Author Topic: Letter Works / IAMPETH  (Read 1023 times)

Offline sheila247

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Letter Works / IAMPETH
« on: February 12, 2017, 08:54:00 PM »
I registered for Letter Works and am very excited to get to go.  I am not able to go to both this year..... but in planning for my training budget for next year, what are the main differences between the International Conference and IAMPETH?  Is one "better" than the other? 

Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Letter Works / IAMPETH
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2017, 07:03:24 AM »
IAMPETH's conventions started 67 years ago and were conventions for members, most of whom were in the business. Fifteen years ago, when I first attended, it was still a convention full of working scribes and there were few -if any- beginners. We were all there to participate in sharing of information on topics that were beyond the basics. There were 70 people in one hotel banquet room so it was pretty easy to meet everyone. The presenters were members who donated their time. Nobody presented more than one day or a half day. Members were also donating their time to publish the IAMPETH newsletter and build the website. As the internet made the organization more visible, the numbers at the convention grew and beginners started showing up at conventions. Beginners were always welcome. As the attendance has grown (250?) IAMPETH has begun offering more classes for beginners but the class size is quite large, so individual attention is limited. The presenters are top notch calligraphers, but you will not be spending a week with one person as you do at an international conference. At IAMPETH you get more of a smorgasbord rather than in depth study. The last couple of times I attended, I would sit next to beginners and offer tips. You can learn a lot from the old-timers if you cross paths with them. Students sign up for half day or full day classes and receive a large notebook full of handouts from all the classes.

I noticed on the website, IAMPETH is now referring to the convention as both a convention and a conference. It is held at a hotel and after you pay for your room and meals, the cost is comparable to the international conference which is held on a college campus where you stay in a dorm and eat cafeteria food. I believe that once registration begins, IAMPETH sells out very quickly. The international conference has more flexibility in numbers so early registration is not an issue. The only advantage of early registration is if you are intent on getting into a certain class that might fill quickly.

The international conference is in its 37th year. It was started by the Minneapolis-St. Paul guild and each year a different guild sponsors it. Each guild gives the conference a different name, so it is a little confusing but you can always find it by Googling international calligraphy conference and the year. You will not find LetterWorks in 2018. The conference is being hosted by the Seattle guild and I do not see a name on their website - yet.

Before the recent growth spurt of IAMPETH, the international conference was always much larger (300-400?).   The classes are 12-16 people and the instructors are paid. Students have the choice of a one week class or two half-week classes. The in-depth study with a rock star is an advantage if you are looking for in depth study.

IAMPETH has historically been more focused on the pointed pen styles with a smattering of broad edge styles. The international conference offers a lot more variety in options. If you know you are strictly a pointed pen scribe, you might be much better off at IAMPETH. Broad edge scribes probably won't find what they are looking for at IAMPETH.

If you want to learn both pointed pen and broad edge, then you really need to attend one of each to determine which one is for you. The camaraderie is identical at both. People like Heather Held and Michael Sull have been frequent presenters/instructors at both IAMPETH and the international conference. In my 15+ years of attending both - I have met plenty of other people who have attended both and would not rate one better than the other.

Often times people make the choice by the cost of the plane ticket. I have never heard of anyone being disappointed in an international conference. Likewise, I have never heard of anyone being disappointed in IAMPETH.

Offline sheila247

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Re: Letter Works / IAMPETH
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2017, 09:59:10 AM »
Thank you Jean for that in depth response.   I always enjoy reading your responses on the board.  You have so much knowledge that you are so willing to share.   I think I made the right choice for me this year. The idea of one or two more in-depth classes appeals to me as does a week of being able to eat, sleep, and breathe calligraphy.  I am more of a pointed pen person, but I also want to learn Uncial and Italic broad pen hands.  So much I want to learn - not enough time.   Next year I'll plan on going to IAMPETH.      Once again, thank you for your reply.  Will you be going to Letter Works?  I would love to meet you! 

Offline tintenfuchs

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Re: Letter Works / IAMPETH
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2017, 03:00:41 AM »
Well, Letter Works is much more expensive, that's what put me off :P
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Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Letter Works / IAMPETH
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2017, 08:31:09 AM »
Keep in mind when comparing the cost of the international conference and IAMPETH, with the international conference, your meals are included. With IAMPETH, you are on your own for meals. Adding that cost makes the difference quite a bit less.

IMHO, the extra cost of the international conference is worth it because your class work is very focused. It's more like a college level course. Not that I want to scare anyone away. Beginners are most welcome. Some of the classes are intermediate or advanced.


Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Letter Works / IAMPETH
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2017, 08:51:58 AM »
<snip> Will you be going to Letter Works?  I would love to meet you!
My days of attending conferences and conventions are over, but if either of them are going to be in Chicago, I will drop in to see the exhibits - and visit with pen pals. I believe both events have evening programs and exhibits that are open to the public. As they get closer, we should remember to post the info on the forum for anyone who might be within driving distance.

The exhibits at the international conference are fantastic. There is a faculty exhibit. And often times there are other exhibits as well.

With IAMPETH - there is often an evening open to the public. Also, if you are a member of IAMPETH you might be able to  spend some time in the archive room. The original work that they bring is unbelievable.


Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Letter Works / IAMPETH
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2017, 09:32:12 AM »
IMHO, the extra cost of the international conference is worth it because your class work is very focused. It's more like a college level course. Not that I want to scare anyone away. Beginners are most welcome. Some of the classes are intermediate or advanced.
That would be more my cup of tea, I think.
I'm moving away from half day or one or two day classes, which can be a fun introduction to a new area, but how much can one really learn in such a short time (and learning is my personal focus these days)? The social aspect is great at the IAMPETH convention though, and, as you mention, the chance to see the archives in person can't be underestimated.
It seems fewer of the master penman are going to IAMPETH this year, which is a disappointment.
It seems as if Iampeth is looking to be more fun, and the IC more work oriented.

Offline sheila247

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Re: Letter Works / IAMPETH
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2017, 09:43:55 AM »
It would be nice to have either conference within a reasonable driving distance!!  But as I live in Oklahoma that is probably not going to happen.  :-)    I was looking at the IAMPETH website and the closest one they have ever had was in Missouri......   One can hope.   

Letter Works is expensive but it is also all inclusive - the price includes the dorm room, all meals, and the conference.   

Jean, I have a silly question.   I have seen pictures from the conferences and for the evening programs most people are somewhat dressed up.   Do I need to pack a dress or skirt with nice shirt in addition to casual clothing for the classes?   And is it okay to plan on packing my supplies in my carry on?   Could I put my nibs in my holders upside down or do I need to remove them and pack them in a tin (so as not to be confused as a weapon)