Hot Times in Asheville, NC was a wonderful event again this year. It's an extra long weekend of demos and camaraderie, live auction & raffle to raise funds for Beads of Courage and trading beads. This year, hosts Marjorie Langston, Terry Hale and Gary Newlin invited Jeri Warhaftig, Nolly Gelsinger, Deanna Chase and Cindy Lemmo to demonstrate and each one created awesome pieces.
As important as the demos, are the attendees. To be honest, it's a major reason that I try to attend each year. I love seeing old friends, and meeting new ones. Having time to look over their beads and see what they are working on now, what has changed and hear what interests them is fascinating to me. And so often, even as an old timer, I learn so much from the newer ones who have chosen to go in different directions or might even have one of the latest & greatest tools or colors that I haven't seen yet.
Our field is generally a solo situation. We usually are alone working at our torches throughout the year. It's situations like this (or my teaching) that give us the ability to form strong, lasting bonds and networks with others. And I have to say, I'm totally convinced that we have to have one of the nicest groups of people. Laughter, smiles and friendships (okay and perhaps the jalapeno grits) along with the wonderful glass and sharing is what makes my Asheville experience so special.