Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Pilchuck 2014

Sorry about the quite extreme delay on posting this! I have been pretty busy moving up to Scotland but I am finally getting settled so I thought I had better get on and post this... So I got to go to Pilchuck Glass School and take a class with the incredible Nancy Callan, I can't quite put into words how mind blowingly amazing it was... i'm going to try.

So the class was just under two weeks and there was a lot to do. There were 12 students from all over the world, all with different backgrounds and ideas, it made for a really great group.

Every day we had a two hour (ish) demo from Nancy and her three TA's, Alex Cannon, Mikey Cozza & Jason Forck, during the demo's they made every type of cane you could possibly imagine and then turned them into Nancy's beautifully thought out pieces.

The No 1 A Team - Nancy Callan, Alex Cannon, Mikey Cozza & Jason Forck

These guys were just incredible, the combined experience and skill level was amazing to behold and such a help for me to create and refine the ideas that I had. I didn't go to Pilchuck with set ideas, I wanted to see what I could learn and go from there, and boy did I learn.

Our first project was a Decanter and cup set, now I haven't been blowing glass for a while so I was skeptical about what I would be able to produce but you know what, I was pretty happy with the end result, I was playing with an existing idea of using white cane and folding it over itself during the hot process to create a layered pattern. This is the end result.

Next up we got to explore our own ideas from the sketches we had been making, after a few pretty disastrous attempts at pulling flat cane (you squash it before you pull it, so its flat... it creates a wider band of colour or pattern than just a regular round cane)  I got one, with a huge amount of assistance from Nancy. I also pulled twisted cane, regular straight cane and some coloured cup cane. Then I had to figure out what I wanted to do with it all...

I started with a few simple coloured pieces using one layer of cane over the top, and then progressed onto trying multiple layers of cane, I could get really technical here but I'm going to try and steer clear of doing that and show you a picture of the results instead.

Funnily enough I love the monotone pieces, the white on black piece and the white on white piece are my favorite and these are what I am going to use as a base for my experimentation and development during my residency at the Edinburgh College of Art.

I think I could go on for a while about the various joys of Pilchuck... Amazing new friends, midnight sushi, midnight beers, midnight steak, parties, the pond, inspiration point etc etc but I am just to show you a few more pictures instead.

Thanks for reading. Hopefully more coming soon about my residency in Edinburgh.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Pozible Campaign

This is the link to my crowd funding campaign. I am trying to raise money to get me to Pilchuck this summer. It is a big deal. Check it out below there is lots of cool stuff up for grabs!


This may be incredibly self indulgent but here goes...

I have been back in the UK for four years, four months and nineteen days. I had big plans for my return to the UK, I had it all worked out, get work into a London gallery, make connections, network, glass residencies and classes and various other ambitious plans to continue my exciting career in glass...

It has not happened like that, over the first few month I had a few small commissions and got work into some small galleries, little and often and that was fine but I was still dreaming big. Over the next few weeks I got rejected from every major gallery I applied to, got shot down for not one but two assisting jobs....AN ASSISTING JOB! and had a commission cancelled and my safe little bubble burst. My happy little supportive (Australian) bubble went pop, I had been so used to the JamFactory and the support of my fellow makers and that was something that was missing and I realised I didn't really know anyone in the UK glass community, I was on my own and it was terrifying.

It was disappointment after disappointment and I became dis-heartened and lost my enthusiasm, my passion and I wondered how many more rejections I should take before calling it quits? They kept coming and I needed money, so I got a 'regular' person job. I started to sit behind a desk and hit buttons all day.

I have been hitting buttons for nearly eighteen months, with a few outings into the glass world and I have realised that hitting buttons is not for me. I want to be making, I have always been better at doing things with my hands than my brain, and better at glass than any other material I have been interested in. I want to get involved with the glass community here, I want to be making.

I don't know why I love making glass, and however much I think about it I can't put my finger on exactly why. It's beautiful, it's exciting, it fascinating, its exhausting, it requires continuous training, if you work with glass your brain is constantly occupied, it's not a bad thing, it's very demanding but not bad and I miss that, the constant occupation of my brain with idea's and  processes and grand plans. I miss my enthusiasm and my energy for this incredible material.

