Thursday, March 22, 2012

Studio Glass

This year marks the 50th anniversary of studio glass. It is being celebrated all over the country with museum shows, lectures and conferences. Harvey Littleton is considered its founder. He presented a glass blowing workshop in 1962 with Dominick Labino. The movement skyrocketed internationally in the 1970’s and 80’s. Although glass vessels and manufacturing of glass had been in existence long before, studio glass refers to artists making one of a kind objects in studios and sharing knowledge and ideas.

Within the hills and valleys of Humboldt County are glass workers and supporters. If you are not yet among them, perhaps you soon will be! Walking by the window of the Jack Sewell Gallery on F. St. you can’t help but admire the beautiful glass art in the window. Fire and Arts is a center of activity for both glass and ceramic art.

During open studios, there are a number of artists working with glass,who would love to share information with you if you would like to learn more. Their studio locations are on the north coast open studio artists directory. In 2011, glass artists included (click here to see the 2011 Artist Directory):

  • Susan Bloch of Bloch Studios
  • Lorraine Lindley
  • James Shelton of
  • Melissa Zielinski of Mill Creek Glass
  • The Fire Arts Center
  • Unauthorized Art

The 2012 list of glass artists is not yet finalized, but will be posted soon!

Once connected to the glass movement and aware of its activity, you feel its pulse no matter where in the world you live. It’s a vital world-wide group of artists connected through public studios, networking and conferences. Here on the west coast we are close to many hubs of glass activity including Portland, Eugene and San Francisco, Seattle. The Glass Art Society is a group based in Seattle that brings glass artists together from around the world. Its conference this year will be in Toledo, Ohio, the center of the birth of the studio glass movement.

A huge world exists open for discovery and enjoyment. I’d easily go on endlessly. Rather, I’ll encourage you to visit or collaborate with local glass makers, or learn about glass working (there are myriad types). If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Susan Bloch, Glass artist, NCOS Steering Committee Member

Monday, March 19, 2012

Deadline to Register for NCOS is tomorrow!

Don't miss out on participating in this great event…… the deadline to register for North Coast Open Studios is just around the corner!

Make this the year you join all the other local artists flinging open their studio doors to the public in June. It’s a feel-good, inspirational, educational, empowering, fun time. You’ll only know how good it is by taking the plunge! You can download an application on our website at Applications can be dropped off at the Ink People Center for the Arts (517 Third Street, Suite 36, Eureka - in the Clark Building) Tuesday - Friday between 9 am and 5 pm.

Have a question or concern about your application? Contact Taffy Stockton, NCOS Coordinator at (707) 834-6460.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Why I Do Open Studios by Susan Bloch

Interacting with people at open studios is fun. I highly recommend it.

It is a casual weekend event. People get to choose the locations they go to and are genuinely interested in the art and artists at those locations. It feels comfortable and relaxed.

It puts a little pressure on me to evaluate what I’m doing and to think about my studio in a more public way.

My art routines begin to include visitor aware activities. I notice unnecessary items in my studio and move them out. I see things in a different light. It reminds me to move beyond the enjoyment of process and into the entire activity of being an artist. This means different things to different artists and becomes part of the dialog.

I appreciate the community more including:

  • people who come out to support the arts
  • people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the arts going
  • arts leaders and volunteers
  • non-profit agencies in our community that become more and more creative with less and less funding
  • all other artists
  • the media who continue to write and broadcast art events
  • educators --- and everyone else.

Why does open studios make me aware of all this? Because my studio is generally a private place, usually only open by appointment. It causes me to think in an expanded way. I’m more aware that artists are opening their studios around the country and world. It’s almost like a holiday, a tradition that takes on meaning because we are all doing it together, year after year. The more people that participate by opening or visiting studios the more exciting it is for all of us.

Susan Bloch, Glass Artist, NCOS Participant