Judith Schaechter Keynote Speech @ GlassWeekend

Judith Schaecter issues the command to us, her willing minions.

Super-Supreme glass artist Judith Schaechter delivered the keynote address at the biennial GlassWeekend held at WheatonArts this past weekend.

Her talk was referenced throughout the conference and, happily, she has posted it on her blog: “Late Breaking Noose“.

Judith’s talk muses on the now maligned notion of “craft” –
“I started out as a young Turk completely rebellious against skill.  I was conceptual!  I knew what was important!  And it wasn’t some type of mindless devotion to creating perfect solder seams.  I was so bad, and this is true; that on at least one occasion, my work fell apart at the opening… 
But then something happened…and it wasn’t horror or shame at presenting sub-par workmanship to a possibly paying public. What happened was 30-some years of practice. With little thought to the matter, I gradually improved.  Until, to make a long story short, I now find myself highly skilled.  And having come to this place, I now have the perspective to understand why it is worthy.”

Judith’s talk is filled with great images.


She continues – Its preposterous to not value skill—it has undeniable practical value!  We want our surgeons and plumbers to be skilled!  We admire, reward and even worship the skill of athletes.  We even have these weird talent shows on TV that seem to be about skills.  We fetishize craft in so many areas of life, but not in the arts!”
What happened to the idea of mastering one’s art?  Why did it become so déclassé to master one’s medium?  Why did it become de rigeur to make work that is constructed like junk (and looks like junk too?)
Read the entirety of Judith’s  talk – where she asks if skill and art are mutually exclusive – to read her full text – click HERE to jump to her posting.

Yet another tragic craft catastrophe that could have been avoided.

Pix From GlassWeekend at WheatonArts

The crew just returned from a great (tho exhausting) show at the Creative Glass Center’s GlassWeekend at WheatonArts in New Jersey. WGS’ Tim Tate, Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart were amongst the glass artists featured by 20 galleries at the biennial event that has brought together artists, collectors, galleries, and museum curators for a three-day weekend of exhibitions, lectures, hands-on glassmaking, demonstrations and social events.

Maurine Littleton Gallery space at GlassWeekend.

GlassWeekend ’13 was held at Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center, home of the Creative Glass Center of America and the Museum of American Glass.

Amy Morgan of Morgan Contemporary talks about the works on exhibit.
Carmen Lozar – one of the 2013 “Rising Stars” sets up her lampwork sculpture.
Carmen Lozar’s sculpture.
Katja Fritzsche’s wall mounted works behind works by Bonnie Seeman at Duane Reed Gallery.
Sculptors Christina Bothwell and Robert Bender.
Christina Bothwell sculpture at Habatat Galleries space.
Tim Tate’s mixed media work “Cowboy Luvin'”. Said Tim of the inspiration behind this piece:
“As a child, my grandmother had a millefiori lamp that fascinated me. It was the one thing she left me, and I still have it. I count this as my initial root inspiration for becoming involved with glass. She also bought me my favorite costume, a cowboy suit. This is the piece that I made as a 21st century tribute to her and her influence.”
John Littleton and Kate Vogel sculpture at Maurine Littleton Gallery space.
The 2013 Rising Stars (L-R seated)
Dean Allison, Carmen Lozar, Amber Cowan, Slate Grove, Michael Crowder, Andrew Erdos, Ben Johnson, Harry Pollitt
Glass birds swoop thru Pismo Gallery.
Elmerina and Paul Parkman at the cocktail reception held at the Museum of American Glass.

Tim Tate and Merrily Orsini are introduced as they present a lecture at the conference.

Judith Schaechter’s keynote address looks ominous – and was talked about for the rest of the conference.

There are many more photos of Glass Weekend – click HERE to jump to the Washington Glass Flickr page of photos.