Saturday. Day 2.5 of SOFA. Brain dead. No time. Hoarse.

Here’s 16 quick pics to do the talking. Roughly split into five categories…..

#1. What it looks like when they open the doors to preview night, you’re the first booth in the hall and the earth is moving under your feet.

That’s pretty much all I see on Opening Night. The rest is equally blurred. Sorry.

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To get to the glamorous bastion of high-ticket fine craft and design that is the annual Sculpture Objects and Functional Art Fair also known as SOFA you have to walk through over a half mile of amusement park.

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Little Jimmy at the Fairgrounds

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Up Up and Away to SOFA Chicago.

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Glass wants to be big.

Think about it. Ours is a medium that by its very nature overflows its edges. Its containers refuse to contain themselves. The light reflected and refracted by a glass object can spill over into surrounding space. Not unlike architecture, glass can define space.

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Jessica Loughlin in Bullseye’s factory studio, caught between Ted and Tom, between horror and enthusiasm, between art and design, between a rock and a hard place…..

This defining ability of the material is probably why I am so drawn to glass objects that are about space – and why glass seems to me to so naturally speak the language of architecture.

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Klaus Moje at SOFA Chicago 2009

One key measure of a teaching artist is the caliber of his students. Klaus Moje – and the glass workshop that he founded at the Canberra School of Art in 1982 – has produced many of the most talented artists working in kiln-glass today.

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Moje with students at the Pilchuck Glass School, 1997.

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Richard Whiteley leading a masterclass at North Lands Creative Glass in 2004.

TEACHING ARTIST. The title has a mildly incongruous ring to it. Like Galloping Gourmet or Flying Nun.

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Woke up to the Chicago skyline, a little hazy, but prospects of sunshine ahead.

Grant Park at 7am Tuesday, November 4, 2008.

Navy Pier gives us its annual finger from the lake  – it’s the long arm at 3 o’clock in the pic.

But despite the prospects of sore feet, aching backs and the inevitable snafus of all art fairs, I expect we’ll have our SOFA booth set up by the end of the day.

Just in time to celebrate.

A lot of waiting.

United We Sit.

Ryan, Jamie and I set off for Chicago early this morning to set up our SOFA booth….it’s approaching afternoon. We’re still in Portland. So is our (broken) plane.

Sigh.

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A lot of Bullseye’s gallery team spent the last week on the edge of our seats.

2006 e-merge finalist Robin Provart-Kelly was battling a coven of kiln witches in order to get a piece to us in time for SOFA Chicago. After what seemed like a lifetime of hell in the hot zone, we got an email from Robin with a 20 point EUREKA and a picture of this amazing pâte de verre work.

Robin Provart-Kelly, “Bounty”, 2008. Pâte de verre and kilnformed glass. 3.5″ x 8.25″ x 8″

It’s missed our outbound SOFA truck, so it’s traveling solo to meet up with us when we get to Chicago. We’re all elated – and minus fingernails – to be able to show Robin’s work for the first time at the fair.

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We’re only a week away from SOFA Chicago. Love it or hate it, SOFA is THE event for artists and designers in our field. It’s where the most important collectors gather to spy and buy, to check out the best of contemporary glass (and other media, but let’s not get off track) and to see what’s new in the field.

An old SOFA. In 2006 we used our booth to spotlight some great talent, artists who had worked at North Lands Creative Glass.

This year we’ve dedicated the Bullseye Gallery booth to showcasing past participants in our biennial e-merge competition.

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