It's always hard to blog about WisCon when it is still fresh in my mind. That's because there is sooo much going on in my head, that it's hard to sort it all out. On a superficial level - I did well for sales in the art show - I was delighted that (as usual) I was exposed to a discerning and respectful audience. Delighted also to be able to sell my "Offering Bowl" piece first crack out of the box. ;-)
The bowl was my first ever attempt at smithing. It took me over 4 classes to sink it (that's about 15 hours) using a hammer and a stump with a slight depression in it. And a lot of noise! My teacher told me that an experienced smith could do it in three hours - so it has been my goal to go back to the class, and just work on sinking and nothing else until I can achieve this feat!
Time constraints as I set up my new on-line enamel supply business have not allowed that to happen. But making this sale - and the encouragement that it represents have given me renewed commitment to the process.
This year I was on FOUR panels. I am not sure how this happened. Actually originally I was scheduled for three panels - but NONE of them was the panel I wanted to be on - the one I had suggested. I was under the impression that I had recommended myself as moderator for this panel, but apparently I hadn't even indicated that I wanted to be on the panel. Fortunately when I contacted programming - they were good enough to include me.
This was the "Story in the Object and the Object in the Story" panel and it was really interesting. Sarah G. Micklem did great job of moderating, and brought an interesting perspective to the table by telling us how she had first written a story about an object used for divination - and then actually made one and used it! We explored the relationship between story and object further with Kat Beyer's planned series of books (in progress) about exorcisms - the first one dealing with bells, the second one with books and the third with candles. Shira Lipkin talked about collaborations with other artists and writers, and I talked about my first foray into illustrative work (sort of) with the Armless Maiden Panels. This topic is very near and dear to my heart as the story in the object has always been the most important part of my work. The one problem with this panel was that it was scheduled during art show set-up, so Jane Washburn couldn't make it - and the rest of us were pretty rushed.
I will now confess that I missed the "Apes Who Pray" panel, as I managed to lock my keys in my car just at the time it was on, and I can only believe that this was the work of providence - since it was a panel for atheists, and I am firmly agnostic ;-)
The next morning I was on a panel called "Where is the Goddess Today" and I was surprised and delighted that one presenter introduced Jane Eyre as goddess in fiction figure - making connections between the nature imagery that surrounded this hero journey. Alex Bledsoe talked about the difficulties of creating a goddess figure without just making her a woman with super-powers, and I showed various slides and talked about the changes in the imagery of the goddess over the millennia.
The "Death is Weirder than you Think" panel discussed different approaches to death in different cultures, Erin bringing the perspective of a nurse working in a burn victims unit as well as her experience as a writer. For me it was a great opportunity to show some of the great pieces from the "Grave Goods" exhibition showing different artist's conceptions of death throught the objects that they created.
There was also the artist's dinner, and a few tete-a-tete lunches with friends I have made at WisCon's in the past.
All in all a fantastic time!