There's something about white porcelain that inspires me. The play of light. The subtle shadows.
A woman was chief of all who lived in this region. That was a long time before Coyote came up the river and changed things, and the people were not yet real people. After a time Coyote, in his travels came to this place and asked the inhabitants if they were living well or ill. They sent him to their chief who lived up in the rocks, where she could look down on the village and know what was going on.
Coyote climbed up to the house on the rocks and asked, “What kind of living do you give these people? Do you treat them well or are you one of those evil women?”
“I am teaching them to live well and build good houses,” she said.
When she expressed her desire to be able to do this forever, he said, “Soon the world will change and women will no longer be chiefs.”
Being the trickster that he was, Coyote changed her into a rock with the command, “You shall stay here and watch over the people and the river forever.”
Tom Foster, Pasco WA photo.
I mosey and meander
on the beach at Crystal Cove,
dazzled by the brilliance
of my sparkling treasure trove.
Sequined waves unfurling
hide treasures to behold,
a cymbal-crashing symphony
of diamonds and of gold.
I hear the gemstones clacking
in splendid harmony,
as cast upon the shoreline
they reveal themselves to me.
A fracture teems with critters
encased in slimy green,
emitting tiny bubbles….
a clue to life unseen.
Ninth Biennial International Juried Kiln-Glass Exhibition for Emerging Artists
I had the honor of being selected as one of 42 finalists from 370 entries representing 16 countries. Emerge 2016 was on view at Bullseye Projects in Portland from June 25 – October 1, 2016.
Reading passages from Pema Chodrun’s lessons on mindfulness, I found this quote:
“And what we call ego is … grasping on to small parts, which is our personal experience saying, “I want this and I don’t want that,” “I like this and I don’t like that.” We are grasping onto our limited thinking instead of staying with what’s really possible for us.”
I will tell you about my experience with a project I call “Stacked Bowls.” A particular ceramic sculpture by a Japanese artist grabbed my attention and held onto it for months. Composed of three white nested bowls with dark blue trim, they were simply elegant and deeply compelling. I spent a long time trying to reproduce her concept in glass. It seemed the tighter my grasp on the outcome, the slower my progress. It wasn’t until I let go of that concept that I began to have fun and move forward.
Inspired by contemporary Japanese ceramicists, I am currently working with fine glass powders in subtle gradations of aquamarine, soft blues, grays and greens reminiscent of the distinctive Seihakuji glazes perfected by the Chinese in the eleventh century. After multiple firing operations in the kiln to fuse and mold the glass into panels and vessels, I use a variety of grinding and blasting tools to further shape and refine the glass edges and surfaces to achieve the thin-walled translucence and matte surfaces that distinguish Seihakuji porcelain.
One of my pieces from the Seihakuji collection, Laguna Ikebana Bowl, was selected for the Bullseye Projects Ninth Biennial International Juried Kiln-Glass Exhibition for Emerging Artists in June 2016. Others pieces were exhibited at Sandstone Gallery in Laguna Beach CA in the summer of 2015.
My work space is a separate "mother-in-law" apartment on the lowest level of my house. I am surrounded by my garden and the vast Pacific Ocean beyond. Double French doors open onto a wide wooden deck, which is where the sawing, grinding and blasting take place... the wet and dirty work. My cold-working machines are on casters so that I can roll them outside during the day and back inside at sunset.