Retail “Black Friday” the day after Thanksgiving has come and gone and I spent the day in the studio. Yes, I chose to not shop on the biggest retail day of the year. Why? Well, beyond the financial reasons, I wanted to spend some time with in the studio with glass.
Art/sodium glass is a small batch manufacturing process and the craftspeople that make it have my respect. After the glass has been batched, stirred, heated and brought to a searing white hot state it is then poured onto a rolling table where a roller flattens the “glob” of glass into a sheet that heads into the annealer to temper the glass by cooling it slowly. After cooling it is cut into sheets, goes through a quality check and then is placed on shelves for sale. It’s an addiction for some including me.
The rolling process squeezes the “blob” and creates edges that ripple up and down and expresses the air bubbles out. Typically I trim the rolling edges off so that I have a clean cut to work with. For the past 4 years I have been saving most of the edges from the sheets of my glass, I like how they look, meandering along the glass. I’ve been collecting these edges since I cut my first full sheet of glass. I’ve had this reoccurring image in my head of a project that would use these edges of ripples and texture and unique shapes.
I now have a large box of these beautiful edges in my studio and yesterday I spent time with them. I spent the day working on a design that is baking in the kiln as I write. The reason that this project is so important is because there is a competition that Bullseye Glass stages ever other year. You submit your .jpg files of your work, pay a fee, and submit your work for a jury to decide whether it will be selected to show in their gallery.
My intention is to enter this piece for exhibit — the first piece go through kind of artistic scrutiny and competition from all around the globe. Many an artist has come away from this process feeling brutalized — it takes a lot a bravada to offer my artwork up for dissection by people who don’t know me or my body of work.
During the day I was happy playing with abandon — the colors, glass, different shapes, all coming together to give me inspiration for a the yet to be named piece. Since the construction of the piece is primarily from the edges of the sheet glass I’ve been toying of a name to give the piece. So far I’ve thought of… The Edge of Glass, Edge of the World, Edge Not – Lest Ye Be Edged, Over the Edge, I’m sure your get the gist of this thought.
Artist usually name their pieces because they become a part of your outer spirit. I don’t know if the jury will see it in their deliberations but I think I am going to name this piece “Stan.” Why Stan? Why not? Does it really matter? It’s a piece of my soul, fused into some glass, living with reflective light, oozing with dimension. How could that much of me ever have a name?
My Friday wasn’t black, it was all green, mystical edges rolling across the kiln shelf, comparing pieces of glass to determine what was right and where it belongs in the piece. I had a Green Friday and I hope all of those people who were out there shopping felt as good at the end of the day as I did? I laid my head down to sleep last night, said my prayers as I drifted off and woke up this morning with anticipation of what would I see when I opened the kiln.