Monday, October 12, 2015

siu-c sims conference

I feel like things have been moving so fast lately with classes and work, so Jill and I discussed taking a two day break to slow things down a bit. Jill wanted to visit family, so we decided to head back to Illinois this past weekend. I figured it would be great to visit Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, as their student group SIMS was hosting their annual SIMS Conference. The leaves are usually turning around this time in Southern Illinois so the drive is always enjoyable and remind me of my childhood spent playing and riding motorcycles in the woods. As noted before, I had attended one of these several years ago, so I asked my Dad if he would want to make the two hour trip (from my childhood home) to see some blacksmithing demos. We drove the five-seven hour trip south (depends on Chicago traffic) on Friday night and arrived at our parents place on Friday around midnight and then Dad and I took off for Carbondale early Saturday morning. Leaving Saturday meant that I missed the artist talks on Friday night, but I was anxious to see the demos regardless. Andrew Hayes and Mike Rossi were the presenters this year (more on that in a follow-up post). I met up with Sun Kyoung Kim as soon as we arrived at the Brent Kington Smithy (again, more on this in another post). SIU-C's smithy is never lacking in things to look at it. Honestly, it's a beautiful studio workspace and there is something that feels really familiar and "home-like" to me. I am in awe at how well equipped it is. There is also a certain aura about the place that I believe has to do with the history of the building and tools; it may just be my own awestruck wonder that is fabricating these ideas and sensations though. Regardless I think the place is magical and it's got me thinking about some classes at Penland for certain. The hydraulic press, flypress, and Nazel hammer are three of my favorite tools in this particular shop. My Dad and I really enjoyed the day and I was just disappointed that I missed the Friday night talks.

More on the demos and such coming soon...

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