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              It was a blustery weekend in Muskrat Flats. The wind was conducting a symphony as the poplars bordering the vineyard...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I'm So Stubborn I would Rather Work for Free

I’m so stubborn I would rather work for free.

The four marbles in the back, made by Paul Brown, are on loan from the Private collection of Joel MacKenzie. They are not for sale.

1. Grateful Dead Steal Your Face Marble with a Turquoise Dichroic backing. 2003.

2. Midnight and blue moon Vortex. 2003

3. Dichroic vortex marble with lots of cobalt blue, caramel and blue moon. 2003

4. Dichroic Vortex with Cobalt and Blue Moon.

This is a sign I put up in my studio this morning

It has been a couple of years since I have seen these pieces. When Joel came to the show yesterday and offered to leave them for display, I was thrilled.

If you came to the show at the Indian Orchard Mills on Saturday and visited my neighbor Chris Bordenca you may have noted, as I did, that he took a hiatus from his art work and described that he had to learn how to paint again. Having recovered from extensive shoulder surgery I can identify with enduring the frustration of relearning my craft. I've got all of the tools on my bench and the rules in my head, but it does not equate to the old adage of "learning how to ride a bike."

I am proud of the new work I have displayed in this show as well as the work involved with bringing the vision and the idea of this studio to fruition. The work is redolent of my personality and my struggles and my stubbornness. I have a day job, which is just that. Yes there is a certain amount of creativity in what I do, but at the end of the day, ultimately someone else is getting credit for my handiwork. Someone to whom I sell my labor, ultimately for less than what the current market value of its worth. But, that situation allows me to do this. My glasswork is a permanent testament of this little victory. As long as it is not destroyed it will be around a lot longer than I will. In a life where so much is impermanent this is important to me to take an item which brought me joy, solace and serenity during the creative process and pass it on with the hope that the piece will move the person who possesses it to find their own joy and pleasure within the object. It is a labor of love. The most rewarding aspects of my life are the ones which are not financially rewarding. They all have their value even if it is nothing more than nourishing my soul and my spirituality and helping to strip away one of the four truths of Buddhism that life is suffering.

To borrow from a great song I know, "I'm so stubborn I would rather work for free." I would rather have you walk away happy and awed at what you have just seen or purchased. I would rather have you feel that you have something special and in return you give me fair market value for the product which will pay for my supplies and my meager rent. I would rather do all of those things than to be in a veal fattening pen in the corporate world with a $2000 mortgage and a pile of files I have to review "over the weekend."

The joy I am trying to convey, I experienced yesterday when I saw these marbles I created four years ago. I held them in my hand, individually assessing each one and was moved to ponder…what was I thinking when I made these? And will I ever experience that inspiration again? They are so beautiful to me. The experience was akin to meeting a long lost friend and picking up as if the last time you saw them was at lunch, yesterday afternoon. Another example is picking your child up from sleepover camp not having seen them for one week. As they run up to give you a hug and tell you how much you were missed, you are sure their hair is much longer than it was and they grew an inch.

Yes I will. I will make marbles that will stop me in my tracks again. As I apply myself, and don't forget that life is a learning process, my skills will improve. But for now, I am awed that I produced those pieces. I welcome you to share in the experience.

As you will always find me, I'm Running hard out of Musktrat Flats.

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