Critique Section - WarmGlass.com

Critique Section

This is the main board for discussing general techniques, tools, and processes for fusing, slumping, and related kiln-forming activities.

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StaceyG
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Critique Section

Postby StaceyG » Mon Mar 22, 2004 8:11 am

Hi,
I think the thread on critique has been very interesting. There are many levels of fusers on here, and some of the new people are so excited at their first project (you all remember that feeling) that they just want to say "look what I did!".

That said, I wanted to pull out a suggestion from the Critique post that we have a separate section for critiques only. This could be a higher level technique critique area other than people just saying "wow - looks good".

What do others think?

Stacey

Tim Swann
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Postby Tim Swann » Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:07 am

Before this all steam rolls too far I would like to give a word of caution on giving and receiving critiques. The critique is based solely on the quality of the photographs or digital images the person seeking the critique can produce. To receive the most accurate critique you will first need to learn how to take high quality photos and images, or seek out the talents of a professional photographer.
Glass is a three dimensional subject and you are asking peers to judge you work based on two dimensional images. I have talked to many other artists that complain the slides submitted for juried shows never do their work justice. Critiquing other fusers work will be no different.

Tim

Jackie Beckman
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Postby Jackie Beckman » Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:20 am

I think that point is valid Tim, except we all can pretty much look past that - we're not juriors. We all have had the same problems photographing our own glass and getting quality images. Besides, we'd be looking more for good design, an interesting statement made, a unique and well done process - I think we'll all be able to see past a poor quality image. Of course I like to give notice of my horrible photographic skills when I post images, hoping that is taken into consideration. :D

Tim Swann
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Postby Tim Swann » Mon Mar 22, 2004 3:35 pm

Jackie,

Good point and I hope you are right. All things start with good intentions.

Tim

Nickie Jordan
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Postby Nickie Jordan » Tue Mar 23, 2004 4:29 am

Good points Tim. Thanks.
When we work for an employer, we all need a pat on the back occasionally. Lots of us glass artists are working for the public, who are unwilling to give us a pat on the back (sometimes they do) because they have to impart with some green money to get their homes/businesses looking the way they want - sometimes gaudily so, at the cheapest price.
I'm into honesty about my work. I'm not the only one. This is a good forum to bounce ideas other artists(if they'll let us)
Recently, a person posted a photo of his/her potmelts. They were only about 4" dia - I posted that they 'were perfect'. They really were, I think, for the technique involved, for the size, for the time spent, for the lack of experience - what else could they expect ? I love any and all pot melts I've seen, (whoa Rev. Jerry !) I'll commend anyone with a success at it, I'm jealous I don't have a kiln deep enough to do them, I'm thrilled to see photos of the results. Some people can't stand Picasso either, so be it.

I don't know what will happen after this critique/critisism thread thing, but I'm hoping the people on this board will continue to be helpful, and, honest, and more helpful. Hopefully, even lots more unprofessional photos will be posted. There are lots of us that need some help out here.... - N

PS; I love the fact that I'm so far west, I have the whole board to myself at this time in the evening (the last word, except for the insomniacs!) On the other hand, you folks are gearing up for lunch about the time I'm getting outta bed. Whole threads are posted and abandoned in that time... hard to stay in the loop...
Thanks for your time. - N

Marty
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Postby Marty » Tue Mar 23, 2004 8:28 am

I understand the wish for guidance and validation but I've got a problem with public crits, even here on WG (kinder/gentler). Too exposed? Too broad a range of opinions? Not productive?

I'll ask for critiques, but selectively, from people whose work and opinions I trust and respect. And I'll reciprocate, if asked.

Bert Weiss
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Postby Bert Weiss » Tue Mar 23, 2004 9:44 am

Marty wrote:I understand the wish for guidance and validation but I've got a problem with public crits, even here on WG (kinder/gentler). Too exposed? Too broad a range of opinions? Not productive?

I'll ask for critiques, but selectively, from people whose work and opinions I trust and respect. And I'll reciprocate, if asked.


