"Dumbing down" of glass art? - Page 3 - WarmGlass.com

"Dumbing down" of glass art?

This forum focuses on the artistic "why" and "what" more than the technical "how". Put more philosophical (but still art and glass related) posts here.

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Emily Speight
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:07 pm

Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby Emily Speight » Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:02 pm

I just 'reactivated' my log in info here because of this exact issue. I KNOW I don't know everything, but when multiple people are telling you your schedules are jacked or you shouldn't mix 90 with 96 and you refuse to listen... yeah.

Plus, no one wants to figure out how to do things on their own. As an example, I posted a draped vase I made from an ill cut 'circle' of glass that was made with randomly placed stringers. Other than selecting the colors, I made zero choices in how they were placed. It was not a piece I put much thought into, I was just playing. But yet I had many people asking how I did it.... really??

I'm not trying to make art. I'm just doing what I like (and what I know my customers will buy, because lets face it, selling the glass I make helps buy more glass so I can play).

Valerie Adams
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Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby Valerie Adams » Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:19 pm

Welcome back, Emily!

I've seen those types of posts too; 'how did you do it?' is often the first thing they ask. I've left groups since I tend to be 'too controversial'; I've actually received hate messages because I've preached that people need to play, test, experiment, keep good notes, and seek out credible info. Instead, many just want the quick, free, answer. :roll:

JestersBaubles
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Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby JestersBaubles » Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:42 pm

We are turning into a society of people who want the "easy button". I see it in my day job, as well.

Dana W.

Barry Kaiser
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Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby Barry Kaiser » Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:44 pm

Valerie and I are pretty much of one mind, but I have a higher threshold for stupidity.
My defining moment was a PMC convention in 2011 (may have been 2010). I was a speaker and presenter and was blown away by the complete lack of curiosity and inquisitiveness shown by the typical attendee. 99% of the people there were looking for a guru who they could follow and (dare I say) copy. They were looking for certifications thinking that if they had them, they would instantly become an artist. When 2 years later, the metal clay people came out with "Master" certifications, I just shook my head. It was nothing but another way of dipping into the customers wallet.

I will shock everyone here and say I find glass people quite different. Yes there are a lot of fusers who lack curiosity. Unfortunately those are the ones who seem to dominate many of the facebook groups. They refuse to think independently and need help.

On the other side however are a substantial number of glass people who have glee in their hearts when they open the kiln to something they put together last night trying some new thought. I have traveled a lot around the country teaching and seeking out other glass people. I think I have learned as much from my students as they learned from me. I am amazed at how many people have fused a small piece of 90 to a 96 sheet (or vice versa) thinking that they may get away with it. This is a good thing! When someone says something won't work, they want to learn first hand. "These are the very people who come up with new creations and processes.

But as soon as I see someone come out with a glass certification, I will pronounce glass fusing doomed.

Barry

Kevin Midgley
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Location: Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby Kevin Midgley » Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:50 pm

Dan Fenton, rest his soul, issued tickets to those who offended his 'glass certification' standards. :D
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Yardic Glassworks
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Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby Yardic Glassworks » Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:16 pm

Dan would be issuing a lot of citations these days. Too bad there was not a violations for those asking how to program their kiln, then a week later saying that they are teaching a class.....or those that advertise a "Master Class" on one site while seeking basic fusing advise on another site... Miss you Dan. RIP
Tim Yardic
Yardic Glassworks

Tom Fuhrman
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Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby Tom Fuhrman » Sun Dec 27, 2015 1:34 pm

I wonder if Dan ever posted those in any museums. If he didn't he probably should have.
No one or place is exempt.
Dan always said that glass had a memory and remembered everything you do to it or every time you touch it. I still believe he was right about that.

Emily Speight
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:07 pm

Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby Emily Speight » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:09 am

Yardic Glassworks wrote:Too bad there was not a violations for those asking how to program their kiln, then a week later saying that they are teaching a class.


YES. This literally just happened - asking why a project blew massive bubbles and then in a separate post talks about the class he's teaching... great.
'

JestersBaubles
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Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby JestersBaubles » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:40 am

Someone recently posted "Can someone tell me why this happened?" with a picture of a piece with a hole in it -- nothing else. I responded with several questions RE: layup, type of mold (if used), firing schedule, etc etc etc. Someone else responded to me that if I would just read the (50 or so) previous posts, I would have the answers to my questions.

Uh, yeah -- sure. I'll get right on that. NOT.

Dana W.

KaCe
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Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby KaCe » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:10 am

I began a post, thought I saved it, but can't find it... so am beginning again. I wanted to weigh in on the remarks by others in this thread to the helpfulness of several of the posters, including Cynthia. She was the first person to help me on an issue. She was informative, thoughtful, and friendly. It gave me a warm feeling about this board. Brad, Barry, Les, Valorie, Kevin, Tom, Jim, Bert, Judd and many, many others have added their experiences and expertise too. I like that there is an archive, which I use. I like that it disseminates information that I trust, if it isn't —others will comment and a discussion will ensue that will help the poster figure out things. This is my preferred kiln formed glass site. The FB is nice for images, something that isn't as prevalent here, but I agree with most here who have issues with easy praise and lack of workmanship. Cold working isn't everyones fort. But necessary for a nice piece. Thank you Brad, et al for keeping this here and making it what it is... great.=D> posting.php?mode=reply&f=16&t=41758#

Ed Cantarella
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Location: Highland, Michigan, USA

Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby Ed Cantarella » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:09 am

I used to do stained glass work, then had to take a break due to being widowed, remarried,etc. [Fast forward 16 years]My new wife was intrigued "will you teach me about glass work?" She wanted to do fusing which I knew nothing about and we started with bottle slumping. I didn't like them, thought it was basically raw craft. But we bought a few hundred bottles off craigslist. After about 3-4 months of this and a few lukewarm craft shows we started into "real" fusing. And threw a few hundred bottles away. :lol:
I made this meme back then - it still applies for us. :P
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schlock.jpg
HER last words were, "I'm melting, melting . . . " Dissenting opinions generally welcome for comic relief or personal edification. Sometimes both.

