Pilchuck for the next 1000 years

Monday – the last Monday for this session at Pilchuck. Another great day. I coldworked my “message in a bottle” and got it to a point that will allow the image captured on the matte (sandblasted) back of the piece to shine through the gleaming, cerium-wheel-polished (by me!) front. And I reworked the animation for it to be a bit friendlier – with animated hand-printing instead of computer text. Now that I know I have a piece of glass as the foundation there is time to add final important touches to the video that will work with it.

Also, some great conversation again this evening. The whole group after-dinner session was led by Bruce Mau and was about what makes Pilchuck different (collaboration and sharing ideas rather than hoarding them like the Venetians did is one aspect) and also about the issues that face Pilchuck if Pilchuck were to have a 1000 year plan. Is it sustainable? I had a chance to say how I think it’s a non-competitive, non-industrial model that should be the standard for all education. (see my blog posts here, here , here, here and here if you don’t know my ideas about this).

And Pilchuck really should be presented to the world as such. Apparently there is a PBS documentary being made about the school and Pilchuck has a TED-X license so there may be a TED Pilchuck at some point in time. I’d sure like to be part of THAT! And I want to create an online community for Glassimations – promoting this idea via Lienors and Pilchuck to the world.

Bruce has ideas like true production and marketing of Rick and Dave’s whiskey — putting it in hand-blown bottles with matching goblets and selling a high-end product to support the school. I think that’s brilliant!

Then I had another small table chat with Bruce and a couple of other folks which touched on fundraising and big-time donors, the marriage of left-brain right-brain and work Bruce is doing on this. Dave Willis was there and he mentioned how students think they can start their own studios but would have to spend $100K for set up. I supposed I scandalized him a bit by describing my setup and my costs (basically a cheap kiln, recycled bottles and old windows). I acknowledged that it wouldn’t replace glassblowing but I did pose the question about why Pilchuck never deals with recycled glass. Bruce said he had the same question 🙂 Maybe that’s another direction to pursue.

Chatted with Spencer about energy. He describe a new type of windmill that doesn’t spin but is a spiral that vibrates and can be quite small. He also talked about his plans for a Boston glass studio/gallery in an ‘experience’ mall that is a new concept — no stores allowed unless they provide an experience. Nice idea.

This post is a bit of a ramble. Maybe I’ll clean it up later. Maybe I won’t.


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