Thursday, November 20, 2008

Being Creative While Facing a Deadline

Today is a torch day for me. There's a big glass ornament show/sale coming up at Kaleid Gallery in San Jose, CA and I'll be making ornaments for the show. I have to turn in the bulk of my ornaments on Saturday - yikes! How did I get myself into this situation?

I'm a new member of the San Jose Glass Artists Alliance, co-founded by Janett Peace, who is one of my fellow instructors at the Bay Area Glass Institute. When Janett saw my glass leaves, she asked me if I would make several for the ornament show/sale and, of course, I said I'd be delighted! Unfortunately, this was only a few weeks ago. And then suddenly, everyone wanted to buy my leaves and I've been selling bunches of them. Since I only have about 15 left to put into the show, I need to step it up - 15 would be a very meager showing on the 60-foot wall that will contain all of our ornaments! Then last night when I went to bed I got thinking (now THAT's dangerous!)... perhaps I should make other things as well as leaves. But my first deadline is in 2 days, so that doesn't leave me much time to be creative. Let's see... snowmen... gingerbread people... snowflakes... I don't even make these things in glass! Well, why not?

Now I'm thinking about way back when I first moved out here to California - 1974! The company I worked for hired a new graphic artist named Heidi, and Heidi and I became good friends rather quickly. So good, in fact, that she was my maid of honor several years later - and I was her matron of honor (matron... now THERE's an unpleasant-sounding word) two years after that. So back to the ornament thing... Heidi the artist - as opposed to her friend Shirley (me) the software geek - thought it would be fun to make Christmas ornaments out of bread dough. She got the recipe, invited me over, and we spent an entire day and evening in her little 800-sq. foot apartment molding, sculpting, baking, and painting ornaments. I was amazed at how well mine turned out considering that I had absolutely no artistic ability. There was a snowman, of course, and a dog with floppy ears and a big bow around his neck, a camera for my hubby (he's a professional photog), and a few other things I can no longer remember. Heck, if I could get creative back in my geek days I think I should be able to come up with a few things today. Thanks, Heidi, for bringing back some great memories and being my muse today!

I'm also thinking about my time in Italy at the beginning of 2006. I took a glass sculpture class with the world-famous glass maestro Lucio Bubacco. Perhaps I could draw from that experience today - try to relive the feeling of being in his studio in Murano, ready to start another day at the torch. Wow, now THERE's a great memory!

Here are a few pictures my friend Janice took from that class. I'm the mesmerized one in the pink sweater. Wow, Lucio is absolutely amazing! If I can recapture that experience even just a little, I think I will have a successful day in the hot shop. Perhaps tomorrow you'll get to see some of my creations. Wish me luck!

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