Tuesday, March 31, 2015

New Mexico : Part 2

Maybe you read my post on my visit to New Mexico, and my post about Arizona.
Well, after the amazing Antelope Canyon, I headed through the 4 corners area and back in New Mexico.

One of the places that really struck with me was Ship Rock.
It hit me as a very unusual spot.
I mean, just look at the bing.com birdseye view image. the place is very strange. and amazing.
It's also part of the Navajo creation story. so, you know, Humans came from that area.

Anyway, i'm obsessed with it.

After Ship Rock, my path was the snowy mountain route to Taos through the Carson National Forest.
Driving into Taos, I was struck by some rather strange looking houses. So fun looking that I tried to drive down one of the streets, but it was marked "Private". now if it was an abandoned site or something i would have wandered in. but i don't want to be gawking around peoples homes unwelcomed, so i drive on. BUT! i saw that they had a visitors center! It turns out it was the Earthship Community. too rad! They are off the grid sustainable houses. interesting technology, interesting materials. the whole thing was wonderful to me. i loved them!

Then motored into Taos.

A beautiful funky little town. an even funkier smaller version of Santa Fe.

It's a beautiful town. 

I serendipitously got a preview of the Taos Film Festival projected on the side of a building. 

 I met a few people that worked at Los Alamos. pretty cool.

Then I hit some more of New Mexico's wonderful wineries.

and finished my NM adventure with a stay at an organic lavender farm/ inn. 

Oh, and i hadn't mentioned this, but when you sign up for Budget car rental frequent renter service, they might just give you a free upgrade

next up: a trip to San Francisco!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Otis Street Arts Project :: Do you have the desire to help us out?

Otis Street Arts Project is something I've been working on for a while now. It started well over a year ago when my friend and fantastic artist Margaret Boozer told me she would be leaving her studio because she wanted to buy a firehouse. Her studio is right next door to the Washington Glass School, where i've been working for a number of years now. But I've known Margaret even longer than that.
And Margaret's been in the space for a long time. 15 years or so. I imagine she'll leave a bit of her energy behind as she moves to her new studio.

She told me about the move, because she was hoping i'd take over her space. I felt and feel very honored to carry the torch of having a positive and creatively fueled arts space in Mount Rainier, Maryland. She's always been quite kind to me, even when i barely knew her and she offered herslef and her pickup to help me move into my former home, almost 12 years ago. She pulled me on to the board of trustees of the Washington Sculptors Group, and has just always been a wonderful person.

But the new space! i'm super excited about it.
The space allows me to have a large work space, but also to have an exhibition space and to create affordable studio spaces for other artists. 

Rather than take on the financial and work load responsibilities on my own, I invited David Mordini to partner with me. I barely knew David, but i had met him at a party on the Chesapeake Bay thrown by Molly Ruppert and Family ( read this article about them ). They put in a good word, and I guess he heard decent enough talk about me that we began working together.

So finally, we are on the edge of moving into our space.
Beginning a new studio space is challenging. 

So I have a request.
We need stuff. We need support. We need you to visit us. We need you to talk about us to help us get the word out about us. 

I'm trying to start a studio from pretty much scratch. If you know me personally, you may know what a hard few years it's been. if you don't, and you want to talk about it, message me.
Anyway, I hope someone out there might be interested in helping out. I will work out some type of trade with you, mostly likely in the form of artwork. perhaps a lesson or two. Maybe you just feel generous and want to help out. Maybe you've seen my work, been inspired by it, but never bought anything. here's a great way to help me to continue making art! We can talk.

These are the things I'd like for the studio:

A welder is going to be useful for constructing my frames and armatures, but it will also be necessary to set up tables and shelves and brackets we'll need to outfit the shop.

Plasma Torch
For cutting metal, this will help get me going in a new direction for work.

Yeah, I'm a glass artist starting a new studio and I don't have a kiln. It's embarrassing. I've had opportunities in the past to get kilns, but i didn't have the space. I will now have the space, anyone have a gently used glass kiln for cheap? This is what i'm really lusting for though. One in which i can continue to work at a scale i'm currently working in.

Wet Saw
This is a pretty necessary piece of equipment. 

to power my nail guns and sand blasting cabinet.

glass and metal so often need to be sand blasted, but i'd also love to begin some sand carving projects.

gotta stay organized! we could use a few of these

We'll need a place to work
This kind of thing

and storage stuff

Cleaning up those edges is very important.

other things:
We need two for our two spaces.
nothing fancy.

