Over the last three years, remembering the course of my life so far, as it ran through Maine, at times touching down with a splash or drop, thirsty for the familiar, from foreign lands, or remembering fully living there, submerged feeling like a displaced yet embedded young native, I began creating multilayered Maine portraits in glass. In my Brooklyn studio, experiences of Maine were there up front and center. Maine in endless deep velvety pits of black pine greens, fizzing heart-stopper greens from an open sea dock’s ladder, frigid saline ocean greens, entangled in gargantuan kelp strands, studded with pointy welks, and barnacles incessantly trimming along all Maine’s encrusted edges. Surprising clarity, understandings about hidden strength and power, emerged in water surfaces, ebbing tides of flashing visions from youth, along craggy all enduring granite pinks.
All along the rooty pathways of rememberings, there are motions I do in making the art, and the vital glass materials I make for the portraits, cutting, grinding, carving and crunching glass, mixing patterns in the fluid hot molten meltings and bendings. There is joy and surprise springing forth, like the soothe and slap of Maine, when I open my Clam Shell Skutt Fusing kiln, and with a wave of hot breath, it reveals the wonderful unknown. The adventure of it cracks open the previous precision of design, exposing the soft enticing potential of what needs to be made next.
In creating with glass there is the joy and dance, fear, gain, loss, and always the expansiveness of Maine, that both suctions out the heart with loneliness, and equally fills me up with a giddy irreplaceable innocence in every living cell. I have felt a space and air there that body and spirit reads like pure oxygen or blood made of slow honey. Stomping, hiking, swimming, sailing and freezing, plowing through island mists into more unknowns. In the studio; shredding, printing, folding, and the molten glass twirling between thin tweezers, pulling the glass like the sheet of a sail, so delicately catching an infintesimal Maine breeze, in an island’s lull, with smooth ceramic paper, and measured heat, and weightless metal leaf, scooping up ground micah powders with a spoon, powders originating from heavy Maine earth, yet like I’m sourcing star dust, and now day after day, in a city that never sleeps, in the glass studio of happy awkward accidents, I am reenacting my intimate, alchemical, experience of Maine.