So I arrived at Pilchuck yesterday... a day early it seems. When I had scheduled my travel plans, being able to read a calendar well didn't seem to be part of the equation. No worries though, I helped out by doing some gathering of supplies from point A to point B, and some minor shop upkeep to earn my dinner. After that, it was getting settled in and going to bed around 9-9:30. I know... I'm such a party animal. Truth is I was so tired from starting my travel plans at 3 am yesterday morning that going to bed early seemed the prudent thing to do knowing that today, when the other students get here, that is when the fun starts.
I will confess, I'm a little anxious, and by a "little" I mean a lot. Kiln casting is not something I'm particularly versed in. I know some mold making basics, but that's about it. So I'm really out of my element, the hot shop. I do think this will be one of the best things for me, for the reasons stated above. Going outside what I am familiar with will help push myself both technically and conceptually, broaden my knowledge of glass in its capability as a material and it's history, and give me a strong knowledge base to bring back to my students. And really that's who this is for, my present and future students.
As far as expectations go for the class, I don't really have any. I think it's foolish to have expectations in a technique(s) you know next to nothing about. One thing that I am interested is the notion of incompatibility of different glasses in the same piece. This can lead to stress and fractures in the piece and can be looked as a different form of mark making, much like making ones own drawing tools or brushes. Another thing that interests me is video and glass, how I can use one to augment or contradict the other, since I feel my "art" is going more towards video these days anyway. Given these interests, I am excited and nervous. As I stated above. My line of thinking is that the class is more experimental, and in that vein will be something that can help add to the dialogue I'm trying to have with my students about Glass Secessionism(GS). The GS is the idea using glass a narrative driven medium and pulling away from studio glass(i.e. functionality) as the main form of expression. Much the same way art photography seceded from it's almost purely documentation aspect. In fact, GS uses photo secessionism as the main influence of it's framework. You can find the full document... manifesto?, mission statement?... whatever you want to call it on their Facebook Group page. As well as an interview with Tim Tate by the American Crafts Council here...
This is some of the reading material that I have my students go over in Survey. I think that this thought process combined with the lower skill level needed for entry level casting success as opposed to years of study to be "good" at glassblowing, will allow the students a greater visual vocabulary in what they can produce in glass as a whole. That is my hope anyway. We'll see how it goes. After all, class won't truly begin until tomorrow morning. Once that happens, I'll have a much better idea of what I can actually accomplish in have time that I have here. Everything up until that time is wish-listing at best.
Here's to the future!
P.S. I apologize for any formatting issues, but all blog posts from the field are on my iPad. It's not the most ideal platform once picture ps are involved, but it works well for getting my thoughts out quickly.
P.P.S. Edited for some clarity.