Monday, May 18, 2009

Outside the Bubble

In the glass world the near endless pursuit of the mastery of technique can entrance one in the challenging meditation on the nature of a molten glass bubble. For over 5000 years glass has been flowing through the history of mankind, from the earliest beads made in early Egypt to the opulent sculptures bedecking alters of leisure. What will happen next?

In the introduction to glass blowing we have begun the meditation on the bubble.
Om...It rests molten hot in the 2100 degree furnace, begins to flow as we gather it up, we repeatedly heat it and bend it to our whims, it expands as the breath of life is blown into it through long steel pipes constantly spinning in fumbling, yet competent hands, it is caught up in wooden blocks and squeezed with the birdlike beak of the jacks, relying on partnership for support, we break it free of it's origins, and we discard the pipe complete with moil cracking off like firecrackers that we no longer even notice, the bubble is brought to a fire polish through another extended exposure to the heat, and we diligently open the rim into the defining shape of the vessel. Do we recognize that we are a vessel? The vessel of creativity? Do we witness a harmony of self and purpose in this process? Do we have something to say with this unique opportunity and material? These are the next questions that the students of "AD4391" are facing.
At the beginning of the course each student was presented with a large bubble shaped blank, the assignment; to
include it in a larger sculptural expression. Here are a few photos and a movie of the new makers de-constructing, exploring, recreating and embellishing their bubble as they reach outside the meditation of glassblowing, and begin to see their own reflection as creative individuals. Andy blasts through (with a sand blaster), Becky cuts (with a wet band saw), and Kelly reflects on her progress.
Stay tuned for info on when and where these final sculptural pieces will be shown on campus!

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