Saturday, March 14, 2009


Back in December ‘08, Marc and I went to the opening of the current show at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft called Hot Glass, Cool Collections.  The exhibition is a selection of art glass from Houston area glass collectors.  It’s quite a display of the familiar names...Dale Chihuly, Dante Marioni, LinoTagliapetra, Bill Morris, Toots Zynsky, Preston Singletary, 3 different Littletons, Richard Marquis, Bertil Vallien, Steven Weinberg and other lesser knowns and some unknown to me.   Also a selection of paperweights, Paul Stankard and Rick Ayotte among others, and beads.  Anyway, we were standing in the lobby having a glass or two of wine and chatting people up before we went in to see the show when one of our acquaintances came up and asked if we had seen our piece.  In this show?, I asked skeptically.  We don’t have a piece in this show, I told him.  Oh yes you do, was the reply.  No way, you’re pulling my leg.  No, really, go look, he urged.  So I grabbed Marc, we slugged down the rest of our wine and went in to see the show and sure enough, in a case with a piece by Susan Taylor Glasgow and Klaus Moje, was one of our small bowls.  To say I was thrilled is the under statement of the year.

We went back and looked at the show later when the crowd was gone, and for all those impressive names, the show was mostly uninspiring (except for that one brilliant stroke...hee, hee).  I don’t know if it’s because the examples of these artists’ work is not their best or it’s all early work or because of the way it was displayed.  Even Bill Morris’ two big pieces seemed sort of mediocre.  If I had to judge these artists by the quality of the one or two examples of their work in this show, I’d have to wonder how they got to be such big names.  Maybe I’ve just gotten jaded or, being a glass artist and having seen much better work by these same artists, I’m harder to impress.  I liked Scott Chaseling’s vessel and Flo Perkins’ cactus flower.  Bertil Vallien’s small boat was nice and I liked Thermon Statom’s chair.  There was a box of chocolates by the Hulets.  There were a few others I liked real well, but being new at this review business, I didn’t take notes and now I can’t remember who and what.

The show is about to end and Paul Stankard is in town today to do some demonstrations at the Craft Center.  Paul Stankard, in case you don’t know, is probably the finest paperweight maker in the world.  His weights are miniature worlds encased in glass.  We’ve met Paul several times at Glass Collector’s Weekend and SOFA Chicago.  He is friends with a collector here who has several of our small sculptural pieces so we always take the opportunity to introduce ourselves to him using our friend’s name by way of introduction.  He is always very gracious and I’m sure he still doesn’t have a clue as to who we are the next time we speak to him.  That’s OK.  We’re headed over there now so we can go schmooze with Paul and the collectors who, we hope, will be coming as well.

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