Friday, November 18, 2011

Like the South and the Phoenix, I Rise Again

The phoenix is Fully, Gloriously Feathered with no dust required (see yesterday's post for the reference). I spent today leaving yesterday--and the couple of crappy days that came before it-- behind.

In a whirlwind of activity I met with Lori and Judy and we discussed plans for the the Siyeh Glass Resource Center for 2012--highlight: we're opening back up on Sundays in January. I emailed back and forth with another fuser that I am considering hiring to teach classes starting in January and it looks like that will be a go. I spoke with Nancy G. at length about her fusing techniques that she has so graciously offered for inclusion in Le Book, and set-up preliminary deadlines with her. I redesigned our Intro To Kiln-Forming and Intro To Bead-Making classes, put up the schedule for first quarter 2012 classes, and rewrote the pages on the website to match.

Finally, I conferred with my fellow sleigh-riders and we decided to do a short, sweet, intense Siyeh Sleigh ride in conjunction with Small Business Saturday next Saturday, November 26. Got the web page up for that one too.

The highlight of the day was the meshing my realization that the way I have been teaching the Intro To Kiln-Forming class just doesn't work with Brian's description of how Intro To Bead-Making needs to be extended. I can't realistically get out--nor can the students take in--all the material necessary to prepare students to be on their own in open studio, and Brian has the same problem--compounded with a need for longer practicing times. As I put on the classes page:

"Over the past three years we have determined that trying to stuff all the things we think you need to learn in a two-hour Intro to Kiln-Forming or Intro To Bead-Making class doesn't work. We have to talk way too fast, and your brains get way too full--or you just need more time to practice the techniques as you learn them. On the other hand, many of you either can't--or don't know up front if you're ready to--make either the time or the financial commitment to come three weeks in a row to three separate sessions. The conundrum posed us by these issues was great and troublesome, but we think we have solved it (huzzah); Welcome to Intro 1 2 3!

We have redesigned our Intro To Kiln-Forming and Intro To Bead-Making classes and broken them up into three separate sessions. You can take one, two, or all three of them at your own pace, on your own schedule. And because you don't have to decide up front, you can try Intro 1, make a cool project, and if you like it and want to go on, Intros 2 and 3 will provide you with the skills and comfort level you need to progress to Open Studio (working on your own in the studio with your own glass)." 

And here is the write-up on Intro To Kiln-Forming 1 2 3:

"Intro 1: In this two hour class you will be introduced to the basics of fusing and slumping—the foundation techniques of kiln-forming glass—and the various tools and equipment used in them. Learn what happens when glass is melted—how it flows, what happens to air trapped in it, how it combines with other glasses—and apply what you learn as you design and execute your own piece. We'll keep the science to a minimum (viscosity, thermal coefficient of expansion and surface tension can all wait); this first time it's all about compatibility and falling in love. Think of us as a matchmaker: Whether or not glass turns out to be your soulmate, you'll end the class with a gorgeous 8” square plate that you can proudly point to and say, "I made that myself".

Intro 2: You've had the first date, now it's time to start learning all about each other. We start with cutting glass, and move onto designing glass work for the kiln-forming. It's time to meet the parents—aka the kiln—and get to that science we skipped earlier as we find out why it turns out the way it does. But don't worry, you'll still be so warm and fuzzy from the flush of Intro 1 that finding out there will be bubbles in the glass (no matter what) won't daunt you.You'll make another 8” square plate, probably as a gift for a person you love (one cannot live by glass alone).

Intro 3: This session covers everything you'll need to know about being on your own with glass. You'll use advanced cutting tools that enable you to easily prepare your own circles and straight-edged pieces and cut big sheets down to size. We'll discuss the nature of relationships as we delve into the effects of opalescent and transparent glasses on depth perception and color. We'll explore what happens from chemical reactions between different glasses, and we'll see that sometimes the color you start with is not the color you end up with when you use striker glasses. We'll address safe-fusing practices from the design stage through firing. Finally, you'll learn how to prepare a kiln shelf, and load and program a kiln for firing.

Each session in the Intro series is a prerequisite for the next."

 Tomorrow I teach two, full, Intro classes, and I absolutely, positively must get the newsletter done and out for the Sleigh Ride.

Nothing like rising with a vengeance.


Bill said...

"Vengeance is mine", saith the artist...

Nancy Goodenough said...

I'm so excited about our collaboration to include me and my techniques in your book. My brain and heart are open to yours.

Nancy Goodenough said...
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