Monday, October 25, 2010

Passion takes a hand

A 1.5"x5" piece with both transparent and opal glass in garden colors—
blues, lots of greens, and a bit of pink and red.

One of my first rings, also a mix of transparent and opal glass.
A shot of warm color, like orange juice on a cold morning.

I've been having so much fun fusing. I just finished my 14th firing, a different style piece composed of overlapped small rectangles filling in a circular shape. It has to cool in the kiln for 6 more hours, so I won't see it till tomorrow morning—I'm not staying up till 2am! I've tried a couple different shapes and more new color combinations. Yesterday I spent a while making wire loops for them and monofilament hangers, and today, for the first time, I took the two pieces above outside and hung them on a garden pole in between rain showers. I love looking at them outside. The spots of bright color against the cloudy skies and the dark trees are really welcome additions to my garden. I want more out there, more pieces, and larger and more complex. I'm thinking of the single pieces as Garden Jewelry, for poor leafless trees that have to stand there naked all winter. But I have fences too, that can be decorated, and more garden poles, eaves, and low-hanging fir branches that can use some decoration too. The rings have the lovely habit of rotating slowly in the breeze, so the colors change a bit as the light hits from different angles.

Here are a few more pieces:

One of my friends said this one reminds her of that formica countertop
that came out in the 1950's that had little orange and turquoise boomerangs all over it.

A couple of the orange rectangles surprised me by turning dark red during the firing.

I thought that maybe from a distance, the clear might disappear and the blue pieces would look like they were floating in air.

The warmth of earth tones, the forest in summer.

When I was doing a firing a couple days ago, I had a really interesting moment. I was thinking about how playing with the glass was giving me an opportunity to reduce my work from painting to the two simplest and most important elements I had craved in my painting—color and shape. Creating good paintings requires so many more things, unless you go to color fields, which I came close to in my last ink painting. But with these small glass pieces, color and shape are all I'm working with. And as I thought that, it was as if a window opened in my side and I could see and feel a place in my core that didn't want to do anything but make colors and shapes, and it wanted to make piece after piece. No doubt, no thoughts, no emotion even, just this fierce drive—to work, to make, to do this one thing. I've felt the effects of that desire to create before, but I had never seen that core impulse in myself,  completely intense and unyielding, as an instinct might be.

So now I know what's making me do this. It's hard-wired into me.

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