The past weekend brought one of my favorite annual events, the St. Louis artists studio open house. More than a hundred local artists opened their workspaces or gathered in group exhibition areas. Last summer, charged by Bobbi Lane's portrait photography workshop, I made the rounds asking artists if I could take their pictures and posted some of the results (see here and here). A "portrait of the artist" series with shots from lthis year starts tomorrow, with sincere apologies to Stephen Daedelus.
Today, however, we have a shot from Third Degree Glass Factory, STL's premier art glass workshop. They had hands-on demonstrations on the art of glassblowing and invited visitors to come back and learn more. Indeed, several of the artists work tee shirts that read "Learn To Blow." However, I was surprised by the lack of safety precautions around molten glass and ovens at 2,000 degrees C. and more. Only half of them wore safety glasses (no pun intended). None wore insulated gloves or shoes. When I asked about this, one of them told me that when they go to clubs they do the glassblowers' shuffle, shaking his feet as if to throw off a piece of molten glass. I stayed the heck out of the way. Today's photo depicts one stage of the process. I like the strong hand and tool. The glass is red with heat, not just dyes.
WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Study for Player Piano No, 3a by Conlon Nancarrow. The devil's own boogie woogie.
TOMORROW: Portrait of the Artist series begins with Tom Huck at Evil Prints.