Friday, May 14, 2010

The Glass "Atelier" in Maine

Ken explains some fundamentals about hot glass to Alexander
My study of glass followed many methods of learning, graduate school, apprenticeships, workshops at national art centers and good old independent study. I remember studying art in Italy and coming to understand that in the past, children began learning their chosen or family craft at the early age of 14. I remember wishing we had a culture like that today. A culture that channeled all that youthful energy and seeking into a PRACTICAL pursuit an empowering pursuit and an example of living excellence rather than virtual excellence. In a great biography of Michelangelo,* his study of stone work began at that age and it is described with all the drama and glamor worthy of a young future master artist...For this reason when anyone asks me the minimum age requirement for studying glass I always answer 14 .
Well here in Maine where life IS as it should be, a small school in Blue Hill called the Bay School requires the 8th grade students to do an intensive independent study, their age , 14.
This year we had the distinct honor to give private lessons to one such student, Alexander. A VERY mild mannered, Quiet young man. instead of playing tennis this spring Alexander would come everyday after school (and mornings on Saturdays) to take lessons in hot glass work. His first gathers out of the furnace summoned courage I am not sure Alexander knew he had. Moving around the hot shop with flowing light filled molten glass and tooling it with increasing skill required more than concentration. During his training Alexander met his inner artist, his creative voice, he had to make split second decisions at the bench to coax a beautiful form from the hot hot goo, --no time to rethink or doubt! During this mentor ship Ken Perrin and he discovered a mutual love of basketball and daily reviewed the playoff progress of the Boston Celtics, Soon a shy young man became a gracefully confident sunglass wearing cool "guy". Alexander
The skills Alexander gained in the manipulation of hot glass will wow everyone for a long time, but the inner glow that jumped from the end of a heavy multi gathered gob of glass, to the core of this new human is one that will remain, no matter how he chooses to reach his potential. The Quatrocento Italians were right again, as usual, the Michelangello's of the future come from parental support and creative education as early as possible.
Alexander demonstrates his 8th grade project to the students, faculty, friends and family at the Bay School, Blue Hill, Maine

*The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo by Irving Stone

1 comment:

Kymmie said...

Just wanted to write a quick hello and thank you to you for spending time with us today as we shopped in your gallery. What beautiful creations you have done! I love the jewelry that you do Linda and Ken thank you for taking out the time to help us JUST the perfect piece for Chris' mother for her birthday tomorrow. Even though she has terminal cancer... the red heart is a perfect piece. We are so honored to have pieces from your lovely creativity! It was an honor to meet you. Please visit my blog when you can!!
Sincerely and always a faithful follower/customer!
Kymmie and Chris Marriner