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  #26  
Old 05-12-2018, 12:28 PM
Dan Vanantwerp Dan Vanantwerp is offline
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Hi Pete, I found this last post of yours really interesting. The industry-academia-studio dynamic was something that happened long before I entered glass. I keep seeing a wild-eyed Dale Chilhuly rushing up to your lectern and knocking it over. Just because he didn't like what you were saying?? I've been to a lot of lectures and have seen some heated exchanges but nothing like that!

Could you expand on that story a bit? I'd like to hear more.

Thanks, Dan
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  #27  
Old 05-12-2018, 12:57 PM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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I let students know that I would do a slide show on building a furnace, a brick one holding 300 lbs clear. It was held in the dining area across from the blowing floor at lunch. It was packed. Dale came in and began in a rather loud voice. "what a stupid idea, wanting your own studio. Who is dumb enough to want to do something like that?

Not a hand.

So, he said, "lets not waste our time here. this is over," and knocked over the little thing I had my notes on and stomped out.

People came up to me afterwards and asked if they could see the slides privately.

At another point, I made a tank of clear from batch. It was absolutly bubble free. Dale found out and made me throw it out. All of our other glass was from NW glass in the bottle plant. Mark Graham and I used to drive down there in the school brake less van. We got soda ash pneumatically pumped from a box car. Then we careened back to Pilchuck with a stop at the mimosa bar in the holiday Inn. We added soda until the color rods would not break up in it. We used about 3000 lbs a week at that time, much of it stripped off the backs of the marvers. It was really seedy stuff.

The reason was one I could not appreciate. The schools could not survive with out the students. That included the ones that pretty much made production there. They still paid for the classes. Ann Hauberg was underwriting the place but it lost money all the time and John hauberg was not nearly as enthusiastic about it. So it needed the fees. There were no scholarships. The teacher hated that production stuff. There were six teaching assistants who worked for nothing but they fed us. At that time Dale was making 17K a year teaching at RISD and said when his sales exceeded his salary he would quit the RISD deal. That happened that year actually working with the Navajo Blanket series which Kate Elliot, Flora Mace, Ben Moore and I occasionally worked on. Flora did the cane drawings and slaved away at them. At the time, they sold for about six hundred dollars each. There were never more than about 45 made until they boathouse did a reissue about five or six years back. At any rate, Dale thought I was threatening the school. I did some more stuff with him as the years went by but that was just not good stuff. He calls when he wants something which these days is really never. Troubled man. This was just before the notion of team blowing was going to be the only way things happened. Up until then, One person with maybe an assistant, maybe not was the norm.
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  #28  
Old 05-12-2018, 11:41 PM
Dan Vanantwerp Dan Vanantwerp is offline
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Thanks, great story! Sounds like the studio glass movement was helped and hindered by Dale. Someone less myopic might have seen the value of your knowledge to the school and its students. Like you said, complicated person.

