Friday, July 30, 2010

Glory Hole-fourth full day

Thursday July 29, 2010

Why is it that it takes so long to pack up when it takes no time at all to explode into a room? It's thursday night so i'll be leaving tomorrow. Today was another great day. It has really been getting to me that I drove over this beautiful water to get here, I can hear the boats, even at night. It's right here all around me and i've yet to go to the water! I thought I'd be swimming at some point everyday, but no. I finally was able to get myself up by 6 so I got in my car and followed my nose until I found my way! I walked down to the pier and sat for nearly an hour- still- in the early morning quite....with the early morning sun on me. Afterwards I went to join everyone for breakfast..

The class was jazzed and ready to go. We moved much more quickly through our pieces. Some pieces didn't make it but most of them did. I started out with a warm up by making Miles a marble. Well, really a paperweight that looks like a marble. I hope. We'll see tomorrow when we open up the kiln. The things that I have at this point, I'm pleased with. When there's a cap on your time, there's a cap on your experience. And only so much can be learned and accomplished in 5 days. When I think that i's only been 5 days, I feel pretty good about it actually. The best part of the experience was being around that much creative energy again. It's gotten me stirring again. I hope that I can come home and harness that and not let it get bogged down, or clouded over by the stresses of the day to day. It's so easy when you're on a beautiful piece of land, on the top of a mountain, with quaint little wooden buildings and a small community of like minded people. All searching to create.

After the marble, I worked in the cold shop. One of my solid glass pieces had dimples no the top from being put in the kiln upside down. And it just so happened that it looked better from the bottom anyway. So instead of just leveling out the break off so that it would sit nicely. I had to take it all the way back and round it off like nothing had ever been there. So other words, I spent the next hour and a half and the wet sander/belt sander polishing it out. From 60 grit all the way through to 800 and then a cork belt. Crazy. But you get it done.

After lunch I was the first to jump up to the hole. I made an awesome piece. About 8 inches tall - nice shape, good balance, colors are good i think. Again, we'll see tomorrow. I went with an translucent amber with a opaque mossy green and blue. I think that's how it'll turn. Anyway, after that I was super jazzed about the day. The video was another great one. My favorite I have to say. The first part was about Bill Morris- a glass blower that will blow your mind. It's crazy to watch him work. He's like a machine. Guys with torches all around him- he's cutting and pulling - amazing And the guy glass blower it was about I'm going to have to look up. I know he's Italian and his first name is Lino. I like his work the most of anyone I've seen up till now. It was very inspiring. This medium is something that could immerse myself in and enjoy the challenge for a long time.

It'll be bittersweet to go. But i've got my own work to do. New designs to start making-finishing up my model for the Legends Park project- preparing for my two fall festivals-not to mention gearing up for the holidays. And it'll also to be nice to be back home with my family.

After dinner it was open studio again. No real big news to report on my end. I had the bright idea to take the powdered glass and make a drawing and try to roll that on the glass and I was semi successful. I could do it the way I want but probably only after trying it a few times. When you haven't done it before, it's just taking it as you go. They don't call it trial and error for nothing.

This photo- Landon and Kevin have some how come up with pickle eating contest at the end of the day. If kevin wins, he gets a chain mail bracelet of Landon's. If Landon wins, he'll get a piece of Kevin's glass. I hope I can stick around for this!

this is brad. a welcomed visitor indeed! his dad is in the next picture helping Landon round out his bowl.

It was another 13 hour day and the smell of pure stinky salt was in the air for nearly every hour of that. I came home and took a long hot shower. Debating for about 2 seconds and hopped in the car and drove to town for some beer. After all the sweat I've dropped this week, I deserved a cold one!

All around the campus there are ceramic, metal and glass pieces in the gardens and around the trees. It's like little offerings to the creative spirits gods- or mother earth- very much about giving back to the earth around here. Absolutely love this place.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Glory Hole- third full day

Wed. July 29, 2010

Thomas Spake- two vases from Monday night's demo.

Well today has been an exceptionally good day. Isn't that the way it goes…. Just as you seem to hit a groove it's time to be going. I can't believe there's only a day and a half left!

So everyone seemed ready to go this morning. We met in the cold room and took a look at the things we did our first day. Silly little things really. But, some nice things too. it is what it is when you're at the beginning. Tommy talked to us about beginning to blow and what all he expected for us today. Everyone's energy seem high and solid and mellow and we all got a lot done. We begin with a demonstration on how to gather on a blow pipe, how to begin the bubble, how to begin the shape, how to transfer it to a punti and break off from blow pipe and how to round out that lip and opening. 45 steps to making a cup. Of course about 35 of those are going back to the hole and reheating!

We broke into teams and rotating out from hot shop to cold shop so that we could all get the run through on how to clean up our pieces. How to sand off rough spots, doing any leveling or sandblasting etc. In the hot shop I was first up on our team. I had a good gather but nearly blew out my cheeks and eye balls trying to blow in a bubble. When I finally got one I reheated and came back to blow and BOOM - in a matter of seconds I had a giant fish bowl bubble and then it began to collapse on itself. True fashion for me I must say. And it wasn't really "giant". But it was definitely as big as one of those bowls you see Betas in lining the isles of any given pet store.

Good look for me I know. Luckily this is how everyone looks.

So I cashed out my glass and we rotated turns. I tried again. I got the bubble but my partner forgot to tell me and so BAM - another fish bowl! yea for me.

