The Sculpture Objects & Functional Art fair organized by the Art Fair Company each year on Chicago’s Navy Pier is more than just another market of beautifully crafted objects designed and executed by some of the world’s best makers.

SOFA is also a barometer of our field. Aesthetic direction, media percentages, gallery appearances (and disappearances), size of booth, placement in hall, artists on show – SOFA is a virtual snapshot of where we are and, more importantly, where we’re going.

Going places: e-merge 2010 winner Kate Baker is our choice for front row viewing at the entrance to this year’s SOFA.

Granted, it’s not yet even Opening Night. Many dealers are still knee-deep in installation. But since our own booth is finally “done and dusted”, I had a few minutes yesterday to walk the aisles and take a few notes. Shared herewith….

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It’s Art Fair season and our first stop this fall is SOFA CHICAGO.

Think about joining the crowds to see some of the best in glass worldwide. (and some other neat stuff too).

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By the last day of COLLECT we’re running out of time. After years of working at Bullseye Gallery, Jamie announces she’s never seen glass blown (it is possible to take this gotta-be-Bullseye-gotta-be-kilnformed thing too far).

Adam Aronson takes pity and invites us for breakfast and a lesson at his hotshop in West Brompton. Charming neighborhood, good croissant, and Adam proves to be a brilliant teacher.

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Friday inside the Saatchi Galleries, it’s all business. Sales are stronger than we’ve seen in years.

Without a doubt the most satisfying clients are the ones who return a year later to say they deeply regret the purchase they didn’t make the year before and would like to make up for it immediately!

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By 5:00 pm Thursday the painful memory of set-up is fading.  Drawn, bug-like, to Saatchi’s glamorously-lit digs, we arrive for the VIP Preview of COLLECT 2010.

Inside there is just about everything that makes us keep coming back year after year.

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