We need two, and i can pick up some cheap ones from the thrift store. but we are a little fancy....

Again, we'd like 2. for lunch.

Hot Plate
Cuz sometimes lunch has to be more than a frozen Annies.

A Sofa
A desk
Flat files
a few mops
big ole garbage cans
cleaning supplies
white paint
extension cords
A shop vac

Here's a list of things for my DREAM SHOP
And my Amazon Wish List.

Now, i know i probably don't know anyone that is really going to buy these things for us, but if you know of some good used equipment, or are interested in helping out financially,or any opportunity that might help, let's talk.

In any case, we move in next week.
our Grand Opening will be May 9th. Please come.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


After speaking and spending time in New Mexico, I headed to Arizona to speak to the Arizona Glass Alliance in Scottsdale.

Oddly enough, I have a good number of collectors in Arizona. One couple, The Schomers, happened upon my work at an exhibit in DC 2 years ago. They bought a piece of mine at the show. Another couple bought a piece of mine at a show in Detroit. Their glass alliance then visited the Washington Glass School and a few more of my pieces were picked up. Pretty exciting to know a bunch of people this way in another region altogether! This is how I wound up speaking to their group. 

I was hosted by the Hellers, who I knew through Habatat Gallery in Michigan. They have an awesome new house and were terrific hosts! With offers of Margaritas, harvesting Kumquats and fresh orange juice, a crazy fun hotdog place, a cute dog, and fun conversations it was a blast to stay with them. The generosity and support from the Glass community is amazing. The Schomers organized my presentation and showed me their collection and were just absolutely beautiful people to spend time with. 

On the night of my presentation, the the Glass Alliance was also giving a secret award to Fred and Sharon Shomer for their hard work and dedication to the group. This meant a packed house for me!
I had some tech issues, and my presentation started late. and 3/4 of the way through, my computer lost contact with the projector. I though, "oh god, how am i going to entertain these people!" it was pretty hilarious and i guess at the end, no one hated me too much. so all was well.

The Hellers also gave me a quick tour of galleries and artspaces in Scottsdale, and i got to tour the collection of another couple that have a piece of mine. and I visited the Art Tent. a 10 week tented art show. 

It was a super fun time. 

Because of the super cool friend of mine and great artist, Jason Chakravarty, I was in an exhibit in Phoenix at the Circle 6 Gallery and Glassblowing Studio, run by John Longo. 

I visited the show and space and had a fun time in Phoenix, though i really was only there for an afternoon. 

Thus concluded my main reason for visiting the SW. 
BUT! I had another agenda. I knew i wanted to go to a friends wedding in San Francisco, and I also had a good friend that just moved to northern Arizona. I thought i could extend my trip in the SW, and then head to SF without having to fly back and forth another time. 

So after Phoenix, i headed to Cottonwood Arizona to visit Artist and good friend Novie Trump

The drive up included a great pit stop at a small coffee shop with one of the best breakfast sandwiches i've ever had. Man, i do love those Hatch Green Chiles.

Cottonwood is an adorable little town, and Novie found a perfect wonderful special house. an amazing place with views of the Tuzigoot Ruins. Just stunning.

Jerome was at one point, the place where the most copper in the world was mined. then it was a ghost town. nows its a cute little village with wine bars, art studios, and craft stores. all with wonderful views and lots of visitors.
The guy whose studio next to Novie's is an amazing artist.
check out the work of Alan Burr Johnson. he's great.
Novie is awesome. her work is wonderful. her studio is amazing. she's living the dream.

We went on a hike to the magical magical realm of Sedona.

I also got to meet up with my buddy, another fantastic, artist Peter Bremers. also the wonderful Janet Hargus. We had a few, i vaguely recall.

But then i was off again. A breeze through Flagstaff, which was a surprisingly cool town

Then a drive off to the Grand Canyon

Yes, it was great. I even got up before sunrise to see the sunrise over the canyon.
But you know what? After that I went to Antelope Canyon. and that was utterly mesmerizing.
this is what it looks like on top

this is me coming out of the canyon

any way, AMAZING.

Then i went back to new mexico.......