It was a tremendous honor to be asked by Staedtler (makers of FIMO clays) to demonstrate at the Paperworld/Creativeworld show in Frankfurt, Germany, this past week. Friends from countries Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and the United States came by to visit. It was also a chance to make new friends with some of the people who stopped by to chat about clay and watch some of the techniques and creations I had the chance to work on over the four days. Below I pose with friend and fellow clady, Gerlinda Karg at the Staedtler bar. To the right are some hearts I made during demonstrations to commemorate Valentine's day.
The show floor and the booth were constantly abuzz with crowds of people. After visiting CHA (the Craft and Hobby Show in Anaheim, California) the previous week, this mega show was a real eye opener. The massive event is actually several shows within a show. There was Creativeworld, Christmasworld, and Paperworld. There was no way to cover the entire show, even if I wasn't demonstrating. It's no exageration to say that there are many, many miles of walking in order to see everything.
I did have the chance to make quick trips during my breaks to a few just a few of the other halls and get an idea of just how extensive this event truly is. It was fun seeing so many beautiful displays in one of the several Christmasworld halls.
I certainly got my exercise walking around. This also gave me the chance to place pieces from my "Random Acts of Creativity" project around the show. I managed to leave a few other pieces in the restaurants and airports I stopped in, both coming and going on my trip.
The Staedtler booth was beyond impressive. It dominated the space in the hall where it was located. It was the first thing you saw when entering and it filled up an incredibly large space. Dozens of meeting tables were filled with an international crowd who came to learn about the latest products and place orders for their stores and businesses.
There were private meetings rooms as well as a huge bar that ran the span of the back of the booth. A crew of wait-staff happily served customers and employees an array of goodies including coffee drinks like cappuccinos and macchiatos, frozen fruit smoothies, soft drinks, beer, and champagne. Visitors to the booth could also belly up to the bar for a petite lunch of German sausages and potato salad, sandwiches and fruit salad. The only show I've ever been to that compares with this are the Consumer Electronics and Comdex shows.
There were several interactive displays with flat panel screens of all sizes throughout. My demonstration space was a raised, illuminated work space with gorgeous, lighted displays of FIMO artwork and samples including a few of my own pieces. It was lovely having a full size oven in the wall behind me to bake some of the demo samples.
A personal highlight was being invited to create the first FIMO covered pens for the numbered and limited edition "Pen of the Season" project. The design they selected are for the Spring season.
Samples of the pens were on display in a place of honor, among numerous high-end writing implements in the luxury pen area. Above is a still shot taken from a looped video that showed feature high-end pens in the line.
The chance to come and work at this show was a dream come true and one I hope to be fortunate enough to repeat one day. For now, I'm working on getting reaclamated to the time zone difference in time to head to Tucson for our suite booth and classes at the Windmill Inn (room #106).
We'll be there Feburary 5, 6, 7, (closed the 8th) and 9, at the Tucson Bead Show. If you come by, mention you saw this blog post and ask for your free gift (while supplies last, no purchase necessary). You can also sign up for one of my Classes last minute. Click the highlighted "classes" link in the previous sentence to see what's available. Most sessions require little to nothing to bring in the way of tools and all materials are supplied at no extra charge. These offerings are being deeply discounted below the normal fees for these workshops and seating is extremely limited. I hope to see some of you there.