Monday, June 11, 2012


In my haste to depart for beers and hugs, I forgot to show you what I have actually been working on at Pilchuck...


Sorry, I think they are hilarious! I made them all hot too so I am a super proud mama. I had anticipated developing my cacti and succulents more, which I started on in the beginning, but I just could not get the radish that I had seen in Japan out of my head. So I thought when else am I going to get the chance to make a radish? And now I'm hooked and want to make a whole series of radish and beets.
(See? Same, same....!)
But then I go back to the conversation I had with my sister, "who is going to want to buy a glass radish?" but that was the amazing thing about Pilchuck, it was the first time in a long time that I was given the opportunity to create without the hinderance of those pesky money questions. And isn't that what art is about? Sometimes coming from a production background I get the lines mixed up I think. It is an expensive medium and somewhere along the lines it gets a little blurry and I only end up making for money ie functional wares.

Now functional wares have never really been my strong point. I can make vases and bowls I suppose but I always felt like they weren't  good enough. Never thin enough, never tall enough, blah, blah, blah. But with sculpting this all goes out the window! I feel like with my skills I have learnt from production blowing I can be a better sculptor, if that makes sense? And I love it. (that helps too I suppose...) And it is ridiculous amounts of fun.

I got to use the garage for the first time and that was awesome. I found that it works best to make all the radish leaves first then reassemble on the last leave and put it in the garage. Then make the body and reattach the leaves as a whole. Super fun. I ended up having to give the big guy away but I did manage to ship one little guy and store 2 in my backpack. The big guy was the first one I made so the leaves are not as nice (well thats what I told myself as I had to give it up) Now I wanna make some metal stands for them and I would love to have some sticking up from the ground!

These next pics are (unfortunately..) not my work. When we were in Seattle we were fortunate enough to see the brand new Chihuly exhibition. It was absolutely awe inspiring. Honestly it was so beautiful it nearly made me cry. 

Sometimes I think Chihuly gets a bad wrap, for what I'm not exactly sure (being successful? makin the cold hard cash?) but not from me. I still think he is amazing and will always be one of my first inspirations in glass. The man knows colour. His drawings relate so well to his glass. And you know what else I like about him?, how even though he lost the use of an eye and could techncally not blow glass anymore, he made it work. He found a way. He got together these amazing teams to make his visions and be became more successful than ever.

The man is a fucking genius already! I would give my right arm to be on one of his installation teams. At the end of the exhibit you could watch some short movies on his works and it just looks amazing. I had always wondered how he put them together. Hey Mr. Chihuly? If by some freak of nature you ever read this and have any job openings just drop me a line and I guarantee I will pretty much drop everything to get to you.

So Seattle was fantastic. And to conclude:

I hears ya brother, me too.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mind has been BLOWN

So for the past 2 weeks I have been sluggin it out at Pilchuck. Pilchuck is a glass school in Seattle and it has literally blown my mind. It totally exceeded any expectations I had and blew them out of the water. I took a hot sculpting class with Karen Willenbrink Johnsen and Jasen Johnsen and it was totally off the hook! Those two are super talented and some of the most generous people I have ever met. Generous in their time, their approach to teaching, just everything. I guess before I got to Pilchuck I felt a little meh about glass and my work and wasn't sure which direction I was heading, blah, blah, blah and now I am like WOW, GLASS BLOWING IS AMAZING AND I WANNA TAKE ON THE WORLD!

First off, it's set on this amazing property full of forests with massive pine trees and beautiful maples, then add into the mix a whole bunch of crazy glass obsessed individuals and you got yourself a party. They work you like a dog, we had 5am starts (thats on the floor blowing at 5 so up in the 4am bracket..) and then there are demos in the arvo and usually some sort of parties in the evening. So kind of like being an associate....on steroids...
In the beginning it was pretty intimidating, at least for me, you got all these u.s. kids who have been coming there for summers on end and they all have their buddies and they are pretty skilled up, few clicks going on and what not. I had just rocked in from Japan and it took me awhile to adjust. I had come from this totally different country where everyone is super quiet and polite, it had just been pretty much me and my sister for 3 and a half weeks then BAM, chuck me into a big group of big ole loud mouths and see what happens. It was tougher than I expected. But I got there in the end, I found my own loud mouth voice and I remembered that I did know abit about the hot stuff and that everyone else was there to make stuff too. It also helped that just by luck 2 of my lovely friends happened to be there too! It was amazing to have them there and I had such a good time with them.
This is me blowing glass with a chicken leg as my only tool. There was a game one night called "magic cup", everyone finds a tool, you throw it down then write your name on a list and someone else chooses your tool and thats all you can use to make the cup! Lemme tell you this, a chicken leg really smokes it up like a bitch and there is oil and grease everywhere (does make a good block though...)

Anyways, I gots to run, more later, I gots me a date with my man and a bar!!!