Wednesday, September 10, 2003
I love the silken turning of the steel mandrel, enjoy its weight as the molten glass winds onto its shaft. I am aware of the callous it has worn at the base of my left pinkie. Making my beads, I am utterly the Mistress of my own creation--no authority stands over my shoulder commenting on my breathing, or the way I chop a phrase into little sausage-like segments. I compete with no one in this endeavor. Someday, when I and all of my kind have ceased to exist, my scattered glass progeny may stand as a testament to my brief time here. I look at ancient beads and marvel at the uniformity that was achieved with primitive techniques (the first glass beads were literally created with a candle or oil lamp flame) but symmetry is not something I seek. If someone finds my work beautiful, that is wonderful--but I vastly prefer the compliment of "unusual" or "peculiar." It seems to me our world is saturated with the idea that worthwhile things must be mass produced, and that small-scale is not a blip on the radar. I think if people take a minute everyday and turn off the radio, television, computer and cell phone, they would realize that they need to seek their own unique talismans for their lives--not to wear a label or someone else's initials for validation as a worthwhile human being. This is what this creative process means to me. Sometimes a bead turns out like I envision, and sometimes the glass takes me to a place I never dreamt, and what a fool I would be if I didn't follow its wisdom.