Sunday, October 5, 2008

Just a Little Bit Warped at the Torch-- That's Me!

A long time ago, someone described my creativity as "a bit touched, but in a good way." Well, I have to agree about the "a bit touched" because I do have a warped, dry sense of humor that sneaks sideways into sculptures at times. This is one of those times.
If you could see me torching, you'd get it right away. I have a small artist's mannequin that I pose, but she's a stubborn piece of wood with funky joints and won't always stay posed. Even if she did stay posed, the truth is that the glass determines a lot of the shapes itself. Since I don't have three hands, I don't try to hold the mandrel with the glob of glass *and* re-pose the mannequin. What does that leave? It leaves me! Yep, I can stand up, move my legs this way or that, pose one arm while holding the mandrel of glass with the other hand, and even hold up one hand and move it into the desired shape. And I'm sure the fly on the studio wall is getting a darn good laugh at my contortions!
That little studio fly on the wall is often holding her breath, hoping I won't stick my hand into the hot glass to readjust a glob, too! Seriously, if you've ever melted glass, I'll bet you know the feeling. There are times when you get so involved in what you are making that you almost forget the flame is a FLAME and that it is VERY HOT and that the glass you'd like to nudge just a bit is SO HOT THAT IT IS MOLTEN. That's when the tiny voice in the back of your mind starts screeching and reminds you that you can't just nudge a bit of molten glass with your finger (although, I've heard some people say they've used a fingernail tip...sizzle, sizzle, flaming manicure).
All of that was on my mind when I made this Figure in the Sculptor's Hand. It's also a sly reminder that a glass artist works on the fly, without much chance for major revision after the fact. Now, there are glass artists who have the patience to reheat and mend cracked beads or sculptures, that's true. It's also true that I am not one of them...exploding glass is usually my result. For me, the sculpture in the flame breathes with life but can't be touched, taunts me with its choices of flowing this way when I'd like it to flow that way, sings a song of grace but shies away from any accompaniment, and makes me want to grasp it if only for a millisecond! Can't do that, can't do that, can't do that.
Sooooooooooo, I sculpted it-- sculptor's hand, lovingly cradling her creation, holding it this way and that. My warped way of seeing the world, sculpted in glass-- a bit touched, but maybe in a good way :)


Linda said...

Your work is alway amazing. You really have a nack with the human form. I also love your poetry that you sometimes include!!

About the fingernail in the flame thing: A few years ago I thought I'd grow my nails for the "holidays" since I was jealous of my sisters lovely manicure. Well, while working on some detail to a bead, I notice smoke coming up from the thumbnail was on fire!! I was so focused on the BEAD that I didn't realize my digit was smoking!

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Hi Angie,

Can I get an "Amen?!?" You're right when you say anyone who works with glass in a torch feels if they could just reach out and touch it to nudge it along...ooopsss "sssss" burning flesh! One time when the glass rod popped, it popped down the front of the scoop neck shirt I had on, it didn't hurt for about a minute and then OMGGGGG!!!! But, I kept the bead in the flame while I danced around skooching the hot glass out of my shirt and onto the floor! How sick is that? Not really sick at all when you talk to another flameworker! LOL!

The photo shows off your lovely pose in glass beautifully!

Burningly yours,

rosebud101 said...

Ang, You sculpt with your entire body and not just with your mind! Wow! No wonder your sculptures have such flow and motion! Yes, there are many times when I want to reach in and touch that hot glass, and, Cindy, a similar thing happened to me. A piece of glass popped and hit the top of my chest fell down and GOT STUCK in my bra! I did the happy dance, too, while I tugged and pulled at my bra trying to get the glass out. The bead survived! So did I, but I still have a couple of scars.

ellen said...

Ange - thanks for checking up on me. I'm fine. Just got back from a trip to Maine.
Haven't posted much on WC because I'm just making jewelry for my open house and don't seem to take the time to take pics.
I'll start catching up on my "blog addiction" tomorrow.

Deb said...

It has to be said ...."just at the torch Ang????" ;o)

I think I'm the least warped when I'm torching to be honest - but we wont go there!

That is one fabulous sculpture & I can just imagine you posing to get the flow & feel in your pieces.

My 'stoopid moment' was flicking a bit of 'something' off of a bead after I removed it from the flame & it 'looked cool' - lol! Ewww - the stench of burnt fingernail - but no physical scars that a file didn't fix ;o)
Mind you I'm not sure whether that was more or less stooopid than putting a mandrel in the flame, realising it was a little bent & taking it out & attempting to straighten it with my fingers *sigh*.

Isn't it amazing how we can all go on tolerating pain for a bead - I'm sure I could commit a crime & get away with it because I feel that I have burned most of my fingerprints off ;o)