Impressions of CHA 75th Anniversary Mega Show and Conference

It may be a bit early to synthesize what lasting impressions this show experience made.
My initial response is the subject of the keynote speaker - trends. The craft industry is not usually at the forefront of trends. In fact, too quick adoption of some trends can be financially ill-fated if the customer is not on board. Fashion is one place where trends show up promptly in the market; home accessories is another. Major pieces of furniture and items that require an investment of time as a sewing or knitting project traditionally do mean the customer has to have a level of confidence about the trend to embrace it. It is clear that younger consumers are desiring to be more on the edge, even to feeling the need to be an individual trendsetter. The craft industry sees that movement in the young market and so is acutely sensitive to what are current trends. The concept of quick adaptation works for a group where DIY, recycling and ecologically sound products mean that moving in a new direction will not make current purchases seem like terrible choices as the styles change.
Markets for different manufacturers vary, and this affects the adoption of trends. In my favorite craft, scrapbooking, Studio Calico has been one brand that has been on the leading edge of trends. One example is whitewashed looks. These are quite familiar now, but we saw this trend quite a while ago at Studio Calico. Scrapbooking, itself, is decreasing as a contemporary craft trend. Fortunately, it has not been forgotten completely, and the products we crafters use in our hobby are part of currently popular activities like mixed media art and art journaling and in card making, that is holding its own.
In reflecting on the trends I heard discussed and saw illustrated at the show, texture, dimension, layering and depth were apparent. I've mentioned in my past discussions on this topic the idea of perforation and translucency where one sees past the top layer. Lace, wire, watercolor, and sheer photo-printed fabrics are some examples of this trend. Texture and dimension appear in ribbon detail, knits, quilting, pleats, gathers, fringe, ruffles, wrapped details, folded origami-like treatments, cork, and inflated objects. Surface treatments like the photo-printing of materials, marbling, and glow-in-the-dark fibers are trending, too. Look for these ideas in new products.
3-D printing is still in its infancy, but the interest is there and we may see more with this process in the not too distant future.
With my recent study of printmaking, I was very interested in the demonstration of a process where a piece of original art was scanned and cut into acrylic then a molding material applied and then peeled away to form a print block. Very cool!
I have yet to download and edit my photos, and there are a few products I want to report about in a bit more detail so look for at least one more blog post about the show. We will be talking about CHA 2016 in a future Digiscrap Geek podcast. Please join me there for that discussion.
It was a delightful and interesting show and the ideas and innovations should keep crafters and makers very happy.

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