Normally, the articles I’ve posted after the annual Clayathon conference are heavy on photographs. But this year, we took Clayathon online because the pandemic made gathering at the Stockton Seaview an impossibility. None of us had ever hosted an online conference before. There was a lot to learn! In the end, we went for three days and had more than 300 people in attendance via Zoom from all over the globe. That’s 300 people at one time watching our guest artist Carol Blackburn in two live streams from London each day and our end of the day presenter Syndee Holt, live each day from San Diego, California. That’s an 8 hour difference for those of you who are wondering. Carol shared a screen in Zoom with her work surface. Everyone got a clear view. People could ask questions in the chat box. After Carol’s demos, there were pdf handouts for paid registrants
In the middle, we had presenters from the Eastern Standard time zone: A panel discussion with Lindly Haunani, Laura Tabakman and Kathleen Dustin on the impact the pandemic has had on their art, a live tour of Kathleen Dustin’s studio in the woods of New Hampshire and a presentation by Loretta Lam on her book (which I highly recommend) Mastering Contemporary Jewelry Design. In the afternoon, we had breakout rooms in Zoom where people could mingle, socialize and trade ideas.
None of this happened by accident. We’ve been planning virtual Clayathon 2021 for months. We had great people on the crew. For more information, go to our web site where you can read all about Clayathon. Be sure to visit the shop where you can buy art from many of the teachers who taught workshops in the days before and after Clayathon.