I suffer from studio envy.

Visited Chuck Franklin’s 13,000-square-foot studio in glassland last night and immediately added it to my studio envy list. I think that makes six glassland studios that I’d like to live in some day:

  • Doug Randall‘s new studio-slash-home that is as beautiful as it is functional
  • Bullseye Glass’ R&D center (especially the great big honking kilns and coldworking area)
  • Savoy Studio’s kinda baroque manufacturing-cum-design-cum-production setup
  • Jeremy Lepisto and Mel George’s wonderful workshop with the bell-kilns-on-rails system
  • Linda Ethier‘s tidily organized storefront casting studio

And now Chuck’s. I was there last night as an Oregon Glass Guild field trip, with about 30 other OGG members.

If you’ve been in a McCormick and Schmick’s seafood restaurant (good food, BTW), you’ve probably seen Chuck’s stained glass. It’s some of the more technically difficult stained glass around, spectacular for the scale if nothing else, and I saw quite a bit of work last night that made me rethink my position on stained glass (i.e., it’s not quite as ho-hum as I’ve thought).

Chuck’s team does some fusing work and some of the most incredible sandblasted glass I’ve ever seen, but primarily they’re doing stained glass in the Tiffany and Frank Lloyd Wright tradition. Chuck showed us hundreds of examples of light fixtures, skylights, domed roofs, fireplaces, partitions, etc., etc., etc. We about oooohed ourselves half to death.

This is NOT airbrushed, painted, fused, printed or any of those things. It’s sandblasted, from Joe, one of Chuck’s employees. His ability to achieve smooth gradients and complete greyscale shading is absolutely amazing.

But I kept coming back to Chuck’s studio. Two stories full of specialized rooms for assembling, blasting, soldering, cutting, laying out, storage, fusing, etc., etc. Plenty of elbow room to spread out and work. Lovely light. Great cupboards especially made for glass. Great parking. Tools to die for. Plenty of wall space to hang up plans.

I considered my little studio at home, roughly 2 percent the size of Chuck’s, and thought about diving into a serious pout. Then I thought about money and decided to be content.

Still, it’s fun to imagine one of these guys adopting me and letting me move in, put a cot in the corner…