"I'm not artistic". "I couldn't draw a stick figure." "I can't......". What a terrible word; can't. Especially when it pertains to someone's creative abilities. As kids, a fist full of crayons and any ol' paper was soon to be a masterpiece with blue trees, "W" shaped birds, three legged dogs, and perpetual sunny skies. And heaven forbid if your Mom called your brilliantly rendered giraffe a kitty! What?! Didn't the purple polka dots and green antlers make it obvious that it was the rare Rocky Mountain Giraffe? What's wrong with adults anyway?!? No, seriously... when do we beat that uninhibited creativity out of our heads and become so constrained in "reality"? Are we too embarrassed to be wrong? Fear of failure? What does it take to get adults to wake up and see the world through a child's creative eye?
This past weekend I saw a glimmer of hope during a glass blowing event hosted by our gallery. This event was not only a rare opportunity for the general public to come see very talented glass blowers perform their craft, but also a chance to actually participate and help create their very own piece of blown glass. This brought an amazing number of people out to try their hand at something they never thought they would have a chance to do. It was almost as if they were handed a script to follow.
1) Get a little nervous and ask yourself, "What am I about to do !".
2) Step into the "Hot Shop" with a very serious, focused look of your face.
3) Perform each step as if you're defusing a nuclear bomb.
4) When done, break into a huge smile; part relief, part pride, all joy!
This last part was a sign to me that there IS hope for adults. They personally took blobs of molten glass, added stunning colors, and with the same breath that gives them life, they blew that melted ball of goo into a fantastic piece of art! Those smiles... I will never forget those smiles. At that moment, they knew they had done something that minutes before had the word "can't" before it.
Many thanks go out to the fantastic glass artists that made this happen. Daniel Miller for his amazing talents not only in forming beautiful glass works such as ornate wine flutes, but also his technical abilities in building an incredible traveling hot shop! Build the tools to build the art... a true craftsman! Caleb Mroczka specializes not only in forming glass into stunning botanicals, but as an educator he is able to explain the process in an entertaining and informative way. Thus people felt not just comfortable, but adventurous when it was their time to participate. And Cody nicely has the ability to turn the most uncommon item into a breathtaking thing of beauty. We're talking squids here people! His playful aquatic life had people imagining what they may possibly be able to do some day! These three artists were able to change "can't" into "DID"! Makes me smile just typing it.
Daniel, Cody, and Caleb playing with a "Flying Fish". See it just above Caleb's glove? It was very hot, very fragile, and yes, it flew all the way across the room into the gloves and thankfully not Caleb's chest! The crowd's reaction was explosive, AFTER the shock subsided! Thank you Courtney Tinder for capturing the moment!