Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Season Opening-Annual Seconds Sale-May 9th

May 9th-Seconds Sale-Blown Glass
25 Pine street, Ellsworth
To benefit Ellsworth Arts, public arts projects/
Ellsworth Under the Stars
, a summer film program, info all day.

We have a sea of sparkles that have been accumulating here in our studio. Lot's of new designs being worked out, teaching, demonstrations, and left over abandoned (student) orphan glass that needs to be cleared out before we clean ourselves up for the season. So come on by to visit, and perchance find a piece of glass that only a mother could love, (just in time for Mother's Day), or a pick me up for yourself.
You deserve it after this harsh winter!
This is an annual event, the spring seconds sale so if you know the drill come on down for the usual fun, refreshments, glass blowing demonstrations and deals and if your a new comer, come on down to meet your local glass blowers cuz, like we say,

"Don't blow it"

Big Sale
This is a rare opportunity to get your hands on some of the good stuff.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Blast

Sandblasted designs by Jo(left) and Alex (right)
This Saturday's class was a real blast, sand blast that is. While some of us were blowing glass, some of us
were blasting glass. Check out the latest skills introduced to the College of the Atlantic, Intro to Glassblowing class taught by Linda Perrin.

Sand blasted bottles by Stephen (left) and Andy (right)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Whirly Glass and Whirly Bugs

Teaching the students this term at COA is drumming up all sorts of fond memories of what it was like when I first discovered hot glass. Alex said this weekend after making a chubby, light bending, little glass vessel, "This is so much fun". And well you can't put it any better than that. But you can ask why? Why is it so much fun? Is it all the primitive basic forces we wrangle with, fire, gravity, and fluidity that fill a modern void? Or is it the place that our brain goes to, or leaves behind, when we are totally focused on the harmonious movements required from our body as we glide through the hot shop balancing a hot sparkling blob out on the end of a blow pipe. In any case I truly believe that we did have great fun this week-end.
Because the fabulous Earth Day celebration at the College took place on Saturday, we had to change the glassblowing lab to Sunday. This shift changed the vibe in the studio and a lazy late starting Sunday feeling permeated the shop. Folks played the guitar in the corner as they waited patiently for their turn to try the first puntied off bubble. And as the day unfolded each person attacked the exercise with their own style.
Willy deserves a prize for being the "sacrificial first person" in line to blow it. But he came back strong with a great save on a bubble that took an adventurous tour of the cullet tray. Andy wowed the crowd with dexterity to burn , Kelly made a glass dough-nut for breakfast and picked up pizza for lunch. Emily and Linda came to class and fell ahead instead of behind.
Becky used precise heat to make two very good little cups, Jake a master of the wind blew the glass
with cool aplomb, and Steven "the natural" surprised no-one if not himself for being a creative person, and Jo (aside from blowing glass) found a whirly bug lying high and dry on the pavement in the parking lot, and my heart was once again warmed by the incredibly kind nature of this pack of HE's, as she gave him a long drink and in true nature lovin' style explained his swimming and diving techniques.My most favorite thing ever is to check the annealer the morning after blowing glass. Here are our very first baby bubbles from the introduction to glassblowing at the College of the Atlantic AD4391...wooohooo!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Flingin floppin and rollin...

Here's something just for fun. Even glass blowers need to take a little time off to relax. Here's us on a cold spring day on the crest of a small hill absorbing some solar gain. (Now that we have the video feed worked out look for some hot new scenes of molten goo in the near future.)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

We Got Glass

Right, so today the COA students got their hands on some glass, well not hands exactly, but we gathered and gathered and gathered and made some.....well what were those things? raisin shaped scribbles,... yeah sculptural little single gather forms.
But more important than the glass we ended up with, it's the experience we gathered into the student body. The moves and the views.
One of the hardest things in the beginning of working with glass is recognizing anything, everything is so foreign, the heat, the optics, the new tools and all those sparkles!!!... it can be a bit confusing. But for the most part everyone kept their cool and made small glass, but big gains.
What Fun!!

Today each student got four chances to gather
up the glass, form it with gravity, blocks, our jacks

and finally the tweezers. Each trip to the furnace and the rate of evolution was astounding. It was a blast to introduce everyone to the hot gooey glass, to
watch the red skin and wide eyes fade with repetition, and hear the enthusiasm through out the day.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Human Ecologists Cometh

Today ten lovely young people arrived at the studio. They are an intelligent bunch of college students from the national jewel of contemporary education, The College of the Atlantic. I have been invited to be a visiting instructor this term and I have the distinct honor to share our studio with these wisdom seekers for the next ten weeks. I look forward to sharing what I know about the magical experience of wrangling hot glass, cold glass, and our creative spirits.
Today we focused on an orientation to the the hot shop, the place where we blow glass. Inside it is filled with equipment that Ken has built and rebuilt over the years. We make lots of pretty sparkly glass but in my heart of hearts I often marvel at the wondrous equipment that make it all possible. Well today we gave it it's props and discussed how the equipment functions and how to use it all safely.

Thought for the day, courtesy of
Emile Zola:
"There are two men inside the artist, the poet and the craftsman. One is born a poet. One becomes a craftsman."

Friday, April 3, 2009

Turrets at COA

Isn't this a fantastic building! Imagine my feeling as I approached it for the first gathering of the students at the College of the Atlantic who are courageous enough to try their hand at molten glass. Our introduction to glass blowing course has begun and this week-end the students will see our studio. I hope they approach it with the same level of wonder I had when I saw the gorgeous old magical building above. I am so happy to foster the alliance between the College of the Atlantic and our studio, Atlantic Art Glass as I teach this course. The philosophy and culture of the college perfectly matches the ideals Ken and I have tried to employ in our humble lives as local artisans. "Think Globally and Act Locally" has been a mantra for a long time around these parts. Enjoy the upcoming posts documenting our progress over the next ten weeks.