I’m beginning to suspect that, to a glassist, only one sound is more terrifying than the -ting-ting-ting- of thermal shock: The rumble of an approaching moving van.

I’m seriously contemplating a move, either of my studio or my whole house (yeah, I know, I’ve been going on about this for at least a year). And so today I grabbed a shovel, headed down to the studio and took a real inventory. For the first time, the implications of moving a casting studio whacked me upside the head.

I’m still in shock.

Not counting the coldworking equipment and kilns, there’s 700-some pounds of assorted powders and goo, about 7200 test samples and glass studies, reams of documentation, maybe 300 books on glass art and studio technique, 300 pounds of clay, multiple trolleys of ceramic and steel molds, silicone mastermolds, colorants, boxes and packing supplies, brochures, postcards and mailers, booth displays and “in progress” work.

And that’s before you even count the glass.

The last time I moved, the movers broke roughly half of my sheet glass, maybe a quarter of the rods and dumped a third of my frit into the bottom of the packing boxes. Never mind, I’d said bravely,  I’m gonna melt it anyway…

Almost nine years years later, thanks to living in an area with multiple glass factories (and cut-price seconds), I now have enough sheet glass, cullet, billet, stringer, rod and frit to open my own glass store. So I’m trying to decide whether I should:

  • Lighten the load with the glassist garage sale to end all garage sales
  • Start making sushi dishes like they’re going out of style (they probably are)
  • Donate all this stuff to a worthy cause (which I really can’t afford)
  • Pay the movers a gazillion dollars to shift all this stuff and listen to the sound of my heart breaking along with the glass
  • Stay put

Accumulating–I refuse to call it collecting–runs in our family. My grandpa, a brilliant, kind and probably underestimated man, ran a fix-it shop that was crowded with a fascinating collection of old toasters, tire irons and wooden Dr. Pepper boxes.

My sister, a brilliant seamstress and clothing designer, could probably drape Mount Everest with the contents of her fabric closets, and my other sister could shod and perfume every lady in the state of Oregon.

My mother has literally bought out knitting stores. Ask her for yarn, any yarn, and she probably has it…in the “blue yarn closet” or the “red yarn closet,” etc., etc.

So I come by it naturally. We seem to have this deep-seated fear that we’ll wake up in the middle of the night with a deadly emergency that requires just the right shade of green…

I think I’m going to change that old saying: She who has the most stuff when she dies…winds up in the great moving van from hell.

By the way, free drink in PDX to the first person who figures out how that title relates to this post…