I just can't get over how different this time of year is for me as opposed to this time last year. Last year I was sitting pretty, no blowing in December, had all my summer ducks in a row and got to totally get into the christmas spirit (i baked and made candies for fucks sake). This year? This year is a mad frantic scramble to the end. And over worked, stressed out, burnt out muffin, who now it turns out can add a sinus infection sore throat to the mix. There is no lolling around, baking or wrapping elaborate presents for me this year. This year I am scrambling to make it and bowing glass till the 23rd of December, till the bitter end! HA! What a difference a year makes.
Don't get me wrong, sans sinus infection, it's an excellent position to be in. I am grateful to be a full time glass blower. I just need a little break that all. I have all this on top of the mounting ticking time bomb of stress that is my solo exhibition, and let me tell you, the well is dry. There's no ideas kicking around, there's no glimmer of excitement at the thought of new works, theres only pure terror at the thought of exhibiting. I go into my heaving studio, boxes and packing material strewn everywhere mingled in with large pieces of equipment and glass getting a nice coat of dust on the shelves. I sit at my desk littered with empty cups of tea (some mouldy some not), half finished (glass) pretzels, a sea of scribbled dates and times highlighted on my calendar, and I just stare blankly. Behind that blank stare is the pure terror, the terror of questioning everything I am doing. I got nothing. I feel like a fraud. It's time to fess up.
I. Am. Burnt. Out.
There I said it. It must be true. I feel like now my body is catching up with my mind frame and has decided to pack it in too. Good one. The thing I learnt this year was it is actually quite difficult when your pay the rent job is your creative job. There is no time to switch off and reload. No real down time. On top of the creative side, glass blowing is also a physical strain. ("The heat Jerry!, By god the heat!") Tuesday was the first time in I don't know how many years, I had to pull the pin early. It was so fucking hot, I couldn't cope. I was starting to see spots in my vision and I was totally fucking up the most simplest of forms that are usually a joy to make. Oh man, woe is me, we're deep in the pity party now aren't we? Maybe today is a good time to do the recap of the year? Grab that shovel, I'm diggin us out of this hole, hold tight here we go....
Was super stoked that my buddy Jeff came all the way from the states to demo with Berlin glass at the Aus Glass conference in Adelaide. Somehow I even got to help out with the demo! I had THE best day. Blew glass with my buddy, got free tix to a fringe show, drank espresso martinis with my friend. Tick.
Made a shit load of product.
We painted our house.
Made more product.
Had to say goodbye to one of my best buds, Jaansie. Team rock had its last session on the glass, and turns out there are tears in glass blowing.
Had a birthday weekend away with these goons.
Made more product..
Got awarded a full scholarship to go all the way to North Carolina and take a flameworking class with Amber Cowan at Penland.
Made more product...
Did the Finders Keepers market with my sister.
Made a few break throughs with work for my show.
Bought a shit load of equipment.....
(some how this sign seemed fitting...)
Exhibited an installation as a part of craft cubed with The HAndsome Bloom
Finally set my torch up...
Was apart of a cute little group show...
Made more product...
Made about a billion lights...
MAde a bunch more stock...
Had a weekend away with this puff...
Which brings us to December.
Ran around like a headless chicken trying to finish everything, got sick, fought social media battles, raced towards the end.
When I look back at all that stuff I really notice just how much work I produced. It is a little slice of madness if you think too long about it. But it also reminds me that I worked real hard and I managed to support myself as a full time glass blower for the whole year. PHENOMENAL.