The Bridge Series was my first kilnformed series. It led me into the kilnforming work that I am doing now. It was also the first body of my work that I thought I could stand behind and approach a gallery with.
This series was developed from the years I spent at Bullseye Glass working in the factory and with their visiting artists. During my time there I didn't make any personal artwork except for the sketches in my sketch book. I instead focused on learning about my craft and helping some of the leading talents in the game create their own work.
I was lucky to have had the job I had. I knew if the artists I had helped had had their choice, I would have not necessarily been the one they wanted as their assistant. My position at Bullseye forced me to tackle many different tasks and expand my understanding of glass and art.
Near the end of my time at Bullseye, the company decided to have a show of the employees' personal artwork. I had been sketching bridge forms and thought I would make one for the show. Here is the original sketch from my sketch book:
The bridges are about connecting a situation with an outcome. Each one deals with a certain personal situation that is abstracted into a contained form. Some situations are built and connect well and some can not span the distance. The lines inside the pieces are firm and distinct. Their surfaces are gently burnished to give a sense of time and memory.
I started the series in 2001. This also was the same year that I left Bullseye. This series helped me define my focus with glass and also provided my start showing with the Traver Gallery and others.
However, my life changed and my focus shifted. I started a new chapter building my own studio. With a studio, my focus and periphery was filled. I could no longer just react to separate small situations. I began building Towers.
I have just returned from a fun weekend in Seattle where I had an opening at the Traver Gallery with Mel George and Deborah Horrell for a show we called "Portland Presence". We all reflected on our current connection with this great little city and our personal lives. I would like to thank all the individuals who helped us get the show together and the gallery for letting us put it on. Thank you.
I hope for my next post to scan some images from my sketch book and look back on how the Bridge Series came about....