On August 24th-27th we had our 2023 In Person Gathering in San Francisco.  The first since 2020!  Almost 3 years!  You may remember that we were scheduled to have an in person gathering in October of 2020. Sadly, we had to cancel it due to COVID.  Also, because of COVID we decided not to have in person events in 2021 and 2022.

Instead AKS switched gears and began offering virtual gatherings via Zoom.  Since 2020 we have had 6 virtual gatherings with a total of 30 plus classes.

We learned a lot.  None of the volunteers were very experienced with Zoom.  But we quickly learned and helped both students and instructors navigate this brand new world.

While it is great to be able to offer and take classes from the comfort of your home in your yoga pants, we were all missing being able to see old friends and meet new friends face to face.  This year we were finally able to do so!

The Gathering turned out to be small, but we were still able to have incredible instructors offering exciting classes for all levels of braiders: Makiko Tada, Jacqui Carey, Yuko Yoshida, Adrienne Gaskell, Rosalie Nielson, Katherine Buenger, Carolyn Oliver-Houshalter, Aasia Hamid, and Giovanna Imperia.

Students had an opportunity to learn new techniques — such as the Unbalanced Kongoh from Makiko Tada or the Uneri braid from Yuko Yoshida: dive more deeply into beaded kumihimo — such as Aasia’s Bella Necklace class, or Adrienne’s Serendipity Necklace.  We should not forget Rosalie’s Overview of silk braiding on the Marudai, Jacqui Carey classes using her grid with and without beads, and Katherine’s classes on creating with tin coiled wire.  It was an incredible experience for students, instructors and volunteers.

Speaking of volunteers: during our general meeting we asked for more volunteers to help AKS move forward with exciting activities.  I want to thank all of you that have raised your hand and offered to jump in and help out in many areas.  Of course we are always open to have more volunteers.  Without them there would be no AKS.  So, consider volunteering.  Just let us know your areas of interest.

Happy Braiding

Giovanna Imperia, AKS President