This past weekend, I had the honor of being a panelist at PAX and, as first-time panelist experiences go, I could not ask for a better topic or a more enthusiastic crowd. Tally Heilke, of Tally’s Treasury and the Desert Bus for Hope Craft-Along, was moderating her third PAX panel on the subject of crafting. I was present to represent the sewing and cosplay contingents.
In a weekend full of gaming and cosplay, we were the only panel devoted specifically to crafting and there is certainly a demand for crafting discussions and networking at future PAXes. Despite being at 8:30pm on a Sunday (the third day of a 4-day extravaganza) the Raven Theatre was full! To kick off the panel, Tally asked the audience to turn to their neighbor and share something about what they make or what they want to learn. The room erupted into excited chatter. You could feel the energy.
We had great questions from the audience about local sewing classes; creating crafting groups or in-kind product trades for costumes; and the ever-pressing issue of time management (how DO you balance crafting with your other geeky interests, like playing video games?). For the record: I highly recommend the corset making class offered by the Northgate Pacific Fabrics store and a pattern drafting class occasionally offered through the UW Experimental College. In fact the fall quarter will have a Fashion Design and Pattern Making class with Pennie Laird, my instructor!!!! I occasionally get together with friends to chat while crafting, but it is hard to sync up schedules. And for time management, I have asked Greg to be my project manager for convention costumes to help me complete everything on time and within normal sanity levels.
After an audience member asked about connecting with other crafters in the room, Tara Theoharis (The Geeky Hostess) suggested creating a Twitter hashtag for people who wanted to connect with others or share their creative works. Check out #PAXCraft2013 for a list of geeky crafters who want to connect and continue the discussions. Please also feel free to use the comments section at Tara’s Geeky Hostess page to add yourself to the list.
Thanks everyone who came to the panel. You totally made my PAX weekend! Please stay in touch. Let us know how we can take crafting discussions to the next level at PAX (or any convention) next year. The panel was filmed by a couple different people, so as soon as the video is available I will update this post with the link.
Tally Heilke: Cute plushies and more at Tally’s Treasury
Tara Theoharis: Geeky food and parties at The Geeky Hostess
Meris Mullaley: Cosplay and sewing at Fabric Alchemist
AnnaTheRed: Geeky Bento boxes and plushies at Anna The Red
Daniel Brattland: Dice creations at Roller’s Regalia
Sarah Mendiola: Videography and Fantastic Knitting at SarahMendiola.com