The video today was another example of organized chaos. It takes place in a small town in India where all the glass comes from this one town. And by looking at the footage, there must be 35 people at any giving time, rammed in the dirt floor, open environment, furnaces, flinging poles with hot glass on the end of them- sometimes 5 or more feet down a level to someone else. Like 10 people all rammed in the little space on top of each other blowing and throwing hot glass. Clammering around like worker bees - or ants- with the fast forward button on .

Back to the shop we go.

Oh- correction on that steel table in an earlier post - it's

called a marvel. And shaping your glass by rolling it on the marvel is called marveling.

We roll through everyone again- I've finally got a nice little bottle going and coming out of the hole- i don't know- it's like I disappeared for a second and when i returned I had clipped the side of the hole and snagged my glass on the wire. So I immediately pulled out and rolled very quickly the trail of glass around my bottle and it look COOL! I saved it- didn't pop the bottle AND I had something that would have taken an extra punti of glass to do. Very happy.

Except that we lost it after the transfer. Tommy's having to be all over the place at three different stations and the timing was off- it had gotten too cool so when my partner was putting it back in the hole, it burst. Another one bites the dust I suppose. I just wonder how many sacrifices to the gods does one have to make?!

Clearly at least three.

We broke for dinner. Landon and I sat on a bench for awhile and talked more about what our lives are like and walked on over to the Walkway for some yummy meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes and lima beans with hot sauce! It has really helped to be able to replenish with such fresh healthy food. Kudos to Meg for that for sure.

Tonight was open studio and I think every single person in the class came back tonight and we rocked it. Everyone was moving smoothly and quickly with a lot of turn over. One team spent a good while blowing until they got a fish bowl and after all that time popped it. So in the end I was glad mine had happen quickly and not after all that work. I worked in solid glass the rest of the night; creating interior shapes and layering color and working on form. Landen followed suit and did the same but in true form for him- he came up with making flames and floating a square piece of his copper chain mail in middle. I think Tommy was pretty jazzed with Landed today.

Above pictures- Paul marveling - Grace puling the stem on a flower - Dusti smoothing with wet paper- second days work cooling down in the kiln. I have a pretty narly looking flower and the nice globe with the red swirl inside- It doesn't look very big here but on the end of a pole it was huge. The say that it feels like three times the actual weight of the glass. So if you have 3 lbs. , it actually feels like 9 or 10.

All said and done it was a 13 hour day - if you don't count the time I spend loading photos and video and writing and posting. I wish I had more time. I'd much prefer to come back , shower and go to bed but I feel compelled to get it down and get it out there. And t's just not realistic that it'll get done when I get home.

Tonight I stopped on a bench for while and enjoyed the night; a little quite rumbling thunder, nice breeze. The fabrics from surface design out blowing in the breeze. It is quite a magical little world on top of this mountain. Very nice.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Glory hole-second full day

Tuesday July 27

Well, it's the end of the second full day here. I'm in the lobby hoping to get some internet time tonight so I hopefully won't be so rushed in the morning. This morning I didn't really get anything done in regards to writing or posting. Just as I got set up people starting arriving for breakfast and I felt rude not hanging with the glass clan so I put the computer away and started my day with them.

The day went well. We had a short demonstration and then broke up into teams to do some gathering. Everybody was pretty ambitious and suddenly doing large and heavy glass pieces. Most everything turned out great but there were a couple of mistakes and injuries. Some glass hit the floor- too heavy, too hot, lost control, etc. and a couple of people got burned. Either from the glory hole - just sheer heat coming out of the furnace- or picking up hot tools- or myself- stupidly reaching up with my right hand to turn the punti. At the bench, the right hand is for tools only. But until you really learn that once sitting at the bench, your right hand never touches the pole, it's a natural instinct to want to turn with both hands. Especially if you're just turning to cool your piece and someone starts talking to you. Dusti got the worst of the burns. She was out the rest of the class.

Not too far into the morning I was waiting my turn, hadn't had enough coffee, feeling a little bit blue for some reason, and walked over to sit in the sweet spot. The sweet spot is, yes i understand, another innuendo, but it is actually about 5 feet from the door, in between the fans. It must be atleast 10 degrees cooler with a breeze. Anyway, I look over and notice this bucket for the first time. It was just a bucket of water to keep shaping blocks is but across the top, written on purple tape was MILES. A sweetness washed over me and I had a smile to myself.

After the video Tommy had a talk with us about the rest of the afternoon. We were going to start blowing but i think because of the big jump today and the accidents that came because of it, he wanted to reel us in and get us back focused on learning technique more than size. So, hopefully we'll get on that in the morning. I'm a little nervous about it. There is definitely an element of frustration for me. I'm so use to working like Tommy does. Smooth and successful with ease. (for the most part)

The video today was very interesting. The first part was a performance art group called group B or something like that. Amazing stuff- girl dancing on hot glass, people spinning hot pates and someone else shooting melted glass balls at it like a target. Even raining molten glass. Crazy rock and roll glass stuff. Following that was about the founders of the glass blowing movement and their innovations and studios. .Also amazing and inspiring. I'm definitely a metal girl, but I am truly digging this glass. It is absolutely hot hard work- when you leave the studio you look like you've been laying asphalt- but it is also very zen.

Hanging jelly fish

Shaping with wet paper- 10 year old wall street journal

Bucket of water with shaping tools called blocks

Kevin getting ready to take a hot piece and load it into the kiln.