I stalk artists.

First Dibs BeadYesterday as I was writing about how I got hooked up with glass.  I was transported back to the days when, as a child, I’d go to festivals with my mom or one of my grandmothers and I’d end up spending hours and hours hovering over a working artist’s shoulder. I wonder if they thought I was an annoying kid or if they thought it was cool that I was interested. I remember doing that with three artists in particular at different shows. I can still see their art in my head.

First Dibs Bangle BeadOne guy was a charcoal artist that I cornered on his lunch break and somehow we got onto the game of him making a picture out of anything. I remember a stain on a paper and he turned it into a guys face…I hung that picture on my bedroom door, probably right under the sign that said, “Knock”. I was probably about 8 or 9 years old.

Another time I went to a folk festival with my grandmother and there was a booth with someone weaving. They had a frame loom set up for people to try it out and I sat there for a long time playing with that loom and making something or other. I wonder now if anyone else wanted a turn. My grandmother even left me there while she went and did other things. You could do that in those days. That night I found a frame of my own and made my own loom. I was probably about 10 then.

The third was what was called a glass ‘blower’ but really was a lampworker. There was no blowing involved and he would do those drippy looking clear glass sculptures. I sat there and watched him too. I was probably about 10 or 11 years old. I wonder what kind of torches they were even using then…I don’t remember the specifics.

I always loved being at those shows and thought it would be cool to sell stuff. Funny how things turn out. I also thought it was cool to play in the dirt with army men and GI Joes…let’s hope that one doesn’t have a way of materializing in my adult life.