I received an invitation from Steve Klein to attend a week-long Professional Artist in Residency program at Pilchuck Glass School in May. Since it wasn't being advertised and I'd been recommended by Lani McGregor from Bullseye Glass, I had to make a fairly quick decision to attend.
The first thing I did was visit the web sites of all the confirmed participants. A word of advice if you find yourself in a similar situation: don't do that! For the next month and a half, I stressed over what a tiny fish I was going to be in a very big pond. But then again, it was going to be a creatively-charged, celebrity loaded pond, so I knew I couldn't let the opportunity pass.
We spent the week exploring new directions, expanding existing work, sharing frustrations and feedback. Pilchuck is in such an incredibly beautiful setting that it almost feels like sacred ground. I quickly overcame my intimidation as I realized this was simply a personal challenge and that each and every one of us was working independently and sharing globally.
None of us came home with finished pieces. I came home with a suitcase full of test scraps, sample tiles and two pieces that will eventually evolve into an entirely new direction for a portion of my work to assume. I'm still feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that I absorbed and my head is packed with ideas and images waiting to be transformed into artwork.
I knew pushing myself to attend would make for an inspiring week. What I didn't realize is that a week of boot camp intensity will, I'm sure, continue to fuel my glass passion for years to come.