Canterbury Conference April 2011 by Dorothy Cockrell
All our conferences are successes, but this year’s held at the University of Canterbury must rank as one of the best. As usual we met old friends, made many new ones and the time passed all too quickly. The food was excellent, the views of the distant cathedral and surrounding countryside romantic and the sun shone. What more could be desired?
The workshops were superb, proving that new systems of communication despite their sophistication cannot match the old fashioned ‘show, tell, do and question’. Let your computer see the piece you are working on and ask “is this right?” and all it will do (if you are lucky) is gurgle gently as it conducts a background scan. Comparing your work with an on-line video often leads to a decision to throw it away and go hide in a cupboard, but showing it to a live tutor produces immediate assistance, assessment and often praise. Also you have all your fellow students to share ideas. The Summer issue of our journal has reports and colour photographs of pieces made at two of the workshops and the others should follow in subsequent issues.
Everyone who attends one of our conferences returns home with a renewed sense of purpose; filled with plans to make a ‘masterpiece’ for next year and a bag of new materials from the tempting stands of our suppliers. Keep the weekend of 13th -15th April 2012 free for attending the next one.