Monday, August 27, 2012

OK to NC

     I spent about a week and a half in Mangum, it just so happened that my sister & her daughter & granddaughter where there as well!  The scenery was quite beautiful, Spring weather had been good to the area, and I had arrived the week before wheat harvest.

     We drove around to dad's old childhood home & of course to the Jester cemetery (a customary trip).  Dad has his headstone already in place - I like to tease him that he could have gotten a better price if he would have had that second date carved in at the factory.....
     I was lucky enough to be in the right place for yet another intense phenomenon in the sky - an annular eclipse!  Not too often do you get to see one of these.  I was on the very North Eastern edge of visibility, and was pretty excited about that.  Wouldn't you know it, right as the moon started to cross the sun, the clouds rolled in & obscured my view!

Although I couldn't see it, I sure could Feel it!  

     It was a great visit, but had to be cut a bit short.  I had a schedule to stick to.  I-40 East across Oklahoma. I have done this road many times, starting in early childhood.  There are memories ingrained, some of which I feel it appropriate to revisit as an adult.  One such is Red Rock Canyon State Park.  Picnic with the family when I was.....5ish? I remember the color of the rock walls covered with daddy long legs.  Had a beautiful morning drove down into it & spent about an hour or so wandering around.

Yup.  Although the walls aren't as tall now as they once were...

     Short detour in Oklahoma City to find a place called Blue Sage Studios.  Staying true to my ways, I just dropped by & they were closed.

I know where the place is now, and will make a point of calling next time!

     I took a little break once I got into Arkansas, and wandered around a little junk shop in downtown Ozark.  I keep seeing these glass swan dishes, all over the country actually, and this shop had quite a few.  I had one of these when I was young, blue & white swirly.  Here's my first glass memory - seeing these things made. I can still see it in my minds eye - pulling out the neck pinching the eyes & beak - maybe that was when the glass seed was planted.  I feel like the studio was in Arkansas, so I asked the ladies at the counter.  They told me of a place about an hour North, and of course it was too late in the day (and my schedule) to make it up there.  Next time.
     Made it all the way to Memphis that night.  I have been through Memphis many times, and have had some not-so-great memories attached to it.  That was a couple of lifetimes ago, and I felt like it was about time to give Memphis a chance!  So, I stopped right around dusk to check it out.  Landed right on Beale street.

     What a scene!  Music & people everywhere. Lots of Harleys lining the street. Quite the party! I soaked it in for a bit, check out the music for a bit, had a bite to eat.  The music was decent - there were loads of great musicians - but no one seemed to be playing anything remotely original.  Glad to have been there, but that was enough Beale Street for me.
Here's the link to a short photo album from the trip.
     I made it through to Durham, NC the next day just in time to prepare for the weekend's gig.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Time to Head East

      My time in California was coming to a close.  I would need to start heading East soon.  I spent the last couple of days working on future project ideas & chilling out with friends. A Massive emotional release had really started with that Full Moon hike, and knowing that I would be going to see my father & returning East was weighing heavily on my mind.  I was a bit out of sorts on my final full day in the Bay Area.  A friend of mine, who is a Healer, picked up on this, and kidnapped me for the evening.  She turned me on to this tool called a Ma Roller - a great substitute for the recent lack of massage.  I spent a bit of time on this, after which there was this magical moment  – she somehow managed to break through & open up some channels to allow negative shit to leave my body.  It was through touching a specific spot on my hand - and I went into a sort of trance.  She seemed to know exactly what I needed, there was no discussion beforehand - it just happened naturally.  It felt as though the pressure had been relieved, and I felt better than I had in quite a long time!
     The next morning I said my goodbyes to Public Glass, and started on my way. I had one more stop in California, the studio of Alan Masaoka in Carmel Valley. Jonathon Schmuck had sent a photograph of one of my molds (one that is very brain-like) to his friend Alan. It seems that there was a project underway that involved minds, and I was invited to come by & blow some of the brains! What fun! I took off towards Carmel Valley, I had never been there before. Holy Crap what a beautiful place! I found Alan's studio & gallery – he is an amazing stained glass artist (among other things), and has a fantastic little hot shop in the back alley. Just my style. This is going to be fun. The furnace was still a little cool when I arrived & we decided that it would be best to relax, have dinner & blow glass in the morning, when the temp was up.

