January 2018, Indio, California

For a while I’d been wanting to take a workshop with Paul Messink, who does multilayers of glass to get a lot of dimension (www.paulmessink.com). Paul is now based in Indio, California, which is about a five-hour drive from Tucson. I finally had enough money and the time to take his workshop in Indio, the closest place and his home studio.

It turned out, though I contacted him late, that he had space. In fact, we were only two in the workshop. I mentioned at Cactus Wren Artisans that I was going. Sharon, formerly my framer and now working in painting on glass and other artistic pursuits, mentioned a friend nearby was getting ready to move. She really wanted to see him and his wife before they left. As it turned out, the week of my workshop was the last weekend they would be there. So, Sharon decided to go along to see them.

Paul mentioned beforehand a glass exhibit at the Palm Springs Art Museum. This is a little more than a half hour from Indio. I really wanted to see the exhibit and knew that once the workshop began, I wouldn’t have time. So I got Sharon to hustle and we left early, so we’d have time on Monday after we arrived to get to the museum.

The exhibit was only women artists working in glass. These included some big names and some really interesting pieces:

Debra Moore, Orchid in Vase

Debra Moore, Orchid in Vase

Ginny Ruffner, Pastich-ing Pablo

Ginny Ruffner, Pastich-ing Pablo

Anja Isphording

Anja Isphording

Karen LaMonte, cast glass

Karen LaMonte, cast glass

Detail from Karen LaMonte's cast glass dress

Detail from Karen LaMonte’s cast glass dress

Lucy Lyon, Personal Space from one side

Lucy Lyon, Personal Space from one side

Lucy Lyon, Personal Space, another view

Lucy Lyon, Personal Space, another view

Mary Van Cline, The Voyage Along the Curve of Time

Mary Van Cline, The Voyage Along the Curve of Time, a large and very different piece

Nancy Callan, Plum Eddy Droplet

Nancy Callan, Plum Eddy Droplet

There were more, but these were the ones that photographed the best and that I liked the most. This was part 1. Part 2 will come around June.

Meantime, we had full days of workshop Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and a half-day Friday.

My pieces turned out OK — Jackie, the other student’s — were, of course, nicer. She was great to work with, and Paul was an excellent instructor. We used enamels on multiple layers of glass, first fired at a low temperature individually, then put together and fired with dams.

My final project in pieces

My final project in pieces

Finished trees, based on a photo by Jan Mayer, member of the Tucson Mountains Artist Collective.

Finished trees, based on a photo by Jan Mayer, member of the Tucson Mountains Artist Collective. I liked the photo better….

Sunset piece, based on a photo by Mary Ann, in my French conversation group.

Sunset piece, based on a photo by Mary Ann, in my French conversation group. I got a lot of glare in the photo, but I liked the way the piece turned out.

We started back as soon as the workshop was finished and spent the night in Gila Bend, Arizona. We had a spectacular sunset:

Sunset near Gila Bend, Arizona

Sunset near Gila Bend, Arizona

Sharon knew of a restaurant there — with a space motif. Who would have thought, in the middle of Nowhere, Arizona, and it had Phoenix prices for the motel, so we stayed elsewhere. We enjoyed dinner at the Space Age Restaurant, however.

Space Age Restaurant, with the Best Western motel in Gila Bend, AZ

Space Age Restaurant, with the Best Western motel in Gila Bend, AZ

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