#2 from the day of working with Alex Abajian and Ivan Mora

(written from the perspective of a glass-layperson)

This was one of the most exciting projects that I have been able to witness at the Glass Studio so far. The teamwork among these glassmakers is really great, there is a huge amount of competency coupled with fantastic working atmosphere. The day is spent working incredibly hard with serious concentration and yet there is always a surprise moment when Alex’s intelligent sense of humour gives occasion for laughter and short refreshing relief. I have rarely seen people work so incredibly well together as here at Glow Glass Studio in Oakland.

Alex Abajian holding the blowpipe with the large body cast glass (project for Ivan Mora)

Witnessing this process and the attitudes the makers and artists here have with each other has done a lot for my appreciation of the craft and technical skills-manship but also is taking dusting influence over both Jason and my (Birgit’s) future choices of places to live and creative paths to pursue.

Having this opportunity to be here is incredible. Seeing all this hard work affects hugely how I, as an artist and glass-layperson, am able to appreciate this material and the possible forms of expression. Coming from a conceptual arts background it is refreshing to be surrounded by the down to earth labour these creatives are bringing to the table each day.

Jason torching the large glass body cast to keep it at even temperature to protect it from cracking before it can be placed into the annealer for a day long, controlled cooling process.. Project by Glass Artist: Ivan Mora
Jason torching the large glass body cast to keep it at even temperature to protect it from cracking before it can be placed into the annealer for a day long, controlled cooling process.. Project by Glass Artist: Ivan Mora

After witnessing just how much dedication and years of skill are required to excel in this field, seeing the amount of dedication as well as equipment required to build a smooth running glassblowing workshop changed my perception a lot. The value of glass in our society is huge, this is an age old but simultaneously incredibly fresh and contemporary medium that can teach us something about the value of an object that a China or Mexico produced (knocked out) mass ware item will never be able to.

When you see or hold handblown glass there is a connection that you will not experience with mass market products. In theory wine, juice or water should taste the same out of every drinking glass for example, however in practice: if you have any sensibility at all then the experience of drinking from a handmade vessel will be far superior and infinitely more pleasurable than from a  throwaway valued glass or paper cup..

Alex Abajian holding the blowpipe with the large body cast glass (project for Ivan Mora)Don’t let the price fool you: you will receive what you pay for. A lifelong heirloom treasure or an anonymous object that is the same the world over…

Back to Ivan Mora: look him up! He is a really successful artist making his way in the world; quite literally globally! And all the while he is also a real pleasure to speak with. This is the best combination in an artist isn’t it? Talent, success and absence of attitude. Brilliant stuff!

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