Monday, December 3, 2007

Tree Spirits: Experimental Sisters to Green Men

Tree Spirits.
Experimental glass.
Real soul.

For those of you who do glass, let me just say that these are called "experimental" for good reason. You know I pretty much always ignore the rules and burn the snot out of ivory and turquoise and Nile green, so I've gotten used to working hot and big and fast. That doesn't work so well with transparents like the greens and ambers in these big Tree Spirits. I think I kept doing it, though, because the soulfulness of the faces emerging from the not quite perfect bark was apparent.

The December/January issue of Glass Line magazine has an article I wrote about distilling emotion and pouring it into glass.(I'm the second author down in the bulleted list, Angela Greer Garren.) One of the things I said was that when it comes to working glass, I'm more comparable to a moonshiner than a vintner of fine wines. I work crude, I work fast, and I'm going for the "punch". I want the emotion in one of my sculptures to knock your senses for a loop, just like the guy taking a swig of Pappy's moonshine in the song "White Lightning."

Is this the way I want my glass career to go, eschewing refined skills for crude soul? Right now, it seems that I cannot force myself to work on both aspects. When I do sit down at the torch, I need the creative release of making something that speaks to me, instead of the methodical practice of one skill. Maybe this will change over time. After all, I'm still a relative beginner (it'll be two years in February). The allure of the flame and using it to create is still strong. Once that levels off, I'm guessing I'll be ready to make myself a practice curriculum to follow for a portion of each torching day. We'll see.

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