Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Trip to The Gathering, Rochester, New York 2013 - Part 4

Today is Tuesday and start of the pre-gathering workshops. One of the reasons I wanted to attend The Gathering was to do a workshop with Holly Cooper. As with all workshops there is a limited number of spaces and there was no gaurantee that I would get one.

I had to book my flights in advance although in the end I needn't have worried. My orriginal flights were booked with British Airways. One leg of my journey was cancelled and the flight they re-booked me on landed after my connecting flight departed. I was not impressed and ending up cancelling my booking with British Airways and re-booking through Netflights. I even saved some money.  I always thought that booking a flight in advance meant that the price was cheaper but apparently not. Maybe because there are so many flights going to the USA it means you can wait a while.

Anyway I digress, as soon as registration opened for The Gathering I was there, 3pm in the afternoon here - luckily it wasn't in the middle of the night - I was refreshing the page constantly until it was open.

I filled in all the details as quickly as possible, luckily I had read a thread on Lampwork Etc. which meant I had all the relevant information to hand, and pressed send. I awaited with baited breath and SUCCESS! I got a space. In fact I got a space in all 3 of the workshops that I booked. More about the others later.

So, what can I say about Holly Cooper, again it's all about stringer work and hers is pretty awesome. I'm not a huge fan of her style of beads in that I find them a bit dark, although I loved and was tempted to buy this one I thought it was a tad on the expensive side.

The classes were held in a large conference hall which had been divided into two. One side for the classes and one for the vendors which would be open on Thursday.

If you look in the background of the above photo, you can see all the propane and oxygen cannisters in the centre of the room. I'm not sure health and safety in the UK would be too happy about that. Although there was no ventilation, the room was large with a high ceiling and air conditioning and I didn't have any problems with the fumes like I did at Flame Off.

This the first bead that we were to make after Holly demonstated it.

Holly works on a hothead which is really unusual for an experience bead maker. But I can see it's advantages. Apart from the noise, it is really easy to work high up in the back of the flame due to the angle and the bushiness of the flame.

This is my attempt. It's not too bad but I don't like the way you can see the black through the ivory. The bead was made with a clear then black core to make it stiffer than when just using ivory as ivory is a very soft glass. I think mine could have done with a bit more of the ivory.

Here's Holly demonstrating.

and with the class watching, as you can see there are only 9 people watching, 10 including me. With close to 300 people attending The Gathering you can see how lucky I was to get a space.

We now had a break for lunch. There were some chukky wagons across the road so I went over there with the lady I had been sitting next to, Anita and had a chicken wrap.

Anita, sorry not the best photo

Our next bead was a bit more complicated

and mine

I have to say that if I hadn't taken JC Herrels class recently I would have struggled more with these beads. JC explained how to apply the stringer a lot better and I guess that as I had more time to practise on JC's class this helped.

This evening I was invited to join Tori, Debbie and two new ladies I was introduced to as Ellen and Barbara to go out to a restaurant for dinner. We set off in the car using Tori's sat nav Siri. Those of you with Iphones will know who Siri is, I don't have one but I am an avid watcher of The Big Bang Series and those of you who watch that will know what I mean.

So we drive about 3 blocks and Siri announces that we have arrived at the restaurant - to say it wasn't that far away, well, we could have walked. Torri and Debbie were a bit confused and saying that this wasn't the restaurant they went to last time and the one they were expecting to arrive at but apparently this one Nikko's had good reviews so we decided that as we had a reservation we would give it a try.

It turns out that Nikko's is a sushi restaurant. Now regular readers of my blog will know that I am not a big eater of seafood, in fact my recent trip to Murano was a bit of an eye opener for me. Debbie was a bit unsure too, as like me she likes reasonably plain food. We were assured that there would be other food on the menu, not just sushi. In the end though I decided to try it.

A plate of sushi was put down in front of me and I was a bit confused as it had a chilli garnish and I has specifically asked the waitress if the dish I was ordering was spicy and she assured me it wasn't. So I gave the chilli's to Barbara who was sitting next to me and likes her food hot. Well, I took one bite and spat it out quickly. It was tooo spicy hot! Our waitress then came round with some more food and it turns out I was given the wrong dish. They took it away and gave me the correct one and re-did the dish that had meant to be for Barbara. This is what I had

Tempura purple potato, avocado, cucumber,

brown rice, sour cherry-sweet soy
It was quite tasty apart from the sour cherry-sweet soy which I didn't like so much but just left on the plate.

Then onto dessert.
I shared with Debbie. It was extremely rich and very hard. We discussed it with the waitress who had a work with the chef. Apparently they were trying something new and we assured them it didn't work.
I didn't get a photo of the owner but he was very dishy with a gorgeous bod.
Here are some photo's of us
Debbie, Ellen and Tori
Barbara and me
Tori and me
Ellen, me and Tori, I think there were two photos being taken at once here.
Debbie, me and Ellen.
Day 2 of the Holly Cooper workshop coming up next.
Thanks for looking.

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