Sunday, January 29, 2012

Playing at work

 I had the amazing opportunity to explore glass this week at work. Nothing makes me happier than learning a new medium, and while it would take years to master - or even become good at - I found it intoxicating. 

Glass Academy features not only blown glass, but torch work as well as stained glass and neon. [Neon is not nearly as used as the other mediums however]. The past year I've spent in the studio has involved an enormous amount of growth both personally and for the studio. 

Personally there is no better way to understand an object that to create it. To get down into the science of the materiality, to chose the colors the form. To be a maker of things is more than just physical. 

A favorite teacher of mine while in College always told me "stop thinking so much - your going to kill yourself and your work". Now as a constant thinker it is not so easy to shut off the never ending trail of questions, thoughts and challenges involved in even the simplest tasks. While participating in a staff meeting we were all given the chance to not only create a bead in the torch work studio space but also create a pulled flower. Standing in front of the flame, flooded with thoughts - I realized something. It's not just my own thoughts that flood the space. It's reactionary. With options to start in either area, I opted for the torch. A smaller and when approaching less intimidating form of glass. However, not the case. My head flooded with thoughts. I did my best to create a piece while listening to the instructor explain the process to me. A week earlier I had had the same opportunity when a student didn't show up for class. A different instructor made all the difference. Calm and soothing - my head cleared. Upon completion of this new piece this week, I knew it would not have the same turn out so with head down walked through the studio to observe the other staff creating their pulled flowers. After panicking about color choices, it was narrowed down and time for my chance again. A different instructor, and entirely different approach. I'm almost entirely sure I have never been so clear headed and calm. I am by no means wound up, or hyper. I tend to lean towards laid back and happy with my own occasional moments of spastic energy. It was like being in an entirely different world. A world of play, freedom. A world of creation and calmness. Standing in front of the heat my head cleared and ready to ignite a whole different approach. 

[Photo - My pulled flower and 1st of 2 beads]

This was a huge lesson in the subconscious relationships and cues given by others for myself. A visible reaction by not only myself but upon finishing the entire studio couldn't help notice the change in demeanor.