Apologies for the overlong ramble, but since this blog is intended to document my creative meanderings, it also details the times I'm bogged down in design and engineering. Apparently stuffing my musings into a blogpost for review is [...]
Apologies for the pun. When it gets that bad, you know the glassist is kilnless. Try saying “glassist is kilnless” five times, very fast. Probably not survivable. Neither, according to my fevered brain, is not having a working kiln in the [...]
Tonight I’m putting the final load into Skooby, my Skutt GM1414 bathtub kiln, and closing the lid on 14 years of firing adventures. Wow. Glassists talk glass, tools, studio, classes, techniques, artistic sensibilities, but rarely mention our central, silent, steady [...]
A silicone master mold is an obvious safety net in glass casting: If you accidentally employ one of the 10,000 methods for destroying a piece during casting, a master model gives you a second chance. The original sculpture (and photo it was [...]
"I've been dreaming about this at night," Shelby told me excitedly, as we tripped down the stairs to my studio, "This is gonna be soooo coool!" Right then, the joy part of making glass hit me--whap--right in the head. If you want to renew your own sense of joy and discovery in art (or probably anything else), just teach someone else to love it, too.
Thinking of designing a glassmaker's studio? Or remaking the one you already have? Here's a tip: Design your studio for the ENTIRE glass process..which turns out to be a lot more than just the "making" part. If you don't, the day could come when the mess literally locks you out of the studio.
There are moods in which you write, and moods in which you're glad you wrote yesterday. I'm in the latter, not because I can think of nothing to write about, but rather because there's so much it's hard to know where to begin. First, the art. Haven't so much as touched the studio (aside from helpless shoves to see if it's still there under all the mess) in nearly two months. Apparently I left out a key element of studio design, i.e., where you put the stuff for AFTER you shut off the kiln: Packing and transport materials. Brochures. Booth furniture and setup kits. Signage. Display stands and hangers. Etc.
I'm giving in to glass transparency right now, (weird, because I tend to sneer at artists who substitute transparent bling for a voice). What's utterly fascinating is the almost symbiotic relationship that transparent sculpture has with its environment. I want to learn to use that power in my work, and from what I've seen so far, it'll be a helluva challenge. Sculpting with glass is, for me, an extreme exercise in controlling the viewer's eye. The artist directs the viewer's eye with all art, of course, but in other media that control is largely confined to the surface. A work's mass and volume are simply vehicles for presenting (or hiding) whatever the artist has put on the surface. Not so with glass--you can send the eye anywhere you want in that volume; surface constraints only exist if you choose to use them, i.e., opaque the glass.
Much as I love to whine, I won't; I'm over my quota for the quarter. However, I'd just like to point out that I HAVEN'T SO MUCH AS TOUCHED A KILN CONTROLLER IN A MONTH!! Is there such a thing as glass cold turkey? Still, it's given me some time to process the directions my work is taking, come to a few realizations about what I do (and don't do) well...and maybe make some course corrections. I think educators and HR people call that a "teachable moment," which is a whole lot nicer than, say, "screwup."
It's official: I've had my first "me" show in an art gallery, where I was one of the attractions instead of one of the crowd. And boy did I learn a lot, mostly about what NOT to do. (For the record, the show is at Guardino Gallery on Alberta Street in Portland--if you missed the reception you missed a really nice party and a really beautifully laid-out show, including Leah Wilson's wonderful paintings. It'll be up until April 27.) Biggest lesson: It's one thing to send a couple of pieces to somebody else's show. It's QUITE another to be the show.