Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Bowl Full of Cherries

It's been a while, I was very overdue in photographing my glass and posting photos. So, let's get caught up, shall we?  Approximately in order from oldest to most recent... to the extent I remember...

I posted this bowl back in March, so it's probably my oldest piece in this bunch. (Wow, March feels like so long ago!)  So, why repost it?  Because I now have local Washington cherries! And what's better than a bowl full of cherries? A bowl full of local cherries in a bowl I blew myself! 

Another bowl! I like bowls. I really like how the blue came out, the lines are thanks to the optic mold and somehow I ended up with a bubble in each section between the lines from the optic mold. Some glassblowers are anti-bubble but I really like the effect. I like the white lip wrap too. The problem is that the bowl doesn't sit very evenly, obviously. I probably should have thrown a foot on there, or, well, now I know how to paddle the lip and the bottom to box it in and straighten it out.  Now I know.

Green vase. I used blue murrini to wrap a necklace around it. In this instance, I let the murrini melt in quite a bit, and worked it a bit, so it ended up just making a little bit of a pattern on the vase.  

This vase is a bit of a failure, but it is what it is.  The main purpose was to learn how to make a "blown foot," which I sort of did.  The vase itself is a very dark green and I used a flower murrine as a little accent.  

I love this vase. The bottom was one of my first color drops, and it didn't extend all the way to my jack line, but I like the look of the drippy effect.  The bottom is kind of a yellow-orange and the lip wrap is a opaque aqua. This one sits nice and evenly. This is one of my favorites. 

Red vase. A little uneven, but it's a nice color and the fire-red is a nice effect. 

 I call this one "chip." Like the little teacup in Beauty and the Beast. This was a mistake, I think it was a tumbler that dropped and broke. I would have thrown it in the recycling bin, but this remaining piece looked like a little creamer so I stuck a handle on it. Isn't it cute with some coconut milk? 

Little tumbler with murrini around the middle. This time, I didn't melt the murrini in much, so it is sort of textured, turquoise lip wrap. This is a small tumbler, but it's cute.

Tall tumbler. I used a blue and green murrini on the bottom. Blown out, it just left a little bit of a design on the bottom.  With a green lip wrap.  I love this glass, but I need to work on getting the lip a little thinner so that I can drink out of it easily. This tumbler kind of needs a straw. But it's pretty!

Tiny bud vase. Another failed attempt at a blown foot. It's all clear but I picked up a tiny bit of orange frit off the marver and decided I might like the effect. There's not enough to really make an "effect," but it's ok. It's a cute bud vase. I had a flower in it a few weeks ago, I'll have to snap a picture the next time I have a flower in there.

Gnome!  This new gnome took me two separate sessions, as part of another lesson on sculpture. Remember my first gnome? There he is on the bottom right. So, my new gnome might not be perfect (I tried to use a murrine for his belt buckle, and it melted into his beard, giving him some sort of psychic eye in his beard), but I've come a long way, haven't I?

And then, a few weeks ago, I had a bit of a glassblowing revelation. 

My regular teacher, Amy, went to Pilchuck Glass School for the summer and we had a substitute teacher named Lydia for one week.  Lydia had us make clear bowls (no color, so that we could focus on your technique and see the glass better.)  My clear bowl felt like it was a very different experience for me. Lydia put a lot more emphasis on making our project technically "correct" and less emphasis on making it creatively beautiful. This was a different type of learning for me, and my project came out "perfect" in a different sort of way.  One of my (non-glassblowing) friends saw the bowl and said "If I didn't know, I'd guess you bought it in a store."  In a way, this is a huge compliment - so many of my other bowls are lopsided or flawed. But, in another way, it's not "special" in any sort of unique way. It's a clear glass similar to one you could buy in a store. But I think I worked a lot harder on this ordinary bowl, to make it even, to make it perfect.  For me, it was a revelation that if I want to put the time into fixing something, I can make it "store bought" quality.  Now, to combine that kind of quality with some creativity.

This vase is not technically perfect, but it's not store bought ordinary either. I'd like to think I'm taking things in my own direction. I bought this color not really knowing how it would come out, and I love the swirls. I don't think the photo completely does it justice, there's a tiny bit of baby blue in there and some very pale pinks, mixed with a kind of tortoise-shell colorway. I'm not completely there in my crossroad of technical perfection and artistic expression, and perhaps I never will be, but that's the journey. And the goal. 

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