Who's going to write his unauthorized biography?
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  #29  
Old 05-13-2018, 05:58 AM
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Dale raised the tide around all of our boats. I owe a great deal to his vision and energy. We had our differences. I would not want to be Dale. I did wind up building some furnaces for Dale at RISD.
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  #30  
Old 05-13-2018, 07:28 AM
Tom Fuhrman Tom Fuhrman is offline
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Dale raised the tide around all of our boats. I owe a great deal to his vision and energy. We had our differences. I would not want to be Dale.
It's got to be very difficult be an " unauthorized leader" for a group as unorganized, diverse, and who knows how many other adjectives you can put here, of glassblowers/artists/entrepreneurs/and all others sorts. Not a position I would have enjoyed.
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  #31  
Old 05-13-2018, 08:22 AM
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There was a transition time, around 1976-77. Until then "truck drivers of the art world" was the motto. Dale decided to go far from that. The Dreisbach tie dyed look fell away and the waxed Muscle T shirt look of a young Billy Morris came on. Photography became critical, all on polished acrylic. Presentation was key in all aspects of glass and it changed a lot of stuff. I have often suspected that Italo was really influential in that. Pilchuck was changing radically. The early tree dwellers left town. The sale of Peiser's vase was a burning focus and as sale price was equated with success. Virtually nothing got in the way of spiraling price.
Dale was kicking at the doors of the art world which really did not want to see glass as art. The collectors pool is rather small actually and anything else at that money hole diminished supply for the herd. Bronze and Paint did not want to make any room and Dale was elbowing his way in. Ferd at Habitat was instrumental in seeing good work tied to sales. Holstein is Stockbridge had a similar function. The Italians were still over a decade away. Jon Kuhn was to begin the optic work along with William Bernstein, Mary Beth and Weinberg. From 1977-1990 was a heady time in Glass. The private studios were getting noticed in a major way. ACC as a promotional device was remarkable. I remember buyers just throwing cards from the back of the crowd shouting "October". It was hard to do anything wrong.
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  #32  
Old 05-13-2018, 10:28 AM
Dan Vanantwerp Dan Vanantwerp is offline
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Even someone with a rather weak understanding of art history, as myself, can recognize how art (particularly painting) has gone through different phases in which specific work becomes very popular. I don't really recognize this as having happened (yet) in glass (cubist, surreal, impressionist, etc). It all seems to be going on in parallel. Some people do very classic work with a Venetian style. Some amazing sculptures from the William Morris school (literally, I think most worked with him). Some are stuck in Chihuly-like colors and styles. Some are very happy making ornaments and veggies. I see others playing with shape and color in very interesting ways (Nancy Callan is a favorite). I've seen some Harvey Littleton work at the Milwaukee Museum and was blown away...he was really going in another direction. I recently browsed Henry Halem's site and was taken back by his obvious art training and expressiveness in his work. Were there waves of popularity or style that I missed or did things splinter early and hold a share of the attention? Seems like real tidal waves of style can drive collection as various artists use it as a prism through which to create there own unique take. Then on to the next wave!
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  #33  
Old 05-13-2018, 02:59 PM
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Art Nouveau for a while
Floppy bowls
Ornaments
marbles
italian imitation
pipes
imitation Linos
imitation Chihulys
imitation imitations
goblets out the wazoo
some nice design

What have I left out. Not much what I would call art but that doesn't mean a lot of it isn't nice work. Some very good craft. It all used to be salable. That's not so true anymore. Purchases are way flat . Look at that Rago auction.
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  #34  
Old 05-13-2018, 04:45 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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What have I left out. .
Pumpkins..........
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  #35  
Old 05-13-2018, 05:09 PM
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How Gauche of me...probably more of them than all the art nouveau together
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  #36  
Old 05-13-2018, 06:18 PM
Tom Fuhrman Tom Fuhrman is offline
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Look at the New Glass Reviews that Corning has published annually for about the last 40 ears and you can see all sorts of "movements" and experimentations that some helped define Art Glass and others that were something else.
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  #37  
Old 05-13-2018, 07:00 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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Look at the New Glass Reviews that Corning has published annually for about the last 40 ears and you can see all sorts of "movements" and experimentations that some helped define Art Glass and others that were something else.
There’s a mother %*+%^?! bong in this years new glass review.
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  #38  
Old 05-13-2018, 07:11 PM
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Look at the New Glass Reviews that Corning has published annually for about the last 40 ears and you can see all sorts of "movements" and experimentations that some helped define Art Glass and others that were something else.
*********
Tom,
I go back to New Glass Review #1 with the Tom Patti piece on th cover at which point I lost all credibility in the review. Time has not changed that a single iota. I do recall Bruce Chao making fun of the bases on works in later editions. The inmates had the asylum by then. Show me important work by Bruce since then.

