After finishing our first Banyan Tree weekend on the evening of August 5th at 5 PM, I had exactly 6.5 days to get some glass pieces created to back my request to be juried into the Lahaina Arts Society as an “artist”. I was scheduled to appear before the LAS jury at 9:30 AM on the 12th. As of the morning of the 6th, I had exactly zero finished glass pieces to show…LAS requires a minimum of five. I had some serious work to do.

“The kiln is ‘MINE…ALL MINE I SAY’, for the whole week!” I declared. Sandy would just have to do something else…like take a rest. I summoned my left brain and project management expertise to come up with a plan on how to be ready for the 12th. I also summoned my right brain to come up with “artistic” glass designs different than the work Sandy does. I wanted my own distinct style. Right and left hemispheres seemed to co-operate with each other and defined some design concepts and a plan for execution. It required daily firings with Saturday being a “Hail Mary” day. The plan leveraged some incomplete work I had done over the preceding month and a half.

The first 2 days (Monday and Tuesday) I planned to fuse (melt together) glass for 4 pieces…two were derived from the “relaxing pattern bar” that I played with last month (see Blog #2), and the other two were totally new creations. These were geometric designs made using shaped pattern bar pieces with glass rods interconnecting them. Fortunately, I had already made the pattern bars last month…good thing!!

Following those 2 days, my plan was to slump six items into bowl shapes over the next 3 days. If all went well with the 4 pieces being fused the first 2 days, I would have a total of seven possible pieces to present to the jury giving me a little bit of margin in case of kiln surprises of the “not good” variety.

My first 2 days of fusing actually went well, resulting in four good to “good enough” items to add to the three previously developed, but unfinished, items. (I say “good enough” for a couple of items because Sandy found issues with them that made them less than perfect. “I wouldn’t show them” she said. She’s such a perfectionist! I felt they were fine. Besides, Sandy isn’t on the jury…lucky for me!)

The first slumping day (Wednesday) I slumped the two glass rod pieces I had created earlier (shown in Blog #2), one into a shallow bowl, the other into a coral-like structure. The first pair of pictures show the resulting items. I was happy…I was definitely on a positive roll. The next day, I slumped two other pieces into bowls…one was a black-framed stringer pattern bar piece that I created a month before…the other was a small “relaxed pattern bar” piece that I fused on Monday. Again, they came out well. See the second pair of photos.

On my final slumping day (Friday), I planned to slump the two geometric pattern-bar/glass-rod designs… one over an upside-down bowl, the other into a bowl form. See a photo of the set-up in the kiln. The designs were radically different than those used by Sandy so I didn’t know how they would turn out. Well, there were surprises…some good, others not so much. There were definitely some “lessons learned” that I will account for in future work of this type. The final photo pair is of the two results. The weight of the outer ring of pattern bar medallions affected the results. In the case of the piece slumped over the inverted bowl, the weighty outer ring caused the green rods to stretch to triple their original length. They didn’t break, but are very thin. In the case of the piece slumping into the bowl form, the weighty outer ring caused the structure to compress. The results are “funky”…but this is ART. “Funky” is good in art!

I brought seven pieces to show the jury…the six shown here and one other of the relaxed pattern bar as a flat art piece on a stand. The jury seemed to like what I had to show, and on Monday (August 13th) informed me that I was accepted as a “member-LAS-artist”, an affirmation that I might indeed have some right brain function! So, I did a jig and sang “Hot gigady, dog gigady,…”. (Are YOU old enough to remember that one??) Too bad Sandy didn’t have a video camera handy. I’m sure it would have gone UTube viral!