Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Loren Stump Workshop

I'm recovering after a five day, extremely intensive workshop with Loren Stump. All the rumors I'd heard about the long nights were true -- the earliest I got home was 11:30pm and the latest 2:30am. It was worth it.

I think my views towards soft glass will be forever changed. As usual, I made mistake after mistake in class, unable to work as calmly and comfortably as I would isolated in my own space. But those mistakes gave me the opportunity to ask questions and to watch the master save me from myself.

The most difficult aspect of five long days at the torch was the physical one. I'm too tall for the table and chair situation there, and so had no arm support. After four days, I found myself in real pain from holding a lot of weight up and out. I finally piled a stack of leather beanbags under my left elbow and found a shorter chair, but the damage was done.

I had to ask Loren to do the heavy work on making my paperweight the last night, because after just keeping a classmate's work warm for a while I was really cramping up in that shoulder. I did what little I could and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Next year I'll be more careful to be ergonomic so that I can try the paperweight assembly myself on the last day.