Boy, did I have a great time.

I’d promised to give two lecture/demos to OGG chapters on color and transparency control in casting and pate de verre (a demo which, whimsically, I’ve decided to call “Intelligent Design.” Don’t gasp.). Between Dad’s accident, economy shifts and the sad, sad state of kilnlessness, I just didn’t see how I could keep that promise.

BTW, guys: There’s an updated casting resources list–just check the link at the top right of this page.

Amazing how trimmed your life gets when the focus shifts to family. I’m still prepping the lecture and designing samples–the subject is a fascinating one that I’d pursue anyway–but we’ve canceled the Portland chapter lecture for now and will take it up in the spring. It’s not like I don’t yak their ears off anyway…

But when I tried to cancel at our new Mid-Valley chapter, though, they expressed dismay; apparently the sign-up sheet for the lecture was inordinately large and they were planning a dinner afterwards… “You know,” pleaded Rinee, who started this whole thing, “if you’re up to it, why don’t you just come for a casual talk? It doesn’t have to be a fancy lecture or anything…”

I agreed, gathered up some casting mistakes, er, works in progress, and headed down to Albany. Despite living here for seven years the only place I’ve been to in Oregon (outside of two visits to Newport) is Portland. (Well, Vancouver, too). I trekked down past Salem, to Albany, and met up with 30 or 40 really delightful glassists. Flatteringly (or maybe just because the room was on the smallish side) it was standing room only.

They asked a lot of questions but pretty much let me yak. We talked about frit, bubble control, color layering and the need to get all the clay out before you put the glass in the mold (blush). We passed around samples of my, uhm, works in progress, and talked about next steps for fixing them. I passed out an updated list of casting supplies.

In short, I had a ball. We trekked around the corner to Clemenza’s, a nice little Italian restaurant. Nothing I like better than a bunch of glassists getting to know each other, and by the time we finished eating we were fast friends.

They asked me to teach a class, something I get asked to do quite a bit, and it’s started me thinking along those lines. But mostly, I just really enjoyed the change of scenery, change of mindset, the opportunity to shake out the wrinks and creasles and do something else for an evening.

So thank you for insisting, Rinee. And thanks for inviting me, Mid-Valley. We oughta do that again sometime.