When teaching or giving tours it has generally been my practice to acknowledge the "white elephant" in the room in order to move past it more quickly. Yet for the past three weeks I have been doing the contrary wearing long sleeve shirts and keeping my hand close to my side. Maybe I should have just made a sign to hand around my neck that said, "yes I did it working with glass". That seems to be the first question anyone asks me these past few weeks. You see just before the Holidays I had a little accident. A rod of glass popped in my hand and cut my right index finger. Not the first time I've been cut and certainly not the last. Unfortunately this cut was sever enough to damage the nerve, so the doctor has seen fit to immobilize my dominant hand with a full cast while this 1/4" cut heals. It all sounds rather silly. So much drama for just a little cut. But why am I telling you this story...
Well with my right hand temporally out of commission there has not been a whole lot I can do, so I have been catching up on my reading. For several months I had been sitting on a book loaned to me by another glass artist and friend. The book was Paul Stankard's No Green Berries or Leaves The Creative Journey of an Artist in Glass. I had started it several times before and not made it very far. I was still gaging my own interest when I came to a section where he described an accident very similar to the one I was currently undergoing. At that point I was hooked. The author/artist tells you about himself and his experiences so openly just about anyone would be able to relate is some way or fashion. My interest peeked, I finished the book in just a few hours after staring at it for months. So often we don't hear about the life of great artists till they are gone and seldom from their own mouths. In telling his story Paul Stankard has offered encouragement, set forth a wonderful example and documented an important time frame in this history of glass. I walked away from this book inspired.