Friday, February 29, 2008

How the Seeds of Synergy Were Sown

Sorry for the delay in posting, it's taken me way too long to get back in the swing of things after last week! By now, I'm sure you've seen and read about many of the wonderful things that occurred in Baltimore. It goes without saying, although I'll say it anyway, that everyone who's a member of the NPCG owes our thanks to the board members and all of the volunteers for the tremendous amount of work that it took to make Synergy a reality. One of the things that I enjoyed most about the conference was listening to Lindly Haunani tell the story about how the NPCG was born. I'm a bit of a history buff and I loved getting the details from someone who was there from the beginning. And maybe, Lindly can be convinced to share the funny and fascinating talk she presented during the Synergy banquet on her blog sometime soon.

And now, if you're up for a long post, I have a story of my own to tell . . .

Sometimes, the stars line up just so and fate steps in and quietly opens the door to new and exciting possibilities. We're rarely aware of this as it's happening, but afterwards, when we think back on certain moments in our life, we realize just how magical they really were. When I arrived in Baltimore last week, I looked across the room and saw Robert Dancik (that's his gorgeous pendant in the photo) and I suddenly realized the actual origins of this conference.
In August 2006, Judy Belcher and myself were asked to teach a workshop for the Columbus Polymer Clay Guild. While we were there, we had dinner with Cynthia Tinapple and Hollie Mion. Hollie, an accomplished metal clay artist, offered to come to West Virginia and give both of us some lessons. When she arrived a few weeks later, she mentioned an exciting workshop that the Columbus Metal Clay Guild was hosting with Robert Dancik the following week. There were only a few spots left and after reading Robert's class description, both Judy and myself, along with our friend Marcia Laska, decided that we really wanted to attend. Marcia, who is Recording Secretary for the NPCG, had, a few days earlier, recruited Judy to run for President in the upcoming elections. We joked about the fact that Judy had volunteered me to serve as election coordinator several years ago and I had recruited Marcia (sorry, Marcia!) who in turn had recruited Judy. In the event that she ever regretted her decision to run, we made it perfectly clear that Judy had no one to blame but herself!

It just so happened that the weekend of Robert's workshop was also the same weekend that the Columbus Polymer Clay Guild was hosting a workshop with Maggie Maggio (her amazing pendant is shown above). Maggie was staying with Cynthia Tinapple and her husband Blair and they kindly invited Robert, Hollie, Judy, Marcia, and myself to dinner at their lovely home. The conversation during dinner eventually led to all of us discussing how to improve the NPCG. The deadline for entering the upcoming elections was less than 24 hours away and somehow, by the time the dishes were cleared away, we were all gathered excitedly around the computer cheering Maggie on as she completed the questionnaire which would allow her to add her name to the ballot for Vice-President. Afterwards, we enjoyed an exciting, impromptu drumming performance by Blair and Robert. It was a pleasant evening spent with wonderful people and, at the time, that's all it seemed to be.

When I saw Robert again in Baltimore, I immediately thought back to that night in September 2006 and I realized how many things had simply fallen into place during that time. Being a believer in serendipity, it's not a stretch for me to acknowledge that the events that brought all of us together that weekend had a "synergy" of their own. None of us realized that the tiny seeds that were being sown around Cynthia's table that night would grow into an event that would revitalize and strengthen the polymer clay community the way that Synergy has. Thank you Judy and Maggie for nourishing those little seeds so wonderfully!
And, my apologies to Cynthia, Susan, and Alison for breaking most, if not all, of the 30 blogging "rules" that I learned during your wonderful seminar with this one single post.


Susan said...

Thanks for sharing that story Kim - what a wonderful example of synergy - reminds me of this W.H.Murray poem that speaks to the assistance we receive when we commit to an idea.

What a treat to meet you last week - and as for the 'rules' - they are always important to know and sometimes meant to be broken!

beadworx said...

thanks foe that great story kim. i really enjoyed it.
I#m still in synergy mood as well and it's really hard to get back to normal after this incredible event.
I wish I had boked this blogging seminar too. all the people are talking about these blogging rules and I don't know what they're talking about.
How about sharing a bit of that, Cynthia and Susan?

Judy B. said...

We are the same person. I can't wait for you to read my NPCG site missive next week. There are words like serendipity, seeds, and of course Robert Dancik! Did anyone actually see us together this weekend? Hmmmmmm

cynthia said...

Kim - It was a magic evening and I'd forgotten that that's where the plot was hatched.

Don't worry about breaking the blogging rules. Rule #1 is to find your voice and be authentic. You've done that in spades.

Go to:
for the blogging notes.


Kim Cavender said...

Thanks for your nice comments! Really, this blogging thing would still just be one of the many things floating around in my head if it weren't for all of you.

If they did see us together Judy, don't let them know that it was all done with smoke and mirrors!

Lindly said...

Great story- thanks for sharing this! and soon...I will take you up on the suggestion of posting my recollections about the founding/begining of the National Polymer Clay Guild.

Epin Accessories said...

I'm no professional, but I imagine you just made the best point. You obviously fully understand what youre talking about, and I can really get behind that. Thanks for being so upfront and so honest.
Turquoise Beads