Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ignite Craft Boston

So that was pretty full of awesome.

I attended tonight's Ignite Craft Boston event, hosted and arranged by Guido of the Common Cod Fiber Guild, and although I expected it would be fun (as all the Guild events I've attended have been) I wasn't quite prepared for the degree of awesomeness. Let me define the awesomeness: lots of enthusiasm, knowledge, and a healthy dose of humor with every presentation. This was completely fun show & tell for adults, but with all the discovery and enthusiasm of kindergarten. And I mean that in the best possible way. As another couple of friends put it, 'this gave me new faith in events like these!' - granted, they'd been burned out by attending too many business (read sales/networky/markety) conference events, and I could well relate to how fried they'd become. This, let me reassure you, was far from that type of experience.

It was also a great relief after a solid work-week after a stupid blizzard that dumped more than 2 feet of snow on us and made finding a parking space and driving in the city something of a drag. Also, cookies were provided.

I was very pleased to see that all kinds of connections to and definitions of the 'Craft' theme were addressed; one woman gave a great talk about the importance of concrete, fun, hands-on exploration for the classroom - even/especially for adult students (yay! yes yes yes!); another person stood up and talked about craft beers - the appreciation thereof, and how much we're missing out on if we weren't already aware of the great and tasty variety of beverages that await our palates. I already follow him on twitter and agree wholeheartedly. Everyone meant what they had to say - and yet were all humble about their knowledge - and we all had a great time. Every talk was punctuated by guffaws and hoots of laughter, cheering, and enthusiastic applause. There were people talking about how they used craft to support a good cause or two, and others who were simply sharing their experiences with problem-solving and curiousity about how things work, and how to fix/hack/mod them. {Lady speaker with the rock as a hammer - I sense a kindred spirit in you. Maybe next time my presentation will be about how to go camping and chop firewood without any sharp implements...}
I've called out a couple favorite speakers, but really - they were all great. Their presentations (both slides & audio as well as I believe a video of selections) will be available soon via the Common Cod or the Ignite site - not sure which but I'll update with a link once that happens. they were all well-worth your time to tune in & enjoy.

On an only-marginally-related note, while I was knitting during these talks (and got about half-finished with a new cotton wash cloth that I've been wanting...) I noticed that the people who didn't bring knitting like me, were all fidgeting with their hands as though they wanted to get hands-on with something.

I'm glad that Guido made noises to the effect that we'll get to do another of these events - there clearly is plenty of enthusiasm and interest both in terms of presenters and material, and audience / participants.
{If you're reading this and you're not in Mass., do check out the Ignite website for what their scene is about and the use of their name, and if you're interested in setting up an event like this in your city, consult the Common Cod site for more particulars. It was great, I recommend it, and with a little organization & preparation, you're going to have a great time like we did!}