Saturday, March 28, 2009

On the Road

Let me apologize for my absence in posting. The beginning of this year has been quite hectic. It seems every time I turn around I am back on the road from here to there throughout South and Central Texas. If you’ll indulge me, I’ll catch you up on my little adventures.
I’ll start with one of my periodic drives up to Sweet Liberty Creations. I make this trip now and again to visit Diana Kipfer’s studio in Liberty Hill, Texas. I love this drive up US HWY 281. My stress level seems to drop the moment I start heading north. The fresh Hill Country air and scenery just relax me. This time I took my camera and stopped to enjoy the day and take a few shots along the way. I actually dusted off my 35mm but still have not developed those prints. These I took on my nifty little coolpix.

Just outside Liberty Hill, Texas on 1869

February 21st and 22nd I visited the very cosmopolitan city of Houston, as technical assistant for Gail Stouffer. Gail was teaching Frit – Happens a workshop about using ground glass forms for interior design installations, at the Houston Center For Contemporary Craft (HCCC). It was great fun to travel with Gail, see old friends and make a few new ones. It also was a great opportunity to make myself intimately acquainted with the exhibit Hot Glass Cool Collections there at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft during long stretches of the afternoon.

above: Downtown Houston

below: students and their work from Frit Happens at the HCCC

Then just a couple of weeks later it was right back to the HCCC along with Sam from Dream Fire Glass, for the closing events of Hot Glass Cool Collections. Gwynne did a great job of putting together an exhibit which encompassed the many broad areas of modern glass. In the busy hubbub brought by the final weekends events, I dragged Sam through the crowds to visit the discoveries I had made when first viewing these pieces in February. It was wonderful to meet and talk with some of the artists whose work was represented in the show. Including Paul Stankard whose book No Green Berries or Leaves I had read only a few months prior and Matthew Eskuche whose work was included in the HCCC's exhibit Enviroments=Form+Space. It is one thing to see work in a museum setting. It is another thing altogether to meet the artist, hear them speak and see them work. I'll tell you, it was easy for me to walk by Matthew Eskushe's installation the first few times and not think much about it. Hell, we walk past trash on the street all the time, right. But after hearing him speak and watching him work the installation takes on life. So real in fact was this instillation that at the end of that evening's cocktail party the catering staff was accidental picking up portions of the exhibit. Now that's realism. Not to mention a statement about how disposable a society we have become (my words not Matt's).

Matthew Eskuche and Paul Stankard

during a demonstration and lecture at the HCCC


By the time Matt was done it was hard to tell which piece was trash and which was the one he had just created. The details and the feel for the object were all represented. It was fascinating to see and hear the variations, in philosophy and style, between these two artists. Paul Stankard's elegant paperweights, Matthew Eskuche's "trash" and all the other artists represented made this an intriguing event.

In between the many events at the HCCC we were able to take a few hours to visit the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) exhibit Pioneers of Contemporary Glass. A review of this exhibit, a quick spin around the museum in generally and it was back to the HCCC for one of their fabulous cocktail parties.

Although that brings us up to date on my travels I am presently backing my bags for a trip to Las Vegas where I will assist Gail once again as she instructs at Glass Craft Expo. Then in June, Sam and I will be heading to the Pacific Northwest for BECON Bullseye's education conference and July brings a trip to the Pittsburg Glass Center to assist Gail with an exciting workshop. I better start taking a multivitamin.

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