I do think of Alex Adam's comment about :"New works by Toots Zynsky"
Alex has a sense of the jugular. Funny Honest man.
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  #39  
Old 05-14-2018, 08:39 AM
Tom Fuhrman Tom Fuhrman is offline
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I didn't attest to quality of work or anything else except that things went in many different ways and experimentations. remember it was all glass art not just furnace or related. Aschenbrenner , I think did some stuff that I was never really clear on and there were many others.
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  #40  
Old 05-14-2018, 09:24 AM
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I think publication became pretty much reserved for an elite group that came out of the Madison disciples . If they didn't mention you, you didn't exist. That was also pretty necessary as the schools did have to justify their glass programs to the administrations.

Some retirements were taking place and the new head of department was looked at almost like a Royal Succession. Names like David Huchthausen and James Harmon were circulated as naturals for those positions. Bruce Chao at RISD. None rose to the expected proliferation of great stuff in my mind.

Once Al Lewis put out his magazine, things filtered down a bit more. Once the ACC opened the gates at Baltimore and Rhinebeck, that had a major effect on the schools control over being noticed. It diminished somewhat. Lots of "B" Team galleries and shops were after glass by then.

The rift continued however. If you were going to ever be asked to do Habitat, you simply could never have done any fairs on the circuit. Ferd was not going to let you in. Habitat was once a place where your acceptance was tested and passing the test meant collectors would come calling. Bonnie Marx took shots at that with lesser knowns and did pretty well with Chicago but nothing like Habitat. The new game became getting into New Glass Magazine.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:58 AM
Rosanna Gusler Rosanna Gusler is offline
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There’s a mother %*+%^?! bong in this years new glass review.
are there any other functional pieces in there? If so, why is a bong not acceptable? It would be just another functional piece.
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  #42  
Old 05-16-2018, 08:44 AM
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well, also called illegal drug Paraphernalia in a lot of states...
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:10 AM
Rosanna Gusler Rosanna Gusler is offline
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well, also called illegal drug Paraphernalia in a lot of states...
Only if they have pot residue in them. In here in nc they are legally sold as lo g as they are called a water pipe not a bong. I did a little search and could not find any states where water pipes were illegal. I just do not see why a water pipe can not be art.
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  #44  
Old 05-16-2018, 09:29 AM
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I absolutely think it can. I would simply point out all the railing against functional craft being considered as Art. Those were school positions.

It gets sort of strange. Make a really nice piece, price it at $500 bucks. Put a handle on it, lower the price to $125 bucks. Two handles, crap now you're toast. The point I'm after is that the buying market tends to value things based on function . How much are you willing to pay for something astonishing if it's meant to hold your coffee?
I always rmember Paul Gardner telling me the story about the Portland Vase. He was installing it in the Smithsonian where a large glass display case is in the Foyer. It was on Loan from the British Museum. Paul finished up and a woman had been watching him intently the entire time. He turned to her and said " Beautiful isn't it?" "Yeah", she said "but what would you put in it?"
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:43 AM
Rosanna Gusler Rosanna Gusler is offline
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yes i get that whole art/craft strangeness. but what i do not understand is saying bongs or butt plugs for that matter are somehow 'bad'. i mean, if there are other functional pieces in ngr then why segregrate out forms based on function? this has made me curious enough to order the book .
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  #46  
Old 05-16-2018, 11:52 AM
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I'll need to mull over butt plugs for a while... Make sure they're well annealed.

It strikes me it falls in the comfort zone of the gallery holding the exhibition. Most gallery owners are sort of glorified used car salesmen. They show what sells and take few risks. All those square feet are expenses and they need to flip a lot. If bongs are getting shown at this point, I suspect it's because the stoners deep admirers are the only ones with money. I don't think there's any soul searching done at all.
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:32 PM
Dave Bross Dave Bross is offline
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How about a butt plug with two handles? Art, utility or silly?
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  #48  
Old 05-18-2018, 06:02 PM
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Sanitary of course
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  #49  
Old 05-21-2018, 10:11 AM
Dave Bross Dave Bross is offline
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Aaaaaah, but of course.
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:17 PM
Max Epstein Max Epstein is offline
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I've made some with 2 "wings" if that counts
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