Sometimes Old School is Still the Best
I have often said that, as a designer and business owner, William Morris always kept one foot firmly planted in the Victorian style — just in case this new Arts and Crafts fad didn’t pan out.
I often feel the same way about technology.
While Alex, my young assistant, continues to use websites, email, dropboxes, scans, PDFs, links, attachments, and Facebook to streamline our registration process for the National Arts and Crafts Conference coming this February, last week I was — for the 28th year — sitting at my kitchen counter stuffing large envelopes with a dozen sheets of paper, sealing them up, attaching stamps, and lugging them in cardboard boxes to the post office in the back of my pickup truck.
Twenty-eight years ago, long before the internet, I dubbed these bulky envelopes our Pre-Conference Packets. Those of you who have already registered for the February 20-22 Arts and Crafts Conference will receive one this week. Those who register in the coming days will receive yours as soon as you do.
I must admit, we could incorporate these 12 pieces of paper into email attachments. But four of these sheets are so important that I fear they might get overlooked if sent to you via email. They are the descriptions for the hands-on pre-conference workshops (see top picture), as well as the registration forms for three non-profit organizations hosting special events during the Arts and Crafts Conference: the Asheville Art Museum, the Asheville Preservation Society, and the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms.
The staff at the Stickley Museum is again organizing the Thursday night pre-conference banquet at the Grove Park Inn. This event gives the hundred or so attendees an opportunity to catch up with old friends and to make a few new ones before things really get rolling on Friday, not to mention enjoying some Southern style cooking and having a great time in the Skyline Room overlooking Asheville (right).
The Preservation Society’s information sheet is for the afternoon bus tours which their staff have been organizing for us for nearly 28 years, giving you the opportunity to see more of Asheville than you can standing on the Sunset Terrace of the Grove Park Inn. If you’re wondering why you should bother, check out my column last week saved in Archives below — or just ask the Wall Street Journal.
And the Asheville Art Museum always hosts a presentation and reception early Saturday evening, giving you a chance to view their collection in another of Asheville’s historic buildings — and getting you back to the hotel in time for the Saturday evening movie.
Now, for those of you who are scoffing at me and a bearded Bill Morris for our lack of conviction, Alex has assembled a paperless packet for you at, http://www.arts-craftsconference.com/attendeepacket.html including all of the registration sheets required for these special events.
And, for those of you who have never attended or who haven’t been to the conference in years, trust me when I tell you that these special events — and the opportunity they give you to meet and make new friends — play a major role in explaining why it is that the Arts and Crafts Conference has for nearly three decades lived up to its New York Times billing as “the most important weekend of the year for Arts and Crafts collectors.”
Besides, what could be better the third weekend of February than immersing yourself in three days of Arts and Crafts bliss?
Until next Monday,
Ring in the new year safely!
Top: One of our attendees “chasing” a design on her new silver jewelry.
Middle: The 2014 Craftsman Farms Banquet at the GPI.
Lower: William Morris laughing at me.