Sunday, October 14, 2012

21st century reliquaries

I just got back from a trip to Penland School of Craft in Spruce Pine North Carolina. I've been down there a number of times and have always enjoyed my visit.
The first trip I took, was way back in 2005, when my wife Rania Hassan, and I took a glass blowing class that Tim Tate and Michael Janis had set up durring the winter.

Penland Feb 05 Sean Marber Bubble
Me, being taught to blow a tiny tiny bubble by Simone Travisano.
I actually used that bubble in the reliquary i made for class.

I've been down to their annual auction twice, and even helped teach a technique as a visiting (assistant) instructor a couple of years ago.

This visit I went down as the Studio Assistant, along with Rob Kincheloe,  for Tim Tate's one week 21st Century Reliquaries class. I was to show the class examples of the Dry Plaster Casting technique that the Washington Glass school pioneered and I use in all of my work. It was great to be down there in a more official capacity and actually get to work. In my past visits, I've felt a bit distant and removed from the intensity of the experience. This time we got straight to work.

We started Sunday night with a class orientation, a slide show of the history of reliquaries, and we all shared images of our own work.  We got to know each other a bit.


Mary O'Shaughnessy

We hit the ground like mad on Monday working doing demonstrations on Rubber Mold Making, Wax Casting, Plaster/Silica Mold Making, Lost wax, Dry Plaster Casting, Painting Glass, Cutting Glass, Glass etching, Flameworking. we talked through ideas with students, help shape the directions of work, encouraged, excited, and admired all their interest and energy. We went through pretty much everything except glass blowing. But since the absolutely incredible Pablo Soto was teaching a glass blowing class in the next room, and even had his class make domes for our class.

Stories of regret were created, stories of anger, stories of triumph, religion, lamenting the death of bees, cheering the death of squirrels, issues of money, sexuality, and hope were all created.

All in all a fantastic experience. I would highly recommend taking a class there.
Check out my slideshow of the class and the work that was created.

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