Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Story of the Broken Vase

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."

Actually, it was December of 2002 in the galaxy of Connecticut. I was visiting my mom - she still lived back there at the time - and I decided that I needed to get out by myself for a bit. I went into a West Hartford shop that was part boutique, part glass art gallery, and of course I headed straight for the glass. The gallery was arranged rather strangely; in the center of the room there were 4 rows of pedestals of varying heights with a space between the 2 center rows so that you could walk completely around the group of pedestals. Each pedestal supported a piece or two of glass art. However, there weren't any signs or cards that identified the artist of each piece, or the price for that matter. There was a vessel on the "inside" row of pedestals that I was interested in. Here's a very crude sketch of the section of the gallery that interested me. (I know, I should stick to glass and fiber art rather than drawing...)

The vessel was so lovely that I had already decided that if the price was right, I'd bring it back to California with me. Now... notice the 2 tall vases on the pedestal to the left and in front of the object of my desire. Next, notice the shallow bowl to the left of the 2 vases. And lastly, remember that this was December in Connecticut. Cold! Brrrrrr! Big winter coat! I think you're getting the drift...

I put my purse down and reached in to lift up the piece I wanted to purchase. (hmmm... that's a lot of p's.) Anyhow, as I reached in I felt the left side of my coat brush up against something. When I looked to the left, I saw the tall vase rocking and I panicked. Instinctively, I grabbed it with my left hand and was so relieved that it didn't fall. Unfortunately, I didn't grab it soon enough to keep it from hitting the identical top-heavy vase next to it. That vase took a nose dive directly onto the shallow bowl on the low pedestal next to it, taking out most of the top portion of the vase, the right side of the bowl and a corner of the mirrored glass top on the pedestal.

My heart went into my throat as I slowly sank to the floor to pick up the pieces, while dollar signs floated through my mind's eye. The gal who was working there came over to help and she thanked me for not running out of the shop. I gave her a quizzical look, and she told me that they had had several incidents over the years in which people had broken their glass art and hightailed it out the door. That should have been a red flag for me. We took the pieces up to the register counter and then she called the shop owner. After a brief phone conversation, she wrote up a receipt and presented me with the bill. Holy smokes! I guess it could have been a lot worse. I never even thought to question why their insurance didn't cover it, I was just too shaken by the mishap. She wrapped up the pieces and put them into a bag, then asked me if I wanted them. Well for cryin' out loud - I just paid $425 for a pile of broken glass, I wasn't going to leave it there.


Needless to say, I came home with a broken vase, 2/3 of a shallow bowl, and various small pieces of glass while the object of my desire remained in that little shop of horrors in West Hartford, Connecticut. And that's the story of the broken vase.

Here's the vase after it was coldworked a bit. There's still more work to do on it, but I'm not going to spend a whole bunch of time with it. It was a good hunk of glass to use as practice.

In the picture it looks like black glass encased in crystal but it's actually a beautiful deep blue/purple glass encased in crystal and partially sandblasted. And here's the remaining portion of the bowl that I inadvertently purchased.

The pattern was created by masking it and then sandblasting the bowl. I'm thinking that if I saw, grind, and polish the broken edge I can use it to create a wall sconce. You know, when life give you lemons...

In other news, I have a treasury to show you in which my work was featured. This goes back a bit - I'm just now catching up.

spindriftstudio included my Summer Garden Felted Vessel in her lovely treasury "Summer Fiber Magic".

Thank you Gigi! Be sure to visit her store to see her works in fiber such as this beautiful wall hanging "The Wonder of Tulips". This would have been a perfect addition to her treasury!

And that wraps up today's stories. Tomorrow I'll be cleaning the studio where I teach bead making, then perhaps some work in the wet lab. Have yourselves a happy and creative day!


Ginga Squid said...

Yikes - I think fate meant for you to have the glass pieces to inspire you!

I have 'moments' like that with my little kiddies. In fact some galleries I won't go in if they have lots of glasswear low down!

Shirley Cook - Jumping Jack Glass said...

Vicky, it was the craziest thing. I later found out that the gallery could no longer get insurance for breakage because of the rate at which glass was broken in there. They had the place set up so badly it was an accident waiting to happen. I learned a lesson, though... never go into a glass gallery wearing a winter coat. ;-)

rosebud101 said...

Oh, my, Shirley. At least you were able to do something with it.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Color Inspiration!