Life in the Pink
An artist loves color! I’m not going out on a limb by saying that. Chances are good that you entered the art glass world because you were mesmerized by the colors, textures, and interesting techniques you can do with this complex property.
Enter the actions of the last six months involving the temporary and even permanent closings of some of our beloved colored glass manufacturers. We all voiced our concern when it appeared that the lights might go dim in the world of color. I’ve been involved in this community for the last twenty years, and I know this is a resourceful bunch. If one avenue is shut off, as glass people we will find a new source, a replacement, even try a new skill so we can keep doing glass no matter what the color.
Once again the glass community rallied to support businesses in crisis. There was a clear glass challenge on blogs and forums for artists to share fused and stained glass projects done specifically in clear glass in order to show solidarity when the Bullseye Glass Co. in Portland, Oregon, experienced restrictions on the chemicals that produced certain colors. Simultaneously, we heard the announcement that the Spectrum Glass Company is closing its glassmaking facility in Woodinville, Washington. I just got word that Spectrum is hard at work to fill existing orders within their distributor pipeline with the last of their production and is in the process of finding another manufacturer to license their glass formulas.
We, as glassmakers, are brainstorming and problem-solving like never before in order to look at this journey “in the pink” or through rose-colored glasses. I like what artist and business owner, Stephanie O’Toole, said recently in a post in Fused Glass Fanatics after realizing that she was in a “manufacturing mode” relying on the predictability and price point of Spectrum Glass, “Now I’m looking at my glass inventory and forcing myself to do tutorials using Uroboros or Wissmach, and a funny thing is happening. I’m getting the thrill that I haven’t had in a long time when I open my kiln. Maybe now I’m crafting instead of manufacturing? I do know that I’m thinking harder about it than I have in a little while.”
It is not hard to see why GPQ’s fall issue is one of my favorites, because we give you a gift-giving, table-scaping, tree-trimming, trick-or-treating cornucopia of ideas to pack your holidays with creative splendor. Many of the following projects will challenge your ideas about color. We have projects using multiple paint techniques and liquid frit as a way to amp up the hues. There are also projects highlighting the beauty of clear glass, both fused and leaded. Other tutorials offer glass alternatives by various manufacturers so you can obtain glass from substitute sources.
As with most journeys in life, the road is continually fluctuating. Glass Patterns Quarterly will be there to navigate change with you. It’s optimistic to look at challenging situations in the industry through rose colored glasses or “in the pink.” But as Architect William McDonough said, “Design is inherently optimistic. That is its power.”
September Showers by Chantal Paré
Upcoming Submission Deadlines
Winter 2016 Wildlife, Winter, and Landscapes
Editorial September 20, 2016
Ad Closing October 20, 2016
Ad Materials October 30, 2016
Spring 2017 Glass in the Garden - Glass Flowers, Planters, Birdbaths, and Garden Art
Editorial December 1, 2016
Ad Closing January 20, 2017
Ad Materials January 30, 2017