Greetings and Salutations to all of my Friends And Family!
So here is a not so quick update on my Artistic Tour. (thank you for your patience)
So to begin this tale I must return to Seattle in december when I Changed my address shortly before leaving on this epic Journey. The DOL sent it and after two weeks I called regarding its status. The long and short is that they had to send it again. However I was already on the road when it arrived. So into the mail it went and I was confidant it would arrive before the conclusion of the FUN show in Orlando. Sadly it did not... it arrived the day after I left for the FEGA show in Las Vegas. So again it went into the mail this time with a two day priority postage.
Attending the FEGA show opened my eyes on many a level. I can now say that I fully appreciate the concept of the "Art of the Gun". Seeing and handling multiple specimens featuring the finest levels of hand engraving and craftsmanship to be had, quickly reignited my passion for the art of engraving and for shooting in general. I was educated in the nuances of law regarding FFL's, The recent debate over Ivory, and made acutely aware of the lack of racial diversity within the engraving world.
I met with several dozen engravers and enthusiast including one that I had just seen in Orlando the week prior at the FUN show. My dear friend and fellow Hobo Nickel carver Chris Deflorentis joined me for a day at the show and I was glad to see both he and his wife for a couple days after the show in addition. As the show came to a close I became very anxious about my license having not arrived a this place within the aforementioned timeframe. Despite the Postal service assuring delivery had been made, no package had arrived before I left for California.
After attending the FEGA show in Las Vegas I spent a few days with my sister and her family in Cupertino. Seeing my Nieces is always a treat, they blessed me with consistent laughter and basic but joyful conversations. Time as short but well spent visiting with my sister and brother in-law. The days flew by and before I knew it I was off again, this time to Modesto California to attend a Poultry Show....yes you read that right, a poultry show.
Katherine Plumer for those of you who don't know her is an amazing Engraver specializing in Bulino and Scrimshaw. She also leads a double life as an award winning Poultry Breeder and has been doing so for over 25 years. I was blown away by the sheer variety of Chickens, Ducks, Geese, and other various types fowl at this show. I attended a couple dinners with her group of Chicken breeders and realized without a doubt that I was among Friends. Bird Nerds, Unite! Talk of Emu, Falcons, Chickens, and Exotic pets brought me back to my days attending the Bird Room at Pruess' Animal house in My home town. One of my first jobs caring for and socializing parrots, conures, mckaws, cockatoo's and cockatiels.
I left for Sacramento to store my van "Darth Bus" for a short time while I flew to Marco Island Florida to see my Grandmother. I was still without a proper license, however word arrived that morning that the package was mis-delivered to Chris' Neighbor who only checks his mail every other week. Next day shipping to Florida was my last resort and thankfully it arrived safe and sound the day after I arrived on Marco.
Arriving in Ft Myers I was greeted by Bill and Harriet Gust Two dear friends of the family who were so kind as to drive me down to the Island. Food is always a top priority when visiting grandmother so without delay we went to dinner. The evening brought a particularly annoying problem as a defective LifeAlert medallion repeatedly called for help, like every 15 minutes.... All night. Dealing with that problem was among a few tasks I assisted with during that fabulous week in Florida. Over the next week we shared stories, purchased a new dishwasher and enjoyed many a meal together. Mercury retrograde kicked me in the tail destroying my new Cell Phone but it was a small detail in an otherwise amazing week. Leaving was all to soon a reality and Bill dropped me off to catch my flight back to California.
I joined Katherine Plumer for a meet and greet with Rod Cameron up in Mendocino California the week after I returned from Florida. Just after dinner the power was knocked out and we found ourselves enjoying a couple days wandering the headlands and nights singing songs by candlelight. Nature was with us everywhere and we were graced by Ravens, Sea Lions, and a Whale sighting or two. The walks reminded me of times spend walking with my grandfather in the woods. On more than one occasion I teared up thinking back on those fine days of old.
I attended PantheaCon in San Jose over Valentines weekend and had several Breakthroughs on Personal, Professional, and Spiritual Levels. Race was a particularly profound element of my journey during that weekend and the effects and truths of the conversations are still processing through my system.
The convention was a powerful fusion of Meditation, Ritual, and provided a consistent Reminder of who I am at the core. Recognition that I am a minority among several minority groups has made me focus on the shared intersections of experiences of POC's. I found a community of support and while listening during the POC caucus, and while I wanted to share my story I found myself at a loss for words. Speechless, I took in what was being presented and my eyes filled with tears during nearly every story and discussion that took place. I left with an immense amount to process and no time to do so, as my work was getting attention int the vendor room.
My dear friend Amy was vending at this event and on opening day she offered a small table space for me to show some work. After two days of no activity, multiple sales appeared and business took full priority. I learned a few critical vending lessons and before long it was closing and I was off to my next destination, Seattle Washington.
MythicWorlds was a homecoming of sorts. My Faerie Tribe gathered again and familiar faces met me with love and I gained a new appreciation for many members I had not known quite so well in the past. Open studio at the Con was a welcome creative release and I was able to vent some of the energy from the past few weeks. Cutting a few coins during the slow first days early on felt wonderful and by Sunday I had made a good number of sales and arranged for a few new commissions. The concerts were good fun and the two nights of dancing were a great release of energy. Sunday brought a Memorial service for our dearly departed Story artist and Bard Mark Lewis. Despite my best efforts vending took priority however I was blessed to be able to gift a set of coins Carved in his honor, to his family.
Seattle was fun, seeing my Aunt and Sister for dinner on either end of the trip made it even more so and I have an immense amount of gratitude for Jeff and Nicole for housing me while in town and for Uncle Jon for forwarding my mail with very creative art on the envelopes. I never doubt who it is from and I am sure the post office has a good laugh every time his parcels come through.
So now I am on the way to Fresno before my next major show In Tucson Arizona, Wild Wild West Con A major gathering of Steampunks in an old ghost town setting....this will be a whole new experience and my first time vending without having attend the show prior....so here goes!