Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bullseye Glass Portland Trip~ Part One

I am home from a wonderful week of Educator's workshops at Bullseye Glass, and now it's time to fill you all in on everything... I'm finally feeling 'back to earth' after a super busy week so to warn you ahead of time, so much happened that it's going to take several posts to share all of it~ Our class was a unique group of very talented and successful kiln glass artists from as far away as Scotland, England, Massachusetts, Florida, Texas, and more. It was interesting to see the scope and range of everyone's work as we all got to know each other. I feel blessed to have been part of such an accomplished group of artists. I'll link all of their websites later so you can check them out too. The first full day of class we worked on a kiln-forming 'forensics' type project (KSI) where we inspected around 35 glass pieces and had to match them to the firing schedules to find the problems. It was a bit overwhelming at first when we were handed the big stacks of kiln programs, but in the end it was really pretty easy and kind of fun. We returned to the research and education center and found that we each had a huge clean space to work in, and that there were 'shop fairies' who came along each day and completely cleaned up our workspaces. How I would love for them to have followed me home! Throughout the rest of the week, we were taught how to effectively teach new techniques in screen printing with powdered glass (Stacy Lynn Smith), pattern bars, cold working, and casting (Jim Weiler, Louise Krampien, and Bonnie Celeste. We had full access to Bullseye's entire product line and were allowed to experiment with new colors and products, (my favorites being the new half-millimeter stringers and new 'cream' non-reactive glass). I learned a lot about planning curriculum, teaching effectively and was given a lot of time and resources to create class samples on my own to use in my teaching. This talented group brought a lot to the table for the workshop, and I appreciate the immense amount of information we all took from each other during the week. I have to thank my personal tour guide and new friend, Chris Lally who took a huge chunk of her time to pick us up from the airport and show us the beauty of the Portland area. She is an accomplished painter and I met her during Leslie Saeta's "30 in 30 painting challenge" earlier this year. More to come on our Portlandic adventures with Chris and her husband Tim and all the terrific people I met...along with more glass stuff, of course!


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