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.
What's worse than Castuary?* Castuary squared. What's worse than Castuary squared? Obviously: Castuary cubed. I am in Castuary for three simultaneous firings, and it's driving me nuts. I've stuffed my own kiln to the gills, along with Hugh's kiln and Kat's kiln, as if I'm in some goofy and rather spendy race to see which spits out sculpture the fastest. And it's teaching me a great lesson in the whole artist/show/gallery thing: Procrastination costs bigtime money and biggertime anxiety.
If you added up all my blogposts since 2003, you'd have something like 7,200 separate articles. Only about 650 are actually searchable on morganica.com right now. Tried to import the rest, but so far can't figure out a way to do that without spamming the heck out of the 1,500 or so subscribers who asked to be notified when I [...]
I'm SUPPOSED to be working. Instead, I'm petting crystal, which either means I'm a glassist who's finally gone over the edge...or that the nice delivery man just dropped off a big honkin' Gaffer shipment. Lordee, these things are gorgeous. How are you supposed to actually chop them up?
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.
This was a week of contrasts, of suicide bombers and gems, art and armor. A rich week of brainstorming and artstorming and talk, one that brought home the value of new and shared perceptions. And maybe (sigh) an unwelcome revelation.