Where do I even begin his post? I guess I’ll begin at the beginning…
I began using acrylic sometime around 1995. My main focus at that time was tableware/housewares, and acrylic seemed like the perfect material to pair with silver for a functional line. Over time, I experimented and explored the medium of acrylic—carving, dying, heat-forming—any way I could think to use it, I was game to try! My first designs were somewhat blocky—which evolved over the years into a sleek, streamlined aesthetic. Someone once described my evolution as Flintstones to Jestsons, lol.
The big question is, “Why change mediums now???” There is no simple answer to this, my reason is multi-faceted. One huge reason is my acute awareness of my impact on the planet. Over the past bunch of years, the impact of plastics on the environment has become a global issue, and I would like to use a more sustainable material. Another reason, is that although I feel as though the acrylic parts of my pieces are actually the time consuming/difficult parts to make, the material itself has very low perceived value—which leaves me feeling very frustrated. Although I might spend hours carving. sanding, etc. a piece of acrylic, the general feeling I get the past few years is that it is still “just plastic”. And the third and very major reason: I’m ready for a change! I had no idea 20 some-odd years ago that I was essentially marrying myself to acrylic…I have lots of ideas in this old head, and many of them have nothing to do with acrylic. Life is too short to not explore other materials!
And there you have it in a nutshell.
Many of you may know that my husband is a glass artist…and over the past few years I find myself more and more drawn to glass. This past year, I decided that I wanted to formally learn some glass techniques, so I pestered my husband into teaching me some cold-working (his area of expertise). But, I do not want to produce a line that in any way competes with what he does, so I was stumped. Then, the Corning Museum School Catalog came in the mail, and at that moment, decided that I would take a class—having no idea which class to take. Lots of soul searching was involved, and I landed on an experimental glass engraving class taught by the amazing and talented Pavlína Čambalová.
Great. Now I had an idea of the techniques I would use, but what would the pieces look like?????? I spent hours online researching engraving, watching youtube videos, and sketching…I think I drove everyone around me slightly crazy (sorry)…I had some ideas…Over the months of waiting for my class to happen, I narrowed down my ideas, and had my husband help me make some sample pieces to take to Corning with me…the concept slowly started taking shape.
My time in Corning was slow to arrive, but went in a flash—I’ll need to write more about the actual experience of taking the class another time because this is getting pretty lengthy.