Author Topic: It's just glass...  (Read 2524 times)


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It's just glass...
« on: February 11, 2019, 12:08:03 PM »
This is a saying I go back to when my muscles start to tighten and heart rate starts rising due to the ups and downs of glassblowing. I recall it was spoken to me by a very good young glassblower who seemed to have ice water flowing through his veins. He realized early on that to blow glass well was to be in the moment. Anxiety and judgement pulls you right out of that necessary mindset of understanding this wonderful medium.

But let's also see glass for what it is. It's not going to save anyone's life. It's not moving us forward as a society. It's has little benefit for humanity beyond looking nice and perhaps at its best might inspire momentary joy. The...wish I could do that feeling. I'm not going to even touch the carbon footprint issue which is NOT pretty.

So when I read Pete Vanderlaan get so serious about his and other batch engineers? mixmasters? glass bakers? ownership of glass formulas I have to shake my head and sigh. It's just glass.

When I was a young man I really liked to play golf. I had a strong work ethic that needed a direction and golf was challenging enough to satisfy my itch. I was watching a broadcast in which Jack Nicklaus was describing the details of putting a specific green. He went into such a incredible detail about the type of grass, the time of year, the recent weather, etc that I suddenly realized that this man had dedicated his life and intellect to something fairly meaningless. His success will be mentioned long after I am long forgotten but for what? I focused harder on college and tried to learn about things that could be considered important.

Glass is not important. The work we do and the trials we suffer are only important to you and your family and your client. To many, that is enough. Perhaps this is not easy to swallow but in reality I believe we are probably doing more harm than good. That's a long distance few of something that I absolutely love to do. I only get one life and this is something I am going to do. But please don't make statements about how great glass is and has been. Our greatest ambassador was a man who did not even make his own work. He thought so much of the medium that he tried to replace it with a plastic material.

Here is a recent post that annoyed me:
What I can't let the color issues, or clear formula issues devolve into is exposure of the initial formulas done by people who in fact wrote them and don't want to see them published more. While there is water over the dam, it doesn't mean I have an obligation to allow that to continue. It indeed does make the board less interesting in an "Aha" sort of moment.

In the same forum Pete argues that people should mix their own glass yet wants to prevent anyone from the resources to do so. It also eliminates the need for the potential glass makers to need him either in terms of Craftweb or future classes.

Here's a short version of something he has also said...
At this stage, I doubt I will do a book since the economics just don't work.

Money Money Money Money...The Apprentice theme song starts playing. It's just glass.