So this year, I decided enough was enough and started applying to everything I could think of, classes and residencies mostly and I have had rejections but I have had acceptances as well and it feels good. Now i'm thinking 'you know what, I am good at making glass, I can do this, yes, i'm out of practice but I can do this!!'. So I am off to Seattle in August to go to Pilchuck and take a class with Nancy Callan, I am EXTREMELY excited, I can't quite explain how excited I am. This class is going to re-define my practice, don't get me wrong, I am not expecting the world, I am not delusional but I am hopeful, hopeful that by September I will have a new repertoire of skills and a host of new idea's.

I'm not really sure where I will go from here, I am in a transitional period where everything is up in the air and i'm not sure what will happen. I have no idea what I am going to make, how I am going to make it, how I am going to afford to make it, whether whatever it is that I make will be admired and accepted? There are constant worries and concerns but honestly, at the moment even having those worries is reassuring because you only worry about the things you care about most.

So that is my sob story, boo hoo, i'm over it, i'm moving on and I am going to work my butt off to get my practice back to where it should be. Stay tuned.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Seattle and New York, New York!

So this next update is me having even more fun in America with my fabulous friends, this includes seeing the new Chihuly Exhibition in Seattle, some fun places to eat and a lot from various locations around New York. Just a snippet of what I saw and did......Enjoy.

Leaving Pilchuck....Sob.

Cool Bathroom at Seattle Glassblowing Studio.

Seattle Space Needle

Chihuly, this guy seems to know what he's doing....

Chihuly's collection of classic radio's

Piano Accordion's 

And this is the gift shop.....these are all books about Chihuly.....All of them.

Awesome planters, I love it....

Well it is Seattle, the weather's got to come rolling on in....

This puts me out of a job.....Kind of like it though

With the beautiful Hannah Carlyle Jeweler extraordinaire at MOMA in NYC 

Mark Rothko.....I don't know what else to say except WOW.

Jackson Pollock, again with the WOW

If you ever happen to be in NYC find this place, best sandwich I ever had, ever.


Magnolia Bakery...yummy cupcakes

Another Hot Dog

Biggest Tree cross section I have ever seen @ the Natural History Museum

Last night in America got to hang out with some more old Jam Crew Mr John Hallett.


That is All.

Pilchuck: Glass, Glitter and a lot of Slugs

Time to update, the last three weeks have been a crazy whirlwind of Glass making, excellent friends, a lot of hot dogs and lets not forget the slugs......

The excellent Pilchuck Glass School where I spent two weeks as part of a multiples and mixed media class with the awesome Lance Freidman as teacher, Karen Donnellan and Jonathan Chapman as TA's, I have to say I had no idea what to expect (apart from knowing the class would be about multiples, mixed media and connections) and that was a good thing, the first project included eggs...

Now let me explain, the initial project was about finding a way to think outside the box when it comes to connecting identical objects leaving the objects (eggs) visible and an integral part of the design, but also being able to carry and transport them easily. Using elastic bands this is what I came up with, I am not going to go into to much detail with the projects but hopefully a bit later on I will be able to add some images of the work I made during the class.

I was incredibly fortunate to be re-united with some very good friends and JamFactory 2008/9 team Amanda Dziedzic and Mariella McKinley, I worked with these guys for two years straight! Having left Australia in February I haven't seen them for a few months, so this was an amazing coincidence that we were all selected for classes in the first session at Pilchuck Glass School this year! Amanda and Mars were both selected for Karen and Jasen Willenbrink-Johnsen's class which looked astounding as you can see from the owl that Karen chose to make in a demo (pictured below). Picture above courtesy of Amanda Dziedzic.

And Now for the Glitter......

Yes as with many summer school programs there are the essential parties that one simply must attend! This one involved a lot of glitter and very odd costumes.....also beer and dancing, fun was had by all.
And my first Hot Dog.....

Now to the serious bit, making the glass, below are some of the expertly crafted tools used to produce some beautiful, inventive contemporary glass..... and yes that is a carrot.

The above pictures show the 'Magic cup competition' which is basically 'who can make a cup using the most absurd tool imaginable', you only get one and you don't get to pick it yourself, mine was the cinder block and this was my cup, I was pretty pleased with myself.

NOW for the serious glass....Amanda Dziedzic making a beautiful and awesome Japanese inspired radish and lovely life like Fruit made by Mariella McKinley. These gals made some amazing work in there hot sculpting class and I heard they learnt quite a lot as well.

Below I have added a few images of the work that was produced during the class I was taking, my desk shot is the first one. The class wasn't about producing finished pieces it was more idea's based and everyone managed to produce some incredible work in a really short amount of time.

Beautiful Sunset, our view from the Lodge

Well I think that's it for Pilchuck

Now on to Seattle and New York....