OPA and Gathering of the Guilds 2012

This time last year I was recovering from pneumonia. I was barely able to drag myself through the OPA show. This year I happily traipsed through OPA and the Guild shows. The Guilds were all in one big hall this time. There was a large, unused space in the middle. They really need a multi-guild gallery there.

Unlike past years where we bought many small things, our strategy this year was to just get a few larger pieces. We are tickled as heck with what we brought home, though there was a small pang at not picking up something from all our old favorites. We’ll probably go back to nibbling next year.

We did actually end up with a couple of small things. I got some dazzling roving from the Handweavers Guild show, and a couple of lovely beads from the Bead show.

Jenn Ferrante

I originally spotted the bowl on the right, but as we were checking out, the Spousal Unit decided it simply must be paired with the bowl on the left. He was right, of course. If you turn them around and hold them to the light, they are translucent. Gorgeous work.


We also couldn’t resist adding to our collection of Michael Fromme critters. This mousie will join a rabbit and a fox.


Our method as we browse the OPA show is to bring a map, and mark the artists we want to come back and consider buying from. But sometimes we are thwarted by potlust. This wonderful Ginger Steele cried out to come home with us. We have a smaller piece by her, and it was high time we had something a bit larger. Speaking of Ginger…

James DeRosso & Ginger Steele

This was our great prize this year. Note: we named him, not the artists. We had just come from Ginger’s booth, happily toting her pot in our basket, when we found an old favorite, James DeRosso. I have a collection of his tiny monsters. This is not tiny–it’s about 10″ high. I spotted it on the back shelf and said “Hey, that looks like James collaborated with Ginger Steele!” James just happened to be lurking behind us, and filled us in. He’d left this piece in Ginger’s studio for her, and when it got leather hard “she just went nuts”.  They then used her glazes on it. The result is one of my favorite pieces ever. The Spousal Unit is also completely smitten. And not only is it a delightful piece of art, that second fin comes off to reveal a slot–it’s also a coin bank!

Good show, everyone! We really enjoyed the addition of the Handweavers Guild to the guild shows. We talked to lots of artists and saw many beautiful things. Can’t wait for next year.

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