Reverse auctioneering (Pilchuck auction)

They tell me I’m doing this exactly backwards.

Artists are first supposed to take a class at Pilchuck, the famous mountaintop glass school in the northwest. They fall in love with it, then tenderly, timidly offer their art to Pilchuck’s big fundraising auction. Wait to breathe until it’s accepted.

The second year their work gets in, they’ve arrived, so they actually GO to the auction.

Or so I’m told.

Me, I’m cutting to the chase: Tonight I’m going to the Pilchuck auction. Maybe someday I’ll take a class there. Prolly never donate my work (long story*), but hey…

My friend Becky and I decided to build a mini-weekend in Seattle around the auction. We’re staying in the Hotel Murano (actually, it’s in Tacoma, but what the heck), visiting a bunch of glassblowing buddies who live up here, and doing the museums and a few galleries.

Now, me and auctions go back a looooong way, usually to bankruptcy. I admit to being a tad competitive (my family will roll eyes as they read THAT), which is deadly when somebody bids against you.

So Becky’s promised to nail my hands to the table if I do something stupid, like maybe try to outbid a Rockefeller. I’ve promised to return the favor. I realize this is not exactly what the Pilchuck organizers had mind–the shiny catalog they sent included an insert describing how to order packing and shipping for the dozens of things you’ll be buying–but hey–ya gotta start somewhere, right?

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*The first time I donated my art to a charitable auction, the woman receiving it sniffed and rolled her eyes. “What is that thing, a pansy?” It was the only piece in the auction that didn’t sell, and she smirked when she gave it back to me. Ever since, if a group asks me for charity, they get money, stuff or me. The art stays home.

11 thoughts on “Reverse auctioneering (Pilchuck auction)”

  1. Heh! I remember sitting next to you at the GAS auction. I swear you were going to dislocate your arm during the bidding… And then… that drive back to your place with the Fragile Single Thickness Glass sitting on your lap. Until that baby was up on the shelf I was on pins and needles!

  2. Your bowl is lovely!! I would love to be able to do as well.

    That lady’s comments were rude, unnecessary and said more about her lack understanding (of anything!) than about your bowl.

    Sorry you had to go through something like that.

  3. Oh, I forgot to mention that last night during the bidding on one of the sculptures, the auctioneer identified someone who was sitting on her hands, WAS THAT YOU???

  4. I wish I would have known you were there! I’ve been wanting to meet you. BTW: I did it backwards too but started with a donation first! Didn’t actually get to the Pilchuck school til three years/auctions later.

  5. Oh, good heavens–Becky and I were sitting over in the far right corner in the front (table 65) and wondering where all the artists we knew were. We did see a few people we knew, had lots of fun. Traffic was horrible, our hotel was more than an hour away, so I think that by the time we got there most of the silent auction (and probably our chance to meet everyone) was gone.

    Sunny, yes, it’s sort of an abstraction of iris (I love them) and it’s actually about 20 inches across, so it’s a SIZEABLE iris. My mom owns it now.

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