Ed Cantarella
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Location: Highland, Michigan, USA

Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby Ed Cantarella » Mon May 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Valerie Adams wrote:What do you think? Are decals, molds, etc adding to or taking away from the medium?
Nah, not really.
Decals are just another way to apply paint/colorant. Printed vs. hand applied. Caveat: I don't BUY decals, the rare times I use them I do the laser ones. Umber can look very classy against lighter colors. I've considered having some gold ones custom printed for a particular project, but it's pretty pricey for real gold water-slide decals in a larger format.
Molds: manufactured ones look like everyone else's, hand-made probably not. But isn't a shelf a flat mold of sorts? I mold curved items flat on mine. Lots of pros buying molds from BE. :)
Stencils: resist is a stencil for sandblasting, masking tape is a stencil for painting... I cut stencils of original artwork by myself or my daughter on a Zing - I compare that to an artist having prints made of an original.
Some might have a great eye for composition and color - if they want to see their vision to fruition they will learn and apply good technique.
Those who want to make original stuff(aesthetic quality being subjective) will figure out what to do. Darwinian curve will take care of the rest. Unless they have a lot of money at their disposal.

Do threads of this sort kill site traffic :?: :shock: I mean, those newbees certainly won't feel welcome if their early efforts are poo-pooed.
:idea: Possibly the real concern is a dumbing down of consumers.
HER last words were, "I'm melting, melting . . . " Dissenting opinions generally welcome for comic relief or personal edification. Sometimes both.

FusedLightStudio
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:33 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby FusedLightStudio » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:59 am

I appreciate so many of the posts on this topic - so, first, a general Thank You for all the thoughtful responses.

My start in warm glass was when I took a community arts center class in fusing almost three years ago, and it was like a FB group - no formal instruction, everything was fired by the instructor. She was clear on several very important points (COE, basic design considerations), and did respond wonderfully to my incessant questions, but I realized that I just needed to get a kiln and start learning on my own through experimentation and tapping into knowledgeable resources. I found this forum soon after buying my kiln - a tabletop with a MANUAL controller - and everyone here has been extremely helpful. Taking a workshop at Arrowmont last month was also a huge boost, as are the Bullseye subscription videos. But I know my place. Friends have already suggested that I do a make-your-own-pendant class and it was easy to say “not only NO but HELL NO.”

For those who believe jewelry is boring or the work of the uninformed - I would say that pendants for me are small tests in which I learned about how glass works, about design, and about self-expression. I never make two of the same, and I usually am investing some thought and time into each one. When people buy these, I don’t see it as dumbing down glass art. They aren’t great works of art, but they are a little chunk of fun, beauty or color that may brighten someone’s day. And selling them lets me afford the glass for larger, more meaningful projects.

lbailey
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:53 pm
Location: LA (Lower Alabama)

Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby lbailey » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:33 pm

Here I sit, waiting for my new shop to be completed. All equipment and material in storage since Feb.... pretty hard thing to deal with. Lurking on this site keeps me energized and motivated, so thanks to all you guys. After 6-7 yrs of focus on kiln formed glass I finally understand and appreciate this old thread.

I've had a about a dozen students who seemed interested in learning but when I asked them what their objective was, they said they wanted to "make something pretty". Not a single one was interested in firing schedules, the physics of working glass or anything beyond the immediate gratification of saying "I made this". I guess that's Ok, but I'm pretty disappointed. I don't have a lot of experience but was really excited to share this new world with others. Guess what? They aren't really interested in the details. Dead end IMO.

So in our new location/shop I'll not be taking "students", instead focusing on my own work and exploration. The only exception will be workshops for kids. We have to expose them to this, even in it's simplest forms.......

Doug Randall
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Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby Doug Randall » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:30 pm

Hey y’all. I’ve been gone from WG for years now, but just dropped in to say hey to those folks I’ve grown to know over the years from this board. I’m in contact with several of the original members when this started close to 18 years back. If I’ve missed anyone, friend me on FB. So after working with glass for 46 years, I’ve finally decided to hang up my stripper and continue my path into something more lucrative than art. Walking my dogs, organic gardening, watching the waves come in, all of which are much less expensive than being an artist. Especially a high level one at that. Take my one last bit of warm glass advise. Therapy sessions are a good thing.

After the first of the year I’ll be liquidating my shop, tools, glass and all the cold working equipment. A lot of the glass I’ll be using this fall to make some large outdoor sculptures, (finally some work for me!) then I’ll be converting the shop building into our final single floor residence with a caretakers quarters upstairs for when we get old and crotchety.

So my final thoughts, since this post is about “Dumbing down of art glass” it’s too late, art glass was dumbed down a long time ago.
I remember this discussion was posted here 18 years ago....is it still the same thread? Ha, I hope not. If there is still an archive check it out.

Kevin Midgley
Posts: 609
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 11:36 am
Location: Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

Re: "Dumbing down" of glass art?

Postby Kevin Midgley » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:01 pm

It is really easy to explain my glass to studio visitors as 'I make grilled cheese sandwiches of glass'.
Then they understand the 'process' and can just enjoy the eye candy.
Dumbing down can sometimes be helpful.


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