Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dale Chihuly Visits Cedar Creek

In early November, Dale Chihuly came to visit Cedar Creek and check out our glass blowing studios. A friend of his called ahead to let us know they were coming, but I didn't really believe it was true until they called to say they were leaving Durham in fifteen minutes. Somehow I thought it might be somebody playing a good prank.

I was blowing a bowl when they arrived. Chihuly and his friend Bob came in, said hello and found comfortable seats from which to watch. I kept on working, hoping all hopes that this piece wasn't the one to fall on the floor. The punty held well (a little too well actually) and the piece was successful. Chihuly actually clapped and said "Bravo!" when I was done. We had a chance to talk for a while. Then they visited the Four Winds Glass Studio and looked around the gallery.

Amazingly I wasn't too nervous about working in front of perhaps the most famous glass blower in the world. I was proud to have him visit my studio. I am the lucky person who had a moment of his time to tell him how his path in glass has inspired me and made my journey in glass easier. Without Dale Chihuly much of what is being done in American studio glass would not be happening. He has simply inspired the world. I can't count the times that people have asked me if I knew his work, perhaps they had seen a video or book about him or one of his numerous installations. There is always a sparkle in their eye when they talk about his work. And then they have a new appreciation for glass as a medium and they look harder to see and appreciate what is around them. Last Tuesday Dale Chihuly had a sparkle in his eye as he watched the glass. After all these years and access to the best studios and most talented artists, it seems the glass itself is his real passion. Rock on Dale!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Carolina Designer Craftsmen Fine Craft + Design Show - Thanksgiving Weekend

If you are in the Triangle this Thanksgiving weekend, plan to visit the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Fine Craft + Design Show - the area's highest quality, longest running, juried fine craft show. You can find me in booth J-6. I will be exhibiting my latest work - both blown vases and bowls as well as jewelry.

The show is open at the Exposition Center, North Carolina State Fairgrounds
Friday, November 27th 6 - 9pm
Saturday, November 28th 10am - 6pm
Sunday, November 29th 11am - 5pm

For more information about the guild, the show location and times visit

I have been a member of the guild for ten years and also sit on the board of directors. It is an amazing group of talented artists.

Glass blowing on a cruise ship?!

Matt Decker, who has been working with me for almost seven years is about to embark on an exciting new journey. He interviewed with the Corning Museum of Glass to blow glass on a cruise ship and leaves later this month for an intensive three weeks of training. He will be living and working in Corning, New York while he trains with some of the most talented glass blowers in the country. At this time we don't know the exact schedule, but expect him to return to Cedar Creek after the training for a few months until the ship departs (I'm hoping he goes while it is hot here so I can take a break from the heat). His tour of duty on the ship will last at least three months. Although I will really miss Matt's assistance and companionship, I'm really excited about this once in a lifetime opportunity for him. Before I had kids I would have been right there in line to board the ship myself!

Friday, October 16, 2009

I can't wait to open the annealer

Today was an awesome day of blowing glass! I hope I still feel that way when I open the annealers on Monday. A big part of me wants to find a reason to go to the studio over the weekend so I can get a look earlier, but our weekend is packed with kids activities and one last long training walk before the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer next weekend. The first piece set the tone for the day and reminded me how much I love to blow glass. Maybe I'll take a picture and post it when I open the annealer. I'm not even really sure what they look like because I layered a lot of colors and used combinations I haven't put together before. I'm crossing my fingers that they look as good as I am imagining them!

Thanks for your support

We had a wonderful two weekends at the Fall Pottery and Glass Festival at Cedar Creek. It was great to see so many familiar faces and lots of new ones too. It was nonstop glass blowing for us in the studio.

Seeing all the people in the studio, around the grounds and in the gallery really made me realize how much support we have had over the years. I wanted to give a big thank you to everyone who buys American craft, mine or otherwise. I feel so privileged to be able to blow glass for a living and I know that I wouldn't be able to do it without all the people who buy my work. So thank you, from me and all craftspeople. It's a hard, but very rewarding way to make a living, and you help make that possible. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Join us for the Pottery and Glass Festival this weekend at Cedar Creek Gallery

Join me in my studio for glass blowing demonstrations this Saturday and Sunday, October 10th and 11th. I will show how I make my beads, pulling a hot glass "taffy" more than thirty feet long down the porch. As well we will make vases and bowls. In all there will be seven glass blowers working in two studios so you will have the opportunity to see different styles and pieces made. Also there will be pottery demonstrations, live music, kiln openings and more. Check the schedule of events for specific days and times.
For directions to the Cedar Creek Gallery and my studio:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Who knew it would only take ten minutes?

I've resisted as long as I possibly can. Now I am officially a member of the blogging world. At one time I thought I would be the last person who didn't have email - a sort of historian who could explain how to cope if it all crashed. Now I don't know what I would do if I couldn't communicate via email.

The requests kept coming from people who wanted to know what I was working on, what was new, what I was excited about. So here it is. Once I figure out how to post some pictures we will be in business. Now if I don't answer my emails be patient, I'm using my emailing time to figure all this out!