Thoughts from the Rails
I just got back after two months on the road.
and a bit of honesty...
How do you make it in the glass world? There's no one formula. There's not one right way. I think there's a right attitude, a work ethic, and a passion that gets you far in glass. It's a desire, a drive, and a skill. It's a willingness to learn from failure. It's patience.
Empty the break-off buckets. Sweep the floors. Open doors. Load pipes into the pipe warmer. Take out the garbage. Show up for shop clean up. Be on time. Charge the furnace. One of my jobs required me to clean the bathroom on occasion. I was working at a glass studio, and that's what mattered.
When working in the shop, I learn the most when I break glass or things don't go as planned. It always finds a way to humble me.
Work the glass on the edge of your skill level. That's where the magic happens.
Glassblowing is a constant decision making process towards a desired outcome. It's always different, never the same.
After you learn glass only then does it teach you, but only if you let it.
Every studio i've visited is unique and special.
Don't take the studio at your school or work for granted.
Apply for everything. Especially if its free! My rejection letters far surpass the acceptance ones.
The first two times I applied to the BFA program at Illinois State University, I got rejected. I can't thank the panel enough for this because I wasn't ready. It pushed me. I was accepted the third time. ISU is a big part of where I am today. John Miller's program is a big part of who I am today.
Photograph your work. Professionally pack it. Write an artist statement and biography. Start to build a resume. Build a website. Design business cards and hand them out. Someone will notice.
I got to see Lino and his team work in person. Epic.
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The journey continues...
See you at SOFA. Goodnight.
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I was raised in Calumet City, IL. My professional glassblowing career led me to Phoenix, AZ and the coast of Carlsbad, CA. where I was given the opportunity to teach glassblowing classes. Notes and chalk drawings of different techniques for the students resulted in my current book project.