A remarkable year in my artistic life
2010 brought my expansion into sculptural cast glass — an extremely exciting, rewarding adventure. While I thrive on new challenges, this has been a real push for me. Working with a new set of tools and materials was daunting and frustrating at first. The medium of sculptural wax is a “Goldie locks” world — too cool and it crumbles and fractures, too warm and it’s sticky and gooey.
Sandpaper and wax really just don’t go together!
After the sculpting comes the finishing. Now, I have done a lot of sanding in my time, but sanding and polishing wax is one of the more perverse experiences I have encountered! Then there is the mysterious and temperamental world of the glass foundry where the original sculptural wax is scarified to the gods of the kiln. If all goes well, what comes out is a contorted and tortured facsimile of what went in.
“Why did I take such care with the wax when what I got out was a warty, wrinkled prune?”
Only patient grinding, sanding, and polishing would reveal the extraordinary luminosity of my finished glass sculptures. After all these years of working in shades of brown, what an experience seeing my children in living color!
Traver Gallery take me on
At year end, to top things off, I was accepted into the distinguished family of artists at Traver Gallery, Seattle. Given the long and respected reputation of Traver in the history of studio glass art, I could not be more pleased. Gaye and I just made a road trip to Seattle during the holidays to deliver more work after Traver sold Mystic Light, my #3 piece, to a private collector. We truly enjoyed spending time with Bill Traver and his daughter, Sarah. Their professionalism and love of art, particularly glass, is thrilling to be around.
Seattle and Sequioa trees
On a personal note, Gaye and I are not “big city” people. But we both really enjoyed Seattle. It sparkled. The food was good. And we enshrined ourselves in the EMP Museum for our second experience of what it might feel like to be inside one of my sculptures. I’m speaking, of course, of the Experience Music Project building designed by our favorite architect, Frank O. Gehry. (Our first Gehry adventure was the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, where Gaye wanted to lay on the floor and just look up! I understood, but the museum staff remained ever-present and “on guard.”)
Then, heading south, we spent a wonderful Christmas Eve in a small town with a treasure of a restaurant.
The next morning, after driving hours in heavy rain, we lingered a couple hours in the incredible shelter of old-growth, giant redwoods in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park near the Oregon/California border. Just the two of us, in a silence and beauty neither of us has ever experienced.
I likened it to being in a cathedral. Knowing how crowded and bumper-to-bumper the redwoods can be in summer, this was an extraordinary celebration.