Houston? In July? Those were my thoughts when I heard the Gathering was going to be in Houston this year. The Gathering is an annual event hosted by the ISGB, The International Society of Glass Beadmakers. Glass artists and enthusiasts travel from around the world to meet and socialize with other beadmakers, shop, and to learn new techniques. The Gathering this year was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, a huge hotel with an atrium in downtown Houston. The hotel was very nice and so was downtown Houston.
Underneath downtown Houston is the Downtown Tunnel System, “…an interconnected series of restaurants, shops, etc. servicing all those who wish to avoid the characteristic Houston weather, while walking around in air conditioned comfort over the course of several miles.”
I signed up for a two day workshop before the conference on making sundial cabachons. The workshop was given by Amanda Muddimer of Mangobeads.
Here are the cabachons we made:
I also took a class from Karen Leonardo on making simple sculpted wild flowers. We used the cool tools that Karen makes.
The opening of the Vendors Area was on Thursday with glass, tools, torches, findings and the Bead Of Courage Stand. I spent way too much on glass and tools.
I was fortunate to find a very compatible roommate for the conference, Susan Lambert. On Thursday Susan and I took the afternoon off from the conference and went to a wonderful museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. We had fun with Jesús Rafael Soto’s Houston Penetrable:
We enjoyed the large and diverse art collection.
On Friday we attended presentations by many notable glass artists including Monique Swinkels, Stephanie Sersich, Jari Sheese, and Sage Holland.
In the evening we walked around downtown and had dinner at Artista. They had a jazz band downstairs.
On Friday was the Bead Bazaar. Several members of my local ISGB group, the Silicon Valley Fireflies, had booths.
My roommate, Susan Lambert, also had a booth:
While volunteering at the Bead Bazaar I learned of an art gallery specializing in pottery, 18 Hands Gallery. This gallery was in the Heights section of Houston and I headed there in the afternoon.
This is what I bought:
I enjoyed exploring the Heights, a wonderfully funky area with galleries, antique stores, and restaurants.
On Sunday there were more presentations by bead artists including Patty Lakinsmith, Aja Vaz, Amanda Muddimer, Rashan Jones, Joy Munshower, and Nancy Tobey.
In the evening we had the bead swap. It was wonderful fun and I got a lot of great beads.
I liked the Gathering so much that I plan to go next year to Albuquerque. Thank you ISGB.