look forward to our next opportunity to participate as a vendor at the international conference.
Shortly after LetterWorks ended, the annual IAMPETH convention kicked off at the Hyatt Regency in the heart of downtown Louisville, KY. IAMPETH classes have traditionally focused more on pointed pen, and this year’s classes had many great pointed pen options. Along with those were classes on penmanship, illuminated letters, whimsical letters, and many, many more. Fabulous teachers from all over the world led one day classes for large numbers of students. Differing from the international conference, IAMPETH allows attendees to be exposed to a wide variety of topics over the week. Each class lasts for one day, and extensive handouts are developed by each teacher. While there is not time for in-depth study, participants receive an incredible binder with handouts from all classes offered so that they can continue to practice and perfect their selected content at home.
One of the best parts of every IAMPETH is the Round Robin night. Prior to the conference, those wishing to participate submit a proposal for what they want to present. On the night of the event, tables are set up in a large room, and demonstrators give participants the chance to try out a new technique, product, etc. This year’s topics included creating stencils with a wood burning tool, engraving, designing monograms, constructing envelopes from all sorts of paper (grocery bags, brochures, etc.), experimenting with various nibs and holders, and using embossing markers just to name a few! Many presenters create handouts that participants can take with them, and the night is always such fun!
We thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many of our faithful customers in person and meeting many for the first time. The attendees clearly enjoyed the classes and camaraderie, and it showed in how excited they were to come and shop! We had a great time in Louisville and look forward to being the vendor for IAMPETH again in 2019.
Now that we are home from a very busy summer, we are concentrating on several annual projects as well as some new ones. As always, our annual catalog comes out in late October/early November, and this year’s version is well underway! Further, we are working on an exciting class schedule for 2018. We are so grateful to have a classroom that allows us to host wonderful calligraphy teachers. Stay tuned for announcements on individual weekend workshops, local weekday classes, and a four-day summer study that is currently in the works.
Beyond lettering classes, we are also attempting to make our classroom a field trip destination for students in the area. For those classes (as well as some other children’s classes we are offering), we are expanding our scope just a bit to include gelli plates, silk painting, and paper marbling just to name a few options. We want to instill a love of art and creativity in our youngest community members and hopefully develop that into a love of lettering and calligraphy as well as they get older!
We are looking forward to all that is ahead, and we hope to see many of you in Nashville for classes or at conferences around the U.S.!