Monday, June 24, 2013

Travels In Glass

Hi, It's me, back from my travels. I was at The Corning Museum of Glass where I took a class in Venetian glass blowing techniques, and while I was there I auditioned for their blow glass at sea program too.
Venetian glass blowing techniques was taught by William Gudenrath. Bill has a wealth of information on glass history and glass blowing techniques through the ages. He is fascinating to listen to, watch create, and learn from.
The class was challenging, as most glass blowing is, It was a good opportunity for me to do a lot of assisting of the other students. Assisting is something I need to work on as well as the glass blowing.
There were 9 students a T.A. and our instructor, Bill. It was a wonderful group of people. I had a great time with them. This class ran one week and we were in the studio from 9am to 11pm, there are some great relationship dynamics in this kind of intense work situation.
After my 6 days of class, I spent a day in the Museum. I went back and fourth between the indoor and outdoor live demo studio. I was watching the performance of the demonstrators. The narrators talk non stop, this is a bit different from when I am demonstrating at The Franklin Park Conservatory. I wanted to pick up how they worked in preparation for my audition with the Blow Glass At Sea program the next day. In-between watching the two demo stages, I walked the museum and sketched the work that was interesting to me. Well there are thousands of works in glass, and much of that is interesting, so I picked and  chose throughout the day. Sketching and photographing helped me to capture my impression of the works much more so than just photographing.
The next day, my last day in Corning, NY, was my audition. Six people involved with the Blow Glass at Sea program were there. First I would narrate for a glass blower. It went great. I said funny things, I was engaging with my audience, and I was completely comfortable on stage. When it came time for me to be the glass demonstrator it did not go as smoothly. I took a large gather, lager than I am used to, because I knew that they expect large works to be made, this is more exciting for the audience. I did not do so well. I think in the end the bowl came out fine, but I was too labored in making it. Fail!
In our discussion afterwards I was told how much they loved my narration, that I said things they had not heard, and I looked comfortable there. The woman from HR seemed to love me, maybe if the decision was her's I would  have gotten a position, but it is a group effort, so I did not.
On the up side, I was asked to work on my skills, and come back for another audition in November at SOFA.
I love Corning everyone is very happy and upbeat there. I would love to be contracted to work for them. I will be working on my skills, which any way I look at it is a good thing for me. I hope to get a position with Blow Glass At Sea, but if I don't, in the end my glass blowing will be much better for trying.
I have some photos of my trip here on FB.

My class minus one.
The Corning inside stage

Bill Gudenrath working solo on a dragon stem goblet.

Bill's color collection! collecting color since 1979.

Me with Harry Seaman, my favorite shop tech.

Me, Lisa Horkin, capping a bubble.

Lisa Horkin Blowing glass
Me, Lisa Horkin, jacking some glass.

Me and Leslie Baker working at the marver.

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