Sunday Morning: Behind the Scenes

“Never have I seen so many happy people.”

That was the comment we heard all day Saturday at the Grove Park Inn.

Antiques dealers were happy.

Antiques collectors were happy.

Contemporary Craftsfirms were happy.

Contemporary collectors were happy.

Furniture sold, art pottery sold, rugs sold, lamps sold, metalware sold.

Old and new.

The day started with two fantastic seminars, as Tim Hansen traced the early development of Arts and Crafts furniture design, then Nonie Gladsden followed with her behind the scenes revelations into the lives of the women of the Saturday Evening Girls Pottery.

In both cases, just as happened Friday night, we all left with an even better appreciation for the objects we collect, as we learned more about the men and women who created them. We then rolled out of the seminar room and into the ballroom, where the antiques dealers and craftspeople were ready to greet us.

And what I found amazing is that, in contrast to so many other shows, people didn’t just take a lap around the room and leave. They took a lap, turned around and took another lap. Then they sat down, had something to eat or drink, then took another lap. I know, because I must have taken twenty or thirty laps around the room myself.

And each time I saw something I had not seen on any of my previous laps.

And each time I saw more red sold tags dangling from the furniture, pottery and lamps than were there the time before.

Pieces were moving to new homes.

People were connecting with each other.

Information was being shared, from dealer to collector, from craftsperson to homeowner.

Today we have our final two seminar presentations, then another round of Small Group Discussions. My wife Leigh Ann is attending Gordon Bock’s discussion on designing an Arts and Crafts kitchen, as a remodel may well be on our schedule for this summer.

That should make for an interesting few weeks of columns for this website.

And if you are reading this column on Monday morning, please accept my apology for not writing a fresh column. We take two days to get all 125 exhibitors into the Grove Park Inn, but have to get them all packed and loaded out in just one Sunday night. And unlike the captain of the capsized cruise ship, I am the last man off. I may well be getting home about the time on Monday that I would typically be getting up.

And in case you are interested, we will be returning to the Grove Park Inn for the 27th National Arts and Crafts Conference on February 21-23, 2014.

If you would like to reserve your room, you can call the Grove Park Inn today at (800) 438-5800. I believe that more than 100 of their 510 rooms are already booked for 2014 (and your deposit would be fully refundable until a week prior to the conference).

On Monday we unpack boxes, tubs and crates, then on Tuesday we go to work on the exhibitor floor plan, the staff schedule and anything else we can get started on while it is still fresh in our minds.

Until next time,

Have a great week!