Applying to Exhibitions

So, when I find the opportunity (and the time), I try to apply to any exhibition that seems to be a good fit for my glasswork.

Usually there is a jurying fee just to apply that doesn't have any sway over whether your work gets into the exhibition or not. Photographing a piece, particularly when it is made of reflective glass has it's own challenges. It's also never been a money maker for me. It's usually available for sale at the exhibition, but the gallery gets a cut and I personally have never purchased anything or had my work purchased at an exhibition.

So, why  do I do this?

For me, I think of it as a challenge and a way of stretching my creative muscles. Generally when I'm designing a piece for sale, I'm very aware of how much time I spend and therefore the price I will need to charge for the piece. When I'm making a piece with the intention of entering into an exhibit, I want my work to stand out and I don't have to care how much time and how much a piece will cost.

I start with doodling and getting a "vision" of what I want to create. Often times I try to incorporate a newer technique into my piece. This is a nice way for me to do a lot of learning about a process on my own. For example, the two most recent pieces that I entered over the last year were done off mandrel and introduced me to copper electroforming.

I find the deadline really helps me to focus. Often times I saw I'm going to learn a technique someday. Someday eventually can turn into never if you don't actually put in the work. I do this a lot more that I'd like to admit.

I'm sure there are many other benefits, like showing your work to a larger audience, but these are the benefits that I notice most.

So without further adieu, here is my most recent necklace that I've just shipped off to the Pittsburgh Glass Center for their upcoming Exhibition, Embodiment.

The finished product first

Glass cabochons made off mandrel with tiny birds drawn with stringer. These have been epoxied onto sealed feathers and I've started coating them withcopper conductive paint.

Fresh out of two days in the electroforming bath and I get to start the finishing process. 

Testing blown hollow beads which included throwing them on the ground to see how durable they were. I only lost two that I had blown out too thin.

Progressing to linework on blowpipe hollow beads.

Me modeling the piece, so you can see how it lays. Notice the burn marks from bits of glass thermal shocking.

And then my favorite part, trying to figure out how to photograph the damn thing.


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