Where the heck does the time go?

Why does there seem to be so little time when you’re facing the future, and so much when you’re looking back?

It’s mid-February already? How did that happen? Eeek. I’ve got to get on the ball. Now. I’ve got a show at Guardino’s in late March/April and another, OGG’s Spring Glass Gallery, at the end of April, and I’m not nearly ready.

I am getting stuff done. Dayjob stuff is moving along. And I’ve set up two shows in the last six weeks, one in the Mayor’s office at City Hall. I’m in a third, and I’m working with the Oregon Glass Guild to set up a LOT of exhibit/sales opportunities throughout the year.

Quick note to glassists: If you live in Oregon or just over the border in Washington state, this would be a GOOD year to join OGG. We’re working hard to get your glass in the face of just about anybody with a checkbook.

Folks told me that I (or rather, SHOUT!) showed up on the email blast and home page of one of my favorite blogs, Susan Lomuto’s Daily Art Muse. Very cool surprise that’s sending all kinds of web traffic to my portfolio site, cynthiamorgan.com. I KNEW I should have gotten that bloody site rebuilt–it’s not really ready for visitors. Sigh.

The available kiln has pretty much constrained my work to open-faced relief panels; I can’t fit mold-plus-reservoir in the kiln, not in the size I like to work. SHOUT!, however, whetted my 3D appetite and the fact that I get the pedestals at Guardino’s while Leah gets the walls just exacerbated it. (I’m teamed with the marvelous Leah Wilson for this show)

The show is themed around water. I’m having a blast designing watery stuff and playing up blue, green and straw-colored glasses.

There are 15 people inhabiting this sculpture and eight of them can be seen in this view. Can you pick them out? (Hint: rotate the piece about 15 degrees and half of them will disappear entirely)

And wow–I’m in love with sculpting all over again. Creating in full 3D, not just bas-relief, is as ecstatic as I can get with my hands in clay (the movie “Ghost” notwithstanding).

Sometimes the brain disengages and I just watch the hands. They know what to do. I don’t care if everyone else hates it, if it never sells, if people call it sentimental, old-fashioned trash and a thousand galleries and competitions turn up their noses…it just feels right and I’m having fun watching it.

I’ve finished the silicone for Currents Repose, the sixth piece in the Guardino show (left). With luck, the wax will be done by Monday or Tuesday. She and her 25 pounds of glass are still small enough to fit in Skooby-the-Skutt, albeit with some skullduggery.

The seventh, Currents Breaking, is not. Not by a long shot, so I’m renting a kiln for her. So far, the only thing she’s been breaking is my heart.

She’s also an example of Les’ More Syndrome (say it out loud), named after my friend Les Rowe-Israelson, who WILL expand a piece to fit the available kilnspace and just a bit more. I twit her about it all the time, but it’s clear that, in 3D, I have the same disease.

Breaking started out as a nice, simple curve with wave action. As usual, she sprouted a face, the face became an integral part of the work…and all of a sudden she’s 16 inches tall and requires probably 40 pounds of glass to complete. She poses some pretty problems in casting–I NEED to take a class or five in large-scale casting because this make-it-up-as-you-go-along stuff can’t continue–and the one now being siliconed, right, should more properly be called “Breaking II.”

Breaking I was killed by an extension cord, with a lot of help from me. I tripped over the cord while carrying the base coat mold across the studio, smashing it into about 20 pieces. (In retrospect, Breaking might not have been such a hot name.) I had decided to skip the mastermold process and work directly from the clay model–which is dug out of the mold and therefore destroyed. When I make silicones, I never need them again. When I don’t…this happens.

Fortunately, the memory of her was still in my hands, so I rebuilt her from scratch in about five hours. I actually like the second one much, much better, although she’ll be a more difficult cast.

And so Breaking is on her third coat of silicone right now, three more to go before I can make the mothershell. Pouring the wax and steaming out the mold will be a royal PITA. In my dreams these pieces will someday make enough money that I can be a REAL sculptor, one who sends the model to the foundry and lets them do all this nonsense while I just create.

For now, this is where the week goes…



  1. Jerry Jensen February 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    I have a large old skutt ceramic kiln and a newer smaller skutt with digital controls that could be fitted together. We would have to do some work on the larger kiln, refitting new elements and making the frame to support the smaller kiln but I have a metal and wood shop in addition to my glass studio. On another note Linda Either would incert small SS rods into the wax before finishing the mother mold and pull them out after the plaster is set to creat vents for glass casting. This solves many spruing issues with vents.

  2. cynthia February 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    Jerry, I have your message now–thanks for bringing it to my attention. I have an overly zealous spam filter sometimes. (sigh) I’ve added you to my mailing list which should stop that, and I’ll send a response by private mail.

    I saw the two-kiln thing at Bullseye not long before BeCON and fell in love with the idea. I’ve got a little kiln that would be perfect for it (although Skutt isn’t happy about the idea of cutting a hole in the top of my kiln). However… Breaking is 16 inches tall WITHOUT the mold and my kiln is only 13 inches deep. And I changed the design enough in the second version that my original plan, to gate the reservoir along the back ridges and cast this thing face-side down, won’t fit either. I think it needs to be cast upside down with some extra vents and gates, which means probably 18-19 inches tall without the reservoir.

    So at this point I’m renting a tall kiln and hoping I haven’t outgrown it, too! That’s a lot of heavy glass to have wobbling around on top of a narrowing base; I’m thinking I’ll keep reservoir and mold separate by using a terra cotta pot on stilts. I’ve just gotta quit making these s-hook sculptures; they’re killers to cast.

    And yeah, Breaking is all soppy-drippy-romantic-pretty, probably making up for the much creepier Totem that came before her. But that’s what came out. I seem to be alternating between pretty and grotesque; the one that’s on the sculpture stand now is definitely veering back in the other direction. I’m watching a documentary on Jean-Louis David and Caravaggio right now, and they’re definitely influencing things around here.

  3. Jerry Jensen February 13, 2010 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    This piece would be a great time to use the two kiln process from BECON 2009. I could see a bi color blue transparent pot melt cast. This piece is very Lalique.
    ps did my note get to you?

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