Pre-conference day at GAS, and it was a GAS. Unless you’d signed up for studio tours or somesuch, all there was to do today was register at the Portland Hilton (and if you’re a volunteer, wend your way to my table to check in), and see who’d already showed up.

Well, that and–if you were among the select few who got in before it sold out–attend the pre-conference reception over at Bullseye. It was definitely the hot ticket in town–with grilled meats from a Bullseye lehr–but unfortunately stuffed to the gills and we turned a lot of people away.

But my seat, across from registration, was the best in the house: An amazing number of people I knew, or wanted to know, or just wanted to ahhhhhhhhh over, like some starstruck groupie, turned up. An even more amazing number became instant buddies and there were times that our little check-in table looked more like some hilarious cocktail party.

Best moment: Klaus Moje walked up to me at the check-in table, murmured, “I am to talk with you,” and waited. I launched into volunteer check-in spiel right off, started to hand him a timesheet, did a double-take. Figured Mr. Moje was probably not volunteering to check badges, and got him to the right folk.

Later discovered that Karl Herron, one of my favorite kilnforming artists (he and I share similar views on Bullseye reactive glass, it seems), was a volunteer, so got to meet him early on. Got into a fabulous discussion about his processes, and the layering phenomenon in some colors of BE sheet glass. It sparked some very interesting ideas about future pate de verre projects…and if you haven’t seen his work, go look. Don’t know when I’ve seen anything quite that elegant in kilnformed vessels.

Special thanks, BTW, to Gary Brown, who took one look at our volunteer worksheets and spent the next few hours developing a database application for them. That’s what I call volunteer duty above and beyond.

Ah, well. Sessions and demos start tomorrow, there’s a lovely pate de verre artist from France who’s promised to debate the finer points of technique, and I’ve been so busy with the volunteer stuff that I haven’t actually figured out which sessions I’d like to see.