Wednesday, October 7, 2009

the joy of making

I have an installation tomorrow morning...the door to and the cabinets of, a residential wine room.  I posted the drawing here a few weeks ago.  Two of the three big projects I have been expecting have finally sent me my deposits.  So, we have one installation coming up and two jobs I am doing the art work for, the chapel in the Oklahoma heart hospital which I posted about here and the window behind the altar of the chapel we did earlier this year.  The third project I am expecting is the largest of all the three proposals and it is for another church.  This really surprises me, all this liturgical work we have been doing this past year.  We’ve done an occasional church or synagogue but have never sought after that market like some artists.  I am, however, most thankful for it.

This is the busiest we have been since last January.  It hasn’t been a good year but it hasn’t been as bad as one of our worst years either.  I’m actually glad to be a little busy after this year.  Besides the etched glass work, I have also, finally, been working on some waxes for the pate de verre.  It’s been about a year since I did any of that work.  Right now I am completing the last few pieces that didn’t get finished last year for our show...the top for the moon box, the bottom for the moon-flower box, the teapot that goes with the tea box, some of the small bowls that I had quit making.

I have not heard from the gallery that has been showing our work at the big ‘gallery only’ fine craft and glass shows.  SOFA Chicago is the first weekend of November so I’m pretty sure he is not taking our work this year.  Disappointing but we wouldn’t have gone anyway.

Kathleen over at Easy for me to say did a post today about letting things go.  Part of my comment was this:  what I need to let go of...I think I have been letting go this past year while not working in the studio on the cast glass part of what I do.  Once we started getting some notice for the pate de verre about 5 years ago, I decided I didn't want to do etching anymore and to make the switch in income to the cast glass.  It didn't happen, it hasn't happened.  The work doesn't sell that well and as I began to meet and make friends with gallery artists who were selling, it became very stressful for me.  I lost some of my self confidence, maybe even a lot.  Even Husband commented on it.  Every major show we did and then didn't sell anything while red dots were sprouting all around our work only depressed me more.  I was not having fun.  And fun and self fulfillment was the reason we started doing the pate de verre in the first place.  So I'm letting go of the desire/expectation of being a gallery artist.  I am thankful for any work we get...etched glass or the occasional sale of a cast piece.  And the cast work does sell, slowly, eventually.

I haven’t really given up on it so much as let go of trying to make it happen, having that be the focus.  I think I was happier before I got so invested in ‘making it’ as a gallery artist.  I’m ready now to just let go, give it up to the universe, to turn my thoughts back to the joy of making.


  1. I just want to know one thing, Ellen....

    Where do you find the time to blog with all the incredibly wonderful and demanding work you do? You're just amazing.

  2. wow ellen!! to let go of anything - anything - is a challenge for me and to close a door like this must be very difficult. your reasons are so sound though and i bet that it pays off for you in the long run...... perhaps like the rise in liturgical work, it'll come back out of the blue. have a lovely day. steven

  3. I am working on just being a artist, let alone a gallery artist, but I hear what you are saying. You are always putting your ego out there to be beat and bruised. It is all about the work and its process. I have to remind myself of my one of favorites "Just remember, where ever you go, there you are!"

  4. I'm just going to ask .. do you have another income other than art ?

    The reason I ask ... there is a huge art show each year that I try to go to. Lots of artists and this last year .. no one buying ...

    I do wonder how many pieces sell. And, why are the prices still so high when no one is buying ?

    Just ?'s from someone who thought everything was too highly priced and did not buy anything ...

  5. You are incredibly talented, Ellen. Your work is just magnificent. Hang in there. We've had a not so good year, as well. Let's hope things start looking UP!! :^)

  6. Fun and self fulfillment.... much more important than money.

  7. Alix - well, thank you. I have a hard time just sitting. I like to be doing.

    steven - I have hope, but I'm not sure if I'm giving up or just releasing.

    Jody - it IS all about the work and the process. I just seem to have forgot that.

    JC - that's a good question and I am going to answer it in a post.

    Willow - thank you sweetie. Not giving up, just changing my outlook.

    Kathy - that's it in a nutshell. I am remembering.

  8. I completely agree to willow "You are incredibly talented, Ellen. Your work is just magnificent. Hang in there. We've had a not so good year, as well. Let's hope things start looking UP!! :^)"

  9. You are a busy lady. And a talented one. It is a pleasure and an honor watching you explain the work you do.


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.