I am well practiced at the art of evaluating the weight of criticism. If some makes a critique and it rings true, you are in luck. If somebody makes a criticism and it just doesn't resonate inside you, ignore it.
Bert

Bert Weiss Art Glass*
http://www.customartglass.com
Furniture Lighting Sculpture Tableware
Architectural Commissions

Cynthia

Postby Cynthia » Tue Mar 23, 2004 1:55 pm

Marty wrote:I understand the wish for guidance and validation but I've got a problem with public crits, even here on WG (kinder/gentler). Too exposed? Too broad a range of opinions? Not productive?

I'll ask for critiques, but selectively, from people whose work and opinions I trust and respect. And I'll reciprocate, if asked.


I share your view Marty. Crits are a wonderful learning tool for both the maker and the critique giver. But I don't feel like I can offer a fair crit without having the dialog that is integral to the process. I can do it via emails (still isn't as successful an experience as it is in the flesh), I can take the time to think about what to discuss, to find out what the maker has in mind with the work, questions asked and answered...blah, blah, blah.

Bert makes a good point too that the person asking for the crit needs to be critical thinkers themselves and take what seems valid and toss what doesn't feel like a good fit.

But a public (how many people traffic this board??? and what do we really know about them???) crit here seems ripe for the potential of peoples hard efforts to be trampled, for weaker work to not get the support and direction the makers were asking for. I would hate to think that one misconstrued comment, false praise, the roaring silence that will happen for some, or the poster who finds it necessary to berate someones work could realistically stop someone from moving forward with their efforts because they were lulled into a mistaken sense of accomplishment, or paralyzed with a mistaken sense of failure.

I'm not opposed to a critics corner, I just have reservations about how well it can really work, and more concerns about the damage it could do. I won't be offering, or asking for on board critiques. Like Marty, I will keep it a private and dialoged event. But I for sure will be watching to see how it goes, and in all sincerity, I hope that it is a raging success and profitable and positive experience for everyone who decides to participate.

Brock
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Postby Brock » Tue Mar 23, 2004 2:07 pm

I'm not opposed to a critics corner, I just have reservations about how well it can really work, and more concerns about the damage it could do. I won't be offering, or asking for on board critiques. Like Marty, I will keep it a private and dialoged event. But I for sure will be watching to see how it goes, and in all sincerity, I hope that it is a raging success and profitable and positive experience for everyone who decides to participate.

I don't get it Cynthia, you've already critiqued works on this board. And gotten praise for your sage advice. And one more time, this is for people who desire it. Why take yourself out of the loop? Brock
My memory is so good, I can't remember the last time I forgot something . . .

Dennis Brady
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Postby Dennis Brady » Tue Mar 23, 2004 2:28 pm

My attitude is to ignore the critiques of all but those that buy my work. What anyone else thinks is irrelevant.
DeBrady Glass Ltd http://www.debrady.com
Victorian Art Glass http://www.vicartglass.com
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Sara
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Postby Sara » Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:11 pm

if I were to have listened to the critiques of my glass I would have stopped melting years ago. Instead it's been a magic carpet ride, critics be damned.

Tee hee, of course I still can't get into many shows :twisted: and have had to make do.

Seriously, from the heart is what matters and each of us will find our place.

S.

Amy on Salt Spring
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Postby Amy on Salt Spring » Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:54 pm

Dennis Brady wrote:My attitude is to ignore the critiques of all but those that buy my work. What anyone else thinks is irrelevant.


If all you care about is selling then this attitude is fine. For those of us who want to grow as artists our motivations are different.
Amy

Cynthia

Postby Cynthia » Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:57 pm

Brock wrote: I don't get it Cynthia, you've already critiqued works on this board. And gotten praise for your sage advice. And one more time, this is for people who desire it. Why take yourself out of the loop? Brock


Because I have found that I value a crit that contains a dialog, one on one interaction to be more fruitful. Any concepts discussed could be clarified or misunderstandings corrected, terminology defined. That the concepts at play, or devices that could be employed can be discussed at length... Most importantly to me, that the Why of what is solid and working and what isn't could be explained, tackled, taught.

