What a fabulous 9 days I had in Oregon!! I did so much there is no way I can only write 1 blog, not even 3 blogs will be enough, but I’ll try to keep it to 7 blogs but they may be long! I’ll also be writing about the places I visited other than bullseye and 4 for my bullseye experiences.
I got to Portland on Friday September 11th, but I I’ll cover the first couple days later. I got to the Inn at Northrup Station pretty early on Sunday so I couldn’t check-in. However, since we had a private Facebook group for our little glass ladies, I met with Kate, who is from Livingston Scotland not far from Edinburgh for coffee/tea. We talked so long about glass we had lunch and talked some more! It’s so great talking with someone who loves the same thing you do (i.e., GLASS). Anyway what a blast and what a wonderful Lady. We went back to the hotel and hung out in her room since my room wasn’t ready yet. The rooms and hotel were a really funky and artistic design – perfect for artists!
Monday we met in the lobby and had a bullseye shuttle (Amy, the Bullseye Rep for Tanya and AAE Glass) take us to the bullseye center. As I mentioned when I visited Portland back in Oct there is so much more to bullseye than just the store and factory. They also create, research, build, and so so much more.
We did a tour of the bullseye factory, which no matter how many times you see it, is still amazing. They explained how they made glass and we watched them make glass. Such a beautiful site. Handmade glass made by talented people – in America! It just doesn’t get any better than that!
We also got a tour of the design area which is extremely different than the factory floor with all the furnaces where they make the glass for normal glass artists. The design area is where they collaborate with artist and designers to build architectural glass pieces. It was fascinating to me to learn how much bullseye works with artists and designers to stretch the boundaries of glass and themselves further to meet the needs of the designers. Through their experimentation they created frit, vitrigraph, stringer, and so much more.
As I’ve mentioned several times, I don’t just take fused glass classes for the techniques but also for the people in the classes. Obviously taking a class with the great – world renown Tanya Viet as amazing. It was so much fun just being in the class with her and seeing the beautiful artistic eye she has for design, I will admit that it was so quite sometimes we would ask Tanya to holler at us a little! In addition to Tanya there were 8 other talented women in our class. Dana (Tanya’s assistant at AAE Glass), is not only sweet but a very talented artist in her own right. Ellen who was so much fun and a fellow veteran (got to love our veterans). Gail, such a giving and kind woman and also an amazing artist – who I so enjoyed getting to know. Ria who was fun and talented; I loved every piece of fused glass jewelry she wore. Kate, who I mentioned already and saved my life by helping me with images for our printing pieces – what I didn’t mention is she also works with stone, metal clay, and healed my knee when I fell. And of course I can’t leave out my three besties; Melinda (& her husband Dan who has accompanied her on two of our trips), Pam, and Julie (or should I say the new grandma to baby Gage). I love these women and enjoy every class I’ve ever taken with them. It’s so great having friends who love glass as much as I do.
Bottom-line is it’s not just the fused glass techniques I learn, it’s the women I’ve shared the classes with and I can’t think of 9 better women I’d want to share this class with than these fabulous women/artists.
Ok, now that I’ve gotten myself all emotional, I think this blog is long enough. My next blog will talk a little about the techniques we learned and show some of my pictures.
If you would like to see more of my fused glass work or more of my activities please refer to my website Elegant Fused Glass by Karen.
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Keeping my Kiln warm,