The Pros at Cons A Review of Convolution 2014: Halfway Home Part 3
Day 2 continued: Steampunk, Games, Jewelry, and The One.
Next up was one of the more Steampunk themed booths, appropriately titled Steamy Tech, it was wood-carved original gear themed, interlocking, moving art and jewelry. A married couple, Greg and Lora Price had created the company a few years ago and recently added a professional jeweler to add some real pizzazz to the smaller projects. His name is Jay Shoemaker and maybe because he reminded me of my grandfather (another Jay, who was a gregarious and charming blue-eyed woodworker who passed a bit over a year ago), I ended up spending much of the convention just hanging out with him. This booth more than the others made me realize two things about the atmosphere of Convolution: 1) Bring money, because the quality of the goods being sold is worth every shiny penny and if you didn’t come prepared, you’ll leave brokenhearted, and 2) You get out of it what you put into it. If you come in with a good attitude, they will like you and accept you, if you come into it expecting something more like a typical “ComiCon” experience, you’ll be disappointed and ignored by much of the staff, unless you say “Shut up and take my money,” which they will happily accept before forgetting you (in my opinion, rightfully so).
Featherweight Finery was the next booth, a splendid display of artisan vibrant handcrafted jewelry by Sue Toorans, who was also there in the booth and very kind to chat with. She makes aluminum ring chain mail creations that are all unique and fabulous, look sort of fantastical and badass, but classy enough to match with evening wear or light enough to wear all day. (I couldn’t find any good jewelry on Dave’s site but figured this power ring image from the Green Lantern t shirts was close enough).
I wondered around a fair bit, saying hi, explaining about the blog and about what I do, trying to see what the vendors thought of the Con so far (they liked it, many were repeat vendors). Games of Berkeley were there in all their dice and bag ’n’ board glory. Having recently visited their store in person, I didn’t loiter there too long.
Then everything changed: I found her: “The One” who was made just for me. At one of the island booths, near the center of the room, on a table marked “Lucrezia’s Delight” were a stack of fine under-bust boned corsets. On top of the stack, middle of the table surrounded by tiny Gothic-Lolita hats and some other do-dads was a dark green and blue paneled hand-dyed leather corset with punk spikes riveted right into it on the outside, in 4 rows each, front and back. On the tag it said “Hugging Corset, $400”. I was dismayed, as I don’t make a lot of money and I have a lot of responsibilities so there’s just no way I could ever outright buy this beautiful thing that was my perfect size and color and cut and oh my goddess, I’m getting sweaty just thinking about it. I was literally a day late, a dollar short (okay, like 350 dollars short) and underdressed for the occasion. “I should have worn my pirate outfit,” I said out loud for the 8th time that day. The young man working the booth asked me if I liked it and I said something about how it’s the single most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, so he told me that the woman who made it would be back in a few minutes. He pointed to his name badge (which was from the Steamy Tech booth) that lit up and said only “Loyal Minion”. I told him I wanted to try it on and talk to the person responsible. (Although, I had no idea what I’d say. Like, “Hey, I don’t make any money, but I need this in my life. Can I just take it home with me and write nice things about you forever and ever amen?”
He agreed so off I wondered to the next several tables and booths.
(continued next post)