I don't discount (I don't mean to anyway) that there is value to a public crit when given in the right spirit and productive information is given...such as your advice for Jim W. to stick with what he knows and to do a series to see where that takes him...But what about the person who says "Wow, I love it, that blue is divine with the neo lav" and a mediocre piece with potential is never furthered because it was deemed wonderful, or was torn apart because of an unsuccesful element, yet the strengths were never addressed. I see lots of 'I like this, I don't like that...' but there isn't any information offered about the design issues at play. I think this kind of polite chat is what you are addressing when you suggest we engage in serious criticisms.

When a plumber talks about sweating a pipe, no one is worried about the use of "Plummer speak", but a lot of what we should be talking about when we are critiquing work requires some Art Speak. Art Speak sends some people running, raises the hair on the back of a few necks, puts people off...but the work we are doing is concerned with composition and design issues, construction issues, physical technical and artistic concerns intermeshed. If we are comfortable talking about annealing, compatibility, properties of glass and how we manipulate it, why is it so touchy to talk about line, space, rhythm, motion, value, focal points, color theory, unity and variety?

I am a little gun shy I suppose, and have more concerns about the negative potential of public crits than I have optimism about the positive. I had an experience where someone felt my comments were "arrogant Art Speak" and basically I was asked "who do you think you are to say...?" My input was misconstrued as dismissive and arrogant, when that was the furthest thing from what I was trying to convey... When we talk about the issues surrounding a technique we all listen, when we talk about the technical issues surrounding our imagery...some call it arrogant Art Speak...and the like. The success of the imagery is as significant if not more so than the craftsmanship, yet when we are talking about skillfully cold worked rims or dichroic images that were fired with such skill as to keep them from distorting...we perk up, take note. When the design and compositional aspects of the work are talked about using the language that applies, people often seem to feel threatened.

Okay. I reread what I just wrote. Looks as if my concern is more about this Critics Forum not meeting my criteria of what a critique should be, and my disappointment that the concerns of imagery and the language that describes these concerns aren't well understood, easy to convey...valued, and that when I talk about these concerns, I become a target for those who feel threatened by this important (most important to me) aspect of a crit. Maybe I am opposed/reluctant to be 'in the loop' because I question how receptive people will be to learning more about those issues.

I will reiterate though that...I am not opposed to a critics corner. I hope it's faboulously helpful to those who are interested in a crit to further their accomplishments both technically and with their imagery. I am always willing to change my views once I have more information to process. If it looks positive, supportive, empowering for those who asked for the crit... perhaps I will throw in my two cents worth...I'll wait and see.

Brock
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Postby Brock » Tue Mar 23, 2004 4:25 pm

As usual, you make a lot of good points. The thing is, we're not defending a thesis here, we're just asking for some input. Unfortunately, I think this is probably moot anyway. The subject appears moribund already. Brock
My memory is so good, I can't remember the last time I forgot something . . .

Bert Weiss
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Postby Bert Weiss » Tue Mar 23, 2004 4:32 pm

Cynthia

I did not have the experience of going to Art School. I have hung around and dialogued with lots of people who have. I have taught there. I keep my ears and eyes focused on picking up the language and modus operendi of artspeak.

So for myself, I look forward to discussions of this nature. I'm sure there is much to learn about why I like the things I do.
Bert



Bert Weiss Art Glass*

http://www.customartglass.com

Furniture Lighting Sculpture Tableware

Architectural Commissions

Brock
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Postby Brock » Tue Mar 23, 2004 4:40 pm

. . I did not have the experience of going to Art School. I have hung around and dialogued with lots of people who have. I have taught there. I keep my ears and eyes focused on picking up the language and modus operendi of artspeak. . .

Me too Bert, my last art course was high school. However, I used to wear a beret.

Okay, okay, it was in the army, but it's the thought that counts.

Cpl./Pvt./Cpl. Craig

(Getting Cpl. the second time is much tougher)

_________________
My memory is so good, I can't remember the last time I forgot something . . .

Lauri Levanto
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Photos&stuff and critics

Postby Lauri Levanto » Tue Mar 23, 2004 5:09 pm

We have a forum for photos &stuff.
Great place to announce your first success.
I'll do it very soon, maybe next year :-)

That is the place to welcome newbies, to share ideas.
Does it benfit of a parallel critics forum,
where people who want,
can open their work for criticism, dialog etc.

