I'm nearly home! After a whirlwind three days, I'm back at Frankfurt airport, with a long wait ahead of me and excellent internet access what better place to blog than in a comfy chair with a chai tea latte in front?
Leaving at some ungodly hour, I got to Manchester airport, hopped on the plane to Frankfurt, and caught three separate trains to Wertheim. By the time I arrived, I'd been on the road for over 12 hours, and only a long trek up the hill (across cobble stones, with several thousand ££ worth of glassy stock in my suitcase) separated me from the bliss of a youth hostel bed. That evening, I managed to sneak back down into town and checked out the 'Arkadensaal', where all the shenanigans would take place.
I have to say, the Glasperlenspektrum people, organisers of Wertheim, got the location spot on:
Directly on the water, in a picturesque town, and round the corner from a glass museum, in the shadow of a castle - I was one happy bunny!
(The windows to the right in the picture above are where the action took place!)
Friday morning I spent dipping my demonstration mandrels (which din't exactly take hours ;o) and meandering about town, then, when everything opened officially, checking out the dealers' tent (which is a literal translation, and no drugs changed hands, unless one counts the addictive properties of presses, glass, frit, findings, etc!) I then had a chance to check out some demos, but made a wild dash to the glass museum, as I knew it would be my only chance!
Here, I encountered the mouthblown 500-litre flagon:
No machines involved in the making, which I think is just showing off.
Back to the Arkadensaal, where it was soon time for my own demo, and then, I was hugely disappointed to miss Charly Hummel's marble demo, since I had to try and get some credit for my dongle, lest the internet forsook me. What I thought would be a quick hop into town turned into a hike to the out-of-town petrol station, and so, by the time I got back, Charly was finished :o(
Out for a meal with a group of people, hike up the hill, bed!
Saturday morning, an early morning, hoiking my suitcase down the hill at 7am to set up my stall. A lovely mood in the artist space, which was also in the Arkadensaal, so we could witness all other demos first hand. Although my stall was a bit dark (lights not being the easiest to fit into a 'suitcase-proof stall', it looked okay.
The two days went by really quickly, although I have to say, had I not been chained to my stall, I could have spent a *lot* of money both on glassy goodies and on beads. As it is, I managed to engage in some swapsism, the results of which are packed safely in my suitcase.
I met so many lovely people that I'm deliberately not naming names, because I'll without a doubt forget somebody! But, since I was asked lots of times why more Brits didn't turn up to Wertheim, and having now met the Danish delegation who drives down each year, I think there is definitely scope for a class exchange - who's up for it? :o))))