     His friend Ellen would be joining us with some local fresh caught salmon, veggies, pie & ice cream for dessert! Wow oh wow! After dinner, some time was spent on an inversion table & in the hot tub, before retiring to a lovely treehouse for the night. 

     We awoke, had some breakfast & went to the glass shop. Spent the morning taking turns blowing some brains. Click here to see a few examples,(though they were made at different venues)

     I really enjoyed myself, it was tough to leave – but I needed to be in Oklahoma by a certain day, and I had no more time. I had to get on the road.
    Once again, I was amazed at how Big California is. Took the rest of the day to get to the border on I-40 (of course there were some random turns & roads – I have to be true to how I like to travel!) The Following day, I woke up in California, and went to sleep in Texas! I had to pass on the Grand Canyon, the hour or so that I could afford was going to be too much of a tease. I did stop in Flagstaff long enough to figure out that I want to come back & spend a little time there. This was the first time travelling across Arizona & the western half of New Mexico. Quite beautiful, lots of dramatic scenery, and lots of time to think. Driving Meditation.  Here is a link to a photo album.  I have not been East in over 6 months, and I was not entirely sure that I was ready for the whirlwind that was before me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Prompt For A Little Self Examination

      I would like to clarify something regarding the last posting. The experience I had at Public Glass was amazing. The group of folks there have been so very welcoming and gracious to me, especially when my head was in its strange place. I was able to make a piece that I had been dreaming of for Years. I got to spend a fair amount of time in the area and get to know some extraordinary people. I hung out during the open cup blowing times and encouraged the folks who came by (to blow cups for the Hot Glass Cold Beer event) to try out my molds. I even got to blow a few cups! There were many other intimate interactions that really changed my outlook on things. These interactions are what it is all about for me.  There was a beautiful give and take between everyone I interacted with there. There is and will always be a little part of me at Public Glass.
      It turns out that the lack of enrollment for my class forced me to closely examine my approach. This was needed, but like many things, we don't deal with them until we are forced to (Everything happens for a reason, remember?). I had been in touch with my next two venues, and receiving similar reports. Not what I was hoping for. I really needed to start looking at what I have to do differently. After all, this is a make-it-up-as-you-go-along life, if something doesn't work, change it. One thing that I arrived at, is that the two day workshop is quite a commitment. For me, two days of dedication to one specific thing is not a big thing to ask – any day of the week. Most people do not live the lifestyle that I do. In response to this realization, I contacted my next two venues & let them know my thoughts. I proposed a more open format, where I would be available for private lessons, or as a guest artist in any ongoing classes.
      That was one aspect. The next was that I needed to step up the quality of my presentation & think about what I need to do to sell the work that I have been making along the way. With regard to the bowls, sans box was fine when the bowls were on shelves on the wall in the gallery, but now they needed to be presented as individual objects, in a way that lets folks know they are representations of unique moments in time.  The repackaging was an enjoyable process, I found a place called Scrap - seems like most cities have a place like this - and if not, they should!  It is a warehouse full of an eclectic mix of stuff - all organised in such a way that it is possible to locate things.  It is terrific if you are looking for some random, obscure item, or 100 of them.  It was here that I found just what I was looking for - little boxes & some pretty green tissue paper.  Printed up some stickers, signed the card & wallah!

A much improved presentation! There are a few of these left for sale, you can view them here.

These things sorted out, I felt like I was getting my head straightened out a little and when the weekend came, I went to Half Moon Bay Art Glass to help out, blowing some glass in between Douglass' lessons. We  made some fun stuff!

One of the blue vases we made that weekend is available at my Etsy Store.

      There was another thing about that weekend.  It just so happened to be a very powerful full moon Saturday Night - which also added to my wacky head space that week!  I was invited along for a moonlight hike in the redwood forest with friends from Public Glass, who happened to be house sitting in Half Moon Bay.  As you probably have noticed from earlier posts, the full moon tends to have a powerful effect on me.  This was no exception.  I was in excellent company - and as we pulled out of the driveway, the first track of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" came on.  I felt a little like Pink, sitting in the back of the car wrestling with bottled up emotions that decided to start bubbling up to the surface.  We went to a spot not too far away from where I had been just a week before.  We hiked for a couple of hours by the light of the full moon.

It was an absolutely Magical Hike - and Much Needed!