If I find it too hard, I can quietly return to photos and stuff.

I also appreciatemusings about glass art versus craft
cute versus aesthetic - but that belongs to the main board.
-lauri

Cynthia

Postby Cynthia » Tue Mar 23, 2004 5:16 pm

Brock wrote:... we're not defending a thesis here, we're just asking for some input.


Fair enough. I am aware the I can make an argument when one wasn't asked for, and to use as many words as possible. :roll:

Unfortunately, I think this is probably moot anyway. The subject appears moribund already. Brock


This opportunity will live or die with or without me. Is Brad game to add it as a fourm to the board? It appears there are many who are interested enough to at least give it a go.

Bert wrote:...I did not have the experience of going to Art School. I have hung around and dialogued with lots of people who have. I have taught there. I keep my ears and eyes focused on picking up the language and modus operendi of artspeak.

So for myself, I look forward to discussions of this nature. I'm sure there is much to learn about why I like the things I do.


You would be a pleasure to discuss these things with Bert. You have always remained open to all aspects of this work and the different ways we can discuss it, do it, show it, sell it...most people are if I am to be fair. You don't need to have gone to art school to do art, or a trade school to be a plummer or glass school to fire glass in a kiln. It's my agenda to talk about the imagery, and use a common language so that we are all on the same page when we talk about it without being considered arrogant or pretentious. See how I have clouded the topic with my own set of issues? Well take it or leave it. It's just one woman's perspective.

Give a critics forum a go, and see what happens.

Marty
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Postby Marty » Tue Mar 23, 2004 5:26 pm

Brock wrote:. .

Cpl./Pvt./Cpl. Craig

(Getting Cpl. the second time is much tougher)

_________________



I'd like to know why Cpl./Pvt? I'll buy the beer....

The Hobbyist
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Postby The Hobbyist » Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:02 pm

Cynthia; I think your biggest concern should be time spent. You have been a great influence on my work because you took the time to say more than "whoopee". I would gladly submit nearly every piece I've done for your evaluation but that would be a gross abuse of our friendship. It takes time from your own work to study mine and/or others.

Brock, Bert; I've never had a beret or ANY art class of ANY kind. (I'm sure it shows.)

I think I am a good craftsman and I can usually learn/invent whatever techniques I need. What I don't have is any idea what is good or bad about what I make. I don't have a clue what works or doesn't nor why. It is physically and financially impossible to tote my work(s) to someone for a personal assessment. In short, for me to grow artistically, especially at my age, it is imperitive that I have an opportunity for comments from those that may or may not know better than I what it's all about. The very last thing I want is patronization and have avoided posting on the Photos forum for that reason.

I try to learn by starting with something someone else has done and either copying it to understand it or, usually, digressing as I do into something different, more my own. When I finish I may or may not like the result. You may or may not either. I seriously doubt that if I made something that I liked and you didn't that I would trash it. Nor would I necessarily discontinue the concept. But I would very much like to know how the piece(s) looks through your eyes and with your experience. Who says what about the work is also important. But the most important information, that which will help me grow, is the addition of why a piece is good, bad or ugly.

I got carried away suspecting that there are many others lurking, like I usually do, that have a similar need. They may not have the courage to post a piece for criticism but can surely learn from other critiques. I'm old enough to be unthreatened by anything anyone can say to me or about me. So I will offer as many pieces as is acceptable.

I have always been sensitive to the feelings of others and generally take serious umbrage when they are trampled. But in a Critic's Corner it should be obvious (or made clear) that the poster expects and wishes a critique with positive and negative comments and can handle it emotionally. If they cannot they should not post. They should post a pic in Photos and share it without fear of evaluation.

So far it seems that the idea isn't a really hot one judging by the lack of posts. Mine has drawn more politeness than I wanted. There have been some negatives that I expected and there have been some helpful suggestions that I will carry to the next piece. I guess that everyone is treading so lightly for fear that the critiques will become personal rather than objective.

The fear of breaking eggs has kept many a cake from being baked.

Jim
"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion. " Steven Weinberg


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