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Reconstructing a Deconstructed Life One Brick at a Time – Learning a Craft

By: Everett S
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Working with Glass

My first day working with borosilicate glass. Here I am making a simple mushroom pendant.

Yesterday was my first day learning how to make borosilicate glass art (i.e. learning to “blow glass”). I have been looking for a visually creative outlet that produced something tangible. Things like welding, whittling, rustic furniture… were along the lines (i.e. a “craft”) of what I was looking for, but I never felt like they were calling to me. That is, I never felt a strong pull to get started, to make it happen. Also, an opportunity had never really presented itself for me to get started in those mediums.

Glass orb made by artist Kenan Tiemeyer

One of Kenan’s amazing works of art, possible after decades of mastering his craft. See www.TiemeyerGlass.com for more.

With glassworking it seems like all of those pieces are falling into place. I was instantly drawn to the intricate, three-dimensional, galaxy-like marbles produced by Kenan Teimeyer. I don’t know much about the glass art community yet, but I’ve been told by several other competent glass blowers that he is one of the best marble artists in the country. The orb you see here is one of his, and links to his site. Kenan has a workshop just down the road and has agreed to trade me web work for instruction.

My first day went well. While I messed up every mushroom pendant I made in one way or another, I felt confident that, with practice, I have the capacity to learn the craft. I found it difficult to think of anything else while blowing glass because it takes so much concentration, attention to detail and mindfulness. This meditative aspect, described by some as flow, is the main reason I am looking for a tangible craft like this in the first place. Leaving Kenan’s workshop yesterday I felt like I was coming home from work, but in a good way. It was a wholesome feeling, having been in deep concentration “making” or “creating” things all day. I was tired but fulfilled, not unlike a day spent gardening, building trails and chopping wood.

I may or may not end up a dedicated glass artist, but trying things like this is part of how I hope to create the simple life I intend to live. I also want to learn an instrument. Guitar seems a likely place to start for various reasons so I’ll be taking weekly classes beginning in March. It will be interesting to see and feel changes as my mind begins to wire the necessary circuits for the two-handed dexterity both skills require.

Another brick may have been added to the foundation yesterday. Time will tell…

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Category: Arts & Crafts, Rants, The Transplants

Comments (6)

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  1. Dave says:

    You should give pottery a try. The spinning clay on the wheel is absolutely mesmerizing. Everything seems to go into slow motion as you make a pot. You need to concentrate as you use your strength to make very slow movements as you pull the sides up and shape the pot.

    You also get covered in mud which is an extra added bonus. It’s hard to take things seriously when you’re all dirty.

    I can absolutely guarantee that you’ll get a LOT of satisfaction from the daily use of dishes and other items that you’ve made. (Regardless of the quality or craftsmanship)

  2. Hello,

    Patience seems to be what most people lack
    these days.Instant everything all the time.
    I am on my 4th day in a PT deli position,
    and already feel like I am not going as fast
    as customers and coworkers would like.I know
    in time,I will be as fast,but right now,I feel
    like I am in slow motion.Concentrating on one
    thing at a time seems to help,until I see the
    looks on customers faces-Can’t she hurry up?!
    Any comments,Everett or anyone?

  3. Everett says:

    Dave I was dreaming about ways to incorporate glass into pottery last night. A timely recommendation indeed…

  4. Everett says:

    Sharon,

    What you describe is a sickness in our society. It isn’t the customer’s fault entirely because they are stuck on a treadmill and have to keep running, running, running. I can’t tell you how sick and tired I am of being in a hurry.

    The only advice I can give would be to A: Ignore them if you can and B: Search out some kind of craft or job where the customer appreciates quality and actually encourages you to take your time. With our cheap throw-away society those kinds of jobs are getting harder and harder to find.

  5. Lisa says:

    I love the idea of having a creative outlet. For me, it’s needlework and, once again, photography. I’m looking forward to hearing how your glass and guitar work progresses.

  6. Everett,
    Thanks for your input.Appreciate it.I was out
    of work for one month and it was great not looking
    at the clock all day.Now I look at the clock waiting
    to go to work-evening shift.What a trade off.
    Take care.
    Sharon from Ohio

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