May 23-25 2014
This trip was the best glass blowing I’ve seen from the boys. Its the third year we have worked together on the Anthem project glass series. It is such a great representation of breath and movement I love this version of the story. I have worked with other artists over the years to capture beauty and call it breath, but blowing glass with these boys is my favorite process. Its really easy to take yourself too seriously on days like these so we dress and up and dance the day away with molten cotton candy on the end of a stick. Sure, it’s rolled, blown, corked and broken off then annealed… but it’s the friendships built into the piece that are harder to see unless you were there. This is my second year to work with Andrew Thompson. He really impressed me this year, I can definitely see his skills and even physical strength have improved. What a wild way to grow up, blowing glass:) Our team was better off with Shauna there, she was sweet to keep us fed and watered so we could focus on the challenges at hand. Daniel Bell is a totally different human in the glass shop, he is his best self. I am please to see that his skill is seasoned and will continue to refine so long as he still dreams about glass. He reminded me of the old climber who has paid his dues and can rely on technique without overthinking the situation. Because he still dreams of rock, his body is easily convinced to be great again. It’s like coming home.
Integrity…I saw it first in the pieces we blew for the Jones Sculpture. I always say its expensive to know what you want; turns out casting glass is way more expensive and the process is not very eventful. It would have robed us of the experience… the hotness of the shopness. We decided to blow them. The first was a clear glass blown into the 8’’ pipe I brought from the shop. The idea changed over the evening and we decided to forego the pipe to achieve a more sexy smooth finish. I am not sure which will fit the IDEA of the sculpture better so we blew them both ways. The process took days to plan and hours to blow five pieces. I was really impressed how naturally the boys shaped the next two pieces by hand. Its not easy cutting a perfect circle with a plasma cutter, or rolling one in clay, much less glass. They finished and tested the pieces in the pipe to ensure a good fit and into the annealer they went. the glass was clear while we worked it, it won’t turn red untill it’s in the kiln. It took days for the thick glass to slowly cool without cracking. The anticipation only added to the power of the experience.
I am proud to work with Tramontane Glass and will be very glad to have the new lungs home safe and the Jones Idea put in place at the day of the install. Thank you First City Arts Center and the Thompson’s for giving us a place to crash while we worked.