Friday, May 18, 2012

Broad Ripple Art Fair, A new season begins!

Well, here I am in Indianapolis, IN for the first art show of the 2012 season. Already? And as usual, I have a small slew of things to work on at the hotel. Somehow I can never be finished with things before it's time to go, and I usually forget something...this time I forgot my headphones (a tragedy!) medication, double rats....come tomorrow, I will have a nice list of " I forgot..." I have never been to Indianapolis, except for a Jane's Addiction concert in the 90's which doesn't really count. Broad Ripple is a beautiful place to have a show. I have to admit that it is scary to be showing only work that is truly dear to my heart. It is much easier for me to sell jewelry; people buy it for different reasons. The work I brought to this show will likely not sell as quickly, and because it is dear to me, every comment is seared into my soul. I chose the subjects for my work without caring what colors are 'in', and the connection I feel to these pieces far outweighs the feelings I have for making glass jewelry. Nijinsky's Grave, children playing on a playground in Cleveland, a little boy reading...I shaped their faces and paid attention to the wrinkles in their clothes. I made sure the twinkle in their eyes showed life... It is much harder to stand there waiting for 'the person' who will love them to come in and connect with them than it is to pack up a pair of earrings. Tomorrow is a new day. God watches over me. I am going to sleep:)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Glass Sgraffito Drawing Class, Finished Student Work

Time for a new update on my experimental class last weekend.  I am so impressed by the work produced by the attendees of my little class, and I am excited to do this again!  As promised, I will let you in on some of their comments and suggestions about their experiences as well as a look at their finished work......








 I love art but feel challenged in it. I didn't even take art in highschool because I felt that I was that bad at it, Thanks again for letting me test out your class, I really thought I would do horrible but I'm really happy with my first stab at it...

had a great time this weekend taking Kelly Crosser Alge's sgraffito glass class. can't wait to see the finished product after it's done firing!

it was fun getting to use a technique that was totally new to me. i'm not a "glass artist" but Kelly made the class fun and interesting.

I wondered with a beginners class or other type of class if you would be open to doing a class that doesn't cost as much but then use smaller pieces of glass and maybe a one day class for beginners and offer a 2 day class for advanced.

Today I tried something entirely new and interesting!  I used to do a lot with fused glass, mostly jewelry, but I became bored because I felt like all I was doing was "making widgets" and it ofwasn't creative or interesting.....So I gave it up and turned to painting, thinking that someday I would somehow try to incorporate the two.....Well that day is today and I'm so excited to be a part Kelly Alge's experimantal class on fused glass powder sgraffito drawings.  Kelly is an expert glass fuser who experiments all the time with new techniques in glass.  Her latest is using powdered frit and an easy to learn, no drawing skills necessary technique for creating one of a kind art that is permanently fused into glass..

Today, she showed us several techniques for making certain marks in glass powder, and basically just playing around in the glass...It was a bit like being a kid in a sandbox again, no pressure to create anything that looked "real"   She then showed us how she marks out a photo referance on the edges of her glass so the layout is accurate......(see the photo with all the lines and notes.)   Tomorrow, we will complete our masterpiece and add a bit of color if relevent.....I can't wait to see the results...

This is Kelly's first workshop for this technique, and her teaching skills and simple manner of explaining technique are amazing (she has over 10 years of teaching experience in fused glass, but this is the first for this method)  Her 4 guinea pigs as she calls us students were hand selected by her to cover the range of experience from absolutely no art experience to very experienced...and quite honestly the ones with limited experience are doing some impressive are several pics of Kelly's work and the workshop today......If you're ever interested in her future workshops let me know...I have a feeling they will fill up fast!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Experimental Class... Want to Peek?

Wow!  The experimental fused glass powder drawing class was a success! 


As you may already know, the class was a tester to find out if I could offer this as a workshop in the future. There were four 'guinea pigs', each with different levels of art experience.  Three of the students had no experience in glass, one claimed not to be able to draw, one is a successful painter, another- a computer guy who likes metalsmithing and lapidary work, and finally, a girl who attends my church that wanted to learn the process.

Day one was spent on demos and fun little games of experimentation with different 'tools', and set up some right-brain thinking.  We discussed layout and composition, practiced cutting glass, and chose photos to work from. At first, everyone seemed a bit unsure of their ability to do this and they were pretty sure they would be 'bad' at doing the drawings.  However, by the end of the day everyone had started on their drawings and we were well on our way...but...

Something was bothering me.  My 'non-drawing guinea' seemed frustrated. The piece I started as a demo was a river scene of Venice, and it involved a lot of architectural details.  I think it was too deep too fast. SO...

Day two I cleaned off the work table and took away all of the pieces from day one, and everyone was a bit surprised and unsettled when came back and saw their things missing.  HA!

We started Day Two in a way that I should have started Day One.  I took away all of the tools and we spent about half an hour working to music using only our fingers in the glass powder on a large piece of glass.  We ditched our chairs and got into 'performance mode'.  Everyone seemed to loosen up, and we rotated pieces so we all worked without worrying about things being perfect.  To be quite honest, some of the quick pieces we did during these exercises really would have been great to fire and keep!  I do think that working in a non-committed way helps to take away the fear of making mistakes, and opens up a new version of creativity in each of us.  

We worked on some smaller tester pieces, which we put in the small kiln and watched during the firing to see what results different tools gave.  I was curious to know which tools my guineas liked the best... a small feather, a piece of aluminum grate, silicone tipped painting tools, and card stock.  Cardstock is my favorite too.  

As of today, the kiln is loaded and waiting for the passing thunderstorm to go away so I can start the big firing!  I will post pics of the finished works and student comments in the next blog later this week, but for now, enjoy the slideshow of the class :)


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