So on the homefront, a great big (for my kiln, anyway) sculpture has been cooking for about 16 hours, the air is redolent with the scent of slowly drying investment plasters and we’re about 45 pounds lighter in glass supplies.

We’ve videotaped Les’ creative process, from figuring out what kind of sculpture to make to steaming out the wax and loading glass into the mold, and I’m hoping we’ll get some kinda video out of it. Things are looking good in that direction.

Outside, as I mentioned before, is the BECon thing (and weathering jokes from bellboys about BECon, D-CON, etc…) down at the Hilton. Logistically, it’s been a nightmare; Portland, “The City that Works,” isn’t working very well right now. About half of downtown Portland appears to be under construction, streets and all, which has made navigation and parking problematic. And the Hilton, like all commercial buildings, stays at a balmy 65 degrees inside and mostly serves iced drinks, which means I’ve been freezing the entire time.

Minor matters compared to the conference itself. Bullseye has really slicked up this confab, and the speaker roster is excellent. Heard a great speech this morning from architectural artist Gordon Huether, who interspersed a lot of “Like wow, mans” and a tendresse for Tupac Shakur with a great deal of shrewd business savvy and common sense. Thoroughly enjoyable.

A sick cat at the vet kept me from most of the festivities yesterday (drat), but I’m told it was even better on the first day. Four different people told me that they cried at a talk by artist Narcisssus Quagliata. Sorry I missed that.

Went through the technical vendor exhibits and spoke for awhile with the Western Industrial folks, who deal in all kinds of refractories, about a casting problem I’ve got coming up. I need a soft, flexible center to cast some thick glass rings, and it appears that stainless steel mesh-encased fiber rope might be the answer. More on that later.

Really interesting exhibit on glass in architecture at the Bullseye Gallery, worth seeing if only to understand the range of creativity currently going into world buildings. I’m a little leery of one design, a room divider made of thin, barely softened glass sheets spiked like shish kebob onto an iron rod–I sure wouldn’t want to walk into it–but the willingness to test the bleeding edge makes this a lot of fun.

And the most rewarding part of the conference, of course, is the people. Seeing lots of old buddies, making a few new, learning a lot from them. Had a casting debate at lunch that rang lots of bells and gave me some ideas. So…off to the Lehr BBQ for more networking. G’night, all!