Bamboo Sandwich | Bullseye Glass Co. | Bullseye Glass Co

Bamboo Sandwich

So what is a bamboo sandwich and how do you make one? Bear with my silliness, I just don’t know what else to call the tasty weekend we just concluded with a tour of glass enthusiasts who visited us from Northern California.

Calm before the storm. Drinks awaiting guests on our deck above the bamboo on the evening of our first gathering. Glass collection awaiting below. The weekend begins.

We didn’t really plan a “sandwich”. It was only at the end that I realized we’d made one. Starting and ending in layers of sun-dappled bamboo, the “filling” was made up of one part factory, five parts artist presentations, three studio visits, three home tours, one museum visit, one public garden visit, three galleries, one play, generous helpings of food and – best of all – a lot of new friends.

Go, Amy! Explaining glass manufacturing in Bullseye's State-of-the-18th-Century-Art.

There’s nothing that helps us think about what we do as well as explaining it to others. At Bullseye Dan and I are blessed to have a team of peeps who are World Caliber ‘Splainers’!

Research & Education head Ted Sawyer takes the group through how we fail big time. And the critical lessons we learn in the process.

Fortunately we don’t have to do all the explaning at Bullseye. After our guests had listened to five of our artists talk (Michael Endo, Ted Sawyer, Stacy Lynn Smith, Catharine Newell and April Surgent) about their ideas and methods, we enjoyed visits to many Portland locations, including three terrific studios: Abi Spring‘s, Deborah Horrell‘s, and Charissa Brock‘s.

Brock's methods of what she used to call "patisserie de verre" are a yummy study in delicacy and brilliant simplicity.

From a 65,000 square foot factory into an 800 square foot basement studio, our guests saw glassmaking in all dimensions.  Brock’s studio was a thrill for me to see as her work hinges on what I believe to be one of kilnforming’s greatest strengths: its protean potential.

From feather-like brush strokes to why it's called "BAM-boo", Brock took us through her full process.

Pairing the tough yet delicate grains of silica that are the heart of pâte de verre with the malleability of the “silica factory” that is bamboo – Brock’s work was the perfect final studio stop before the bus delivered us to Portland’s Japanese Garden (where you’ll want to catch Brock’s show in November).

Glass meets bamboo in Brock's time and labor intensive sculpture.

By Sunday, Dan and I had gotten into the “tourist” swing ourselves and wallowed in the sunlight of our last hour together with our new friends.

Exiting through the gardens, savoring the end to a wonderful weekend.

With all my own traveling, I sometimes forget what a remarkable town we live in. As is so often the case, in so many different activities, whether art or travel, it takes “outsiders” to show us what we think we already know.

Dan and I are grateful to the Glass Alliance of Northern California for letting us be tourists with them this weekend.

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