Tuesday, September 22, 2009

8. doing our homework

I have a busy week ahead of me this week.  My brain is focused on the art work and etching I need to do and the models I am constructing for the next set of cast pieces and I need to update my web site.  Now that fall is here and I am working again I ‘m looking back at the long slow summer and wondering how I could have let all that time slip by.  I know that I was resting, some much needed rest obviously, after the last several years of non-stop intensity.  I couldn’t have worked if I had wanted to.  I worried at first that I would be losing my forward momentum, all that I had achieved during the past 5 or 6 years towards getting noticed by the collectors but I’m thinking now that the crash in the economy coincided with my personal crash and perhaps that’s a good thing.  The world of glass art has not moved on without me.  It is resting too.  

Anyway, time to get to work this morning so here is another chapter in my ‘becoming’ story.  If you are new here and want to read from the beginning how I became a glass artist, go here and be sure and read from the bottom up.  All the entries except one are short.


During these years (mid 70s to early 80s) we worked on our technique.  We scoured the libraries for books about glass engraving, etching or casting.  Our vision was to do Lalique and Stueben quality on an architectural scale.  They were our role models, what we looked to.   At that time there was no instruction in what we wanted to do.  We just stumbled our way along trying different things til we found something that worked well.  We started trying out stage blasting and eventually figured out carving techniques.  We glued lace to the glass and then blasted over it.  We learned how to glue chip, not an easy feat in this climate.

We did art shows.   We made contacts with the stained glass people.  We set about to put together a portfolio and started doing cold calls and presentations to interior designers and architects.  We tried to raise the visibility of glass art for your home and we started getting some really good commissions.

By the time we quit the Renaissance Festival, we were cultivating some very good relationships with some interior designers but mostly with architects or architectural firms with in house interior designers.  This worked well for us in one way but it also proved to be an error in judgment later.  We were getting a lot of corporate commissions but only the occasional residential commission and the residential work was what we had initially started out to do.


  1. Crumbs, all that productivity makes me feel (in comparison) like a lazy bum! I'm sure that you'll find the right path.

  2. Remember the analogy of the river, again. Pools and rapids. I often find that I need to just "be" for things to unfold. But you know this. We have sat by the river and watched the current pass by and had it be the most productive time we could have spent.

  3. hi ellen, i'm going to be sharing some of my artwork in some posts coming up - they aren't written yet - i allowed my artwork to fade away even though i was able to sell some and was developing "the language" i wanted in terms of how it unfolded. the thread of energy that drives my teaching and parenting is the very same one that drives my painting. so for now, i am looking ahead - learning about people i admire, learning about techniques, how to work in an enclosed space without hurting myself, what facilities there are in town that can help me out. my wish is to work my canvas work into glass. we'll see what we see!!! steven

  4. I know what you mean about needing the rest and yet feeling a little guilty about it. If only my hands could work as fast as my mind!

  5. When I was a kid I was fascinated by a museum that had glass painters in it. I could sit for hours watching the demonstrations. Love it - Keep up the good work!

  6. steven - I've never been much of a painter, more a sculptor even if, in the commission work, the third dimension is very small. Forge ahead. If you are interested in seeing your paintings in glass you might investigate fused glass, in particular, a technique called painting with light. It uses glass powders and fine frits to develop the images and then it is fired to become a solid piece of glass.

  7. Rest is a good thing, an important thing.

    Reading the story of your life, I am always so impressed by your focus and stick-to-it discipline. Wow! You're a real artist, you really are.

    I salute you.

  8. ellen - thankyou for this!!! you know that pit of your stomach thrill charge that races through your body when something really good is thrown your way - got it!!!! steven


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