You would think that after attending a few origami conventions, you would start to get bored… This is definitely not the case! Actually, they just keep getting better. The BOS convention in York, England, April 16-18, 1999 was no exception.
The convention began as all good origami conventions begin. On Friday afternoon, people began to trickle in to the main meeting room. Some of them began to form small impromptu folding sessions, while others visited with old and new friends. You would think we would all call it an early evening, so that we could rest up for the next two days of folding. But no! You can't waste a single minute at an origami convention. That would be as bad as pulling out a pair of scissors or a bottle of glue! My late night folding included learning some wonderful modular stars and rings created and taught by Loes Schakel. A group of us sat around and eagerly learned as many variations of Loes' models as possible.
Saturday morning everyone rushed through breakfast, so that they could make a quick purchase from the Origami Supplies Store run by Ian Harrison (BOS Supplies) and Derek East (Bookends). As usual, I ended up buying a fairly large stack of BOS booklets. At 10:00 AM David Brill welcomed everyone to the convention with a few opening words, and Martin Wall explained the location and times of the classes scheduled for the day. Thanks for the large neon signs, Martin. I would have been lost without them!
It had been raining on and off all morning. Thankfully, the weather cooperated with us for our convention group photograph. After lunch we all walked across the street from the university where the convention was held, and tried to gather ourselves on a hill without trampling too many of the daffodils. As usual we teased and heckled Robin Macey as he tried to get pictures of us with all the different cameras people handed to him. Teasing aside, Robin, we always love getting a copy of the group photo that you take.
The BOS Annual General Meeting was held after lunch. Penny Groom and Sam Evison were presented with the Sidney French award. The Sidney French medal, named after the BOS founder, is awarded to members who have given exceptional service to the society or origami at large. Unfortunately, Sam was unable to attend the convention, but I was lucky enough be with David Brill and Ian Harrison early in the week when they presented Sam with his award.
Before dinner a small group of us actually stopped folding and went on a walk on the old city wall of York. Actually, not all of us walked. Jeremy Shafer rode his unicycle! Jeremy also spent the weekend entertaining us with some origami tricks and stories, juggling, unicycling, and his famous flaming flapping bird. (Yes, he really set the paper on fire!) Jeremy also wowed everyone who attended his classes during the weekend.
Sunday's activities began with David Brill's famous exhibit review. He went around the exhibit table and each of us that had models on display said a few words about three of our models. It's so much fun to learn a little about the different models everyone had on display. You get to know both the folder a little better, and you appreciate the models more when you find out how and why they were folded.
Before rushing off to more folding sessions, a quick origami auction was held. About eight to ten old hardback books were auctioned off. Rick Beech did a wonderful job as auctioneer. Along with a few other fortunate book collectors, I proudly walked away from the auction with one of the Yoshizawa books.
Having attended origami conventions in different countries, I find it fun to see the different models that keep springing up over and over again at all the conventions. I saw both Valerie Vann's Magic Rose Cube and Yamauchi's Fireworks model being taught during the weekend. I think they just might be the most popular models of the year. I wonder what it will be next year? I can't wait to find out! Thankfully, there's always another origami convention around the corner. So, it won't be that long before I'm surrounded by all my